Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Beef Cuts

CowNeck and Clod Chuck Blade Rump Silver and Topside Thick Flank Thin Flank Thin Rib Thick Rib Leg Shin Fore Rib Oxtail Cheeks Brisket Sirloin
Learn more about different cuts by selecting parts of the cow!

OXTAIL

Organic Oxtail Cut of Beef

As the name suggests, this is the tail of the cow. Many people love oxtail, because it is just about the richest beef stew you can make. Despite this, it is one of the most underestimated cuts of beef, even though provides a great source of protein and is ideal for a low-carb diet. Oxtail from our grass-fed beef is naturally lower in calories, richer in heart healthy omega-3, higher in “good” unsaturated fats and lower in “bad” saturated fats.

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SILVERSIDE & TOPSIDE

Silverside Cut of Beef

Which meat makes the best beef sandwich? We’d argue topside of beef. Better cold than warm and finely sliced, topside is superbly positioned between two tasty slices of freshly baked bread with a dollop of English mustard. It’s also cheaper and leaner than most cuts and should be cooked either fairly fast or very slow – nothing in between. As it is very lean, it can become dry when roasted, so we provide a layer of fat tied around to ensure the meat remains perfectly moist. Silverside is also cut from the hindquarters, just above the leg. Its name comes from the “silver wall” on the side of the cut. It is ideal for slow cooking.

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RUMP

Rump Steak

The bovine backside! Rump is regarded as the best everyday steak. It has more flavour than a fillet steak and is much cheaper. A prime rump steak is produced from a single rump muscle which is very tender and succulent. The rump muscle is exercised more than most other parts of the animal, which makes the steak a little tougher than sirloin, but gives considerable flavour. Grilling and slicing before serving is recommended and is best served medium to medium rare.

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SIRLOIN

Sirloin Steak

Hungry? How about... lean sirloin steak, fat chips, a delicious peppery sauce with a fine Shiraz? Now you really are hungry – we are just thinking about it! Without doubt one of our most popular cuts. The lack of muscle use on the upper, middle part of the cow is the reason for the tenderness of this cut. As a leaner steak, it provides a more health conscious option than fatter steaks.

Why is it called sirloin? The fictional answer - a famished King Charles II or Henry VIII were so satisfied by a huge loin of beef that they dubbed the beef Sir Loin in a mock ceremony. The factual answer - it comes from the French word “surlonge”, which means “on or above the loin”.  Some of the most popular steaks, such as Filet Mignon, Châteaubriand and T-Bone come from the loin part of the animal.

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FORE RIB

Fore Rib Cut of Beef

The British use a somewhat derogatory term for the French based on their perceived culinary habits, but the French call the British “les rosbifs.” This comes from a well-founded perception that roast beef is the favourite meal of the British. A traditional roast fore rib of beef is the iconic British roast.

The classic rib-eye steak comes from this part of the animal. The highly distinctive flavour of beef comes from the fat. Rib-eye, highly marbled and with a large layer of fat is one of the richest, beefiest cuts available.

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CHUCK & BLADE

Chuck and Blade Braising Steak

Why is it called a “chuck steak?” We don’t know, so if you are a beef etymology expert, please call us. In the UK, the chuck is commonly referred to as “braising steak” and comes from underneath the steer's shoulder blade bone. The blade is the more tender of the two steaks, but the chuck is intensely flavourful. The top blade steak is a smaller cut and is also known as the "Flatiron Steak" as it resembles an old fashioned flatiron.

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NECK & CLOD

Neck and Clod Cut of Beef

The neck muscles which hold up the head make for a tight and muscular cut, but make excellent stewing beef and mince. Clod steak is a relatively unfamiliar piece of beef. It also contains many muscles that cause it to have a rubbery texture, but with proper marinating and cooking, this juicy steak has great flavour without the great price.  Braise it or grill it, but even better, stick it in a bun with your favourite BBQ sauce.

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CHEEKS

Ox Cheek Cut of Beef

Looks aren't everything! A cow's cheeks in the butchers might look somewhat unappealing in comparison to the more familiar cuts of beef.  As cattle chew for up to eight hours a day,  the cheek gets a lot of work and is a solid, tight muscle, providing great flavour when braised or casseroled. So even if it does not look great, when cooked slowly becomes a super tender, cheap and delicious meat.

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THICK FLANK

Thick Flank Cut of Beef

Ever had fajitas? If you have, then chances are that you have eaten meat from the flank. A flank steak lies on the belly close to the hind legs. It is the typical lean, juicy and tasty Sunday steak.  It is an inexpensive cut, suited to long slow cooking and ideal for said Mexican food and dishes such as beef bourguignon. This is the traditional cut used in a North American dish called “London Broil.” There is no known connection with the UK capital city though. 

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THIN FLANK

Thin Flank Cut of Beef

The flat sheet of muscle taken from the belly of the animal is known as the thin flank. In most recipes, thick and thin flank can be used interchangeably, but thin flank is more textured and has an even more intense beefy flavour. It contains more tough muscles than thick flank and chefs recommend that before you do anything, smack it a few times with a meat tenderizer and then douse in a good marinade.

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THIN RIB

Thin Rib of Beef

If the UK weather allows for such a thing as a barbecue season any more, this may be the obvious occasion to enjoy thin ribs, or short ribs as they are commonly called.  Thin rib is a tough, fatty cut, which benefits from long, slow cooking, even from the night before.  Taken from the lower part of the front ribcage, they are meatier than pork ribs. We supply on the bone, which only enhances the flavour of these beefy treats.

A long braise, then finished off on the barbecue, they are melt in the mouth tender. Thin rib is not just a summer meat though. It is rich, comforting winter fare. Don’t forget the fat from these ribs makes great dripping for roasties!

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THICK RIB

Thick Ribs of Beef

It would neglectful to talk about all the different cuts of beef and not mention at some point, Yorkshire puddings. The most popular way of cooking beef thick rib is braising and many know the meat as braising steak. Braising is typically associated with cuts of meat that are less tender and this way of cooking helps to enhance tenderness.

Thick rib is popular for making stews and casseroles, but is also a great roasting joint. Slow roasting keeps all the tasty juices trapped inside the meat. The roast must be accompanied with a fine red, vegetables and yes, obviously...Yorkshire puddings.

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LEG

Leg Mutton Cut of Beef

So we all know that a cow typically has four legs, unless it has been met with tragedy. In theory then, leg of beef is any of the four legs. In practice though, it refers to either of the back two legs.  Since the animal's legs do the most work, it is the toughest meat. As always, tougher meats are the cheapest, but need to be cooked slowly. Leg of beef has bags of flavour and is ideal for braising and in stews.

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BRISKET

Brisket Cut of Beef

Internationally there are considerable differences in the terminology of beef cuts, but brisket is one of the nine primal cuts of meat initially separated from the carcass in the butchering process. Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest.

It is an economical way of having a hearty, organic roast and is arguably the best cut of beef for use in pastrami and for those who like their meat well-done. The brisket can be fatty, but this only adds to the flavour. With a little time and the right cooking method, this toughie can be rendered soft and satisfying. 

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SHIN

Shin of Beef

“When a shin of beef is slow cooked, magic happens.” So said Jamie Oliver. Slowly stewed in red wine, beer or water (red wine and beer surely!) it is more sweet and succulent than any other stewing beef. The unattractive connective tissue simply melts during cooking, adding richness and extra flavour. Perfect with mash! 
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