One of the questions that we get asked a lot is “how do I know what bit to use for what?”. Angus cows& Cross CalvesThere are numerous cuts of beef and the different cuts often go by different names depending on where you are in the country. However before we get into that, it is important that the raw material is up to scratch. Whether you get your meat from Fenelon’s or elsewhere, it is important to establish the provenance of what you are buying – in an ideal world down to the farm from which it originates. For the best beef you ideally would like something that is extensively reared, grass fed and definitely only fed on natural feedstuffs. One way of ensuring that you are getting this is looking out for quality assurance marks such as the Bord Bia Quality Assurance logo. This signifies that the animals have been raised and looked after to a specific code setting out high standards of animal husbandry and welfare. So now that we have an idea of the ethos with which we should be buying, the next question is what do we buy?
Usually used for slow cooking cuts such as pot roasts, stew, braising beef and mince. This area of the animal provides the staple ingredients of many simple and delicious dishes.
More About slow cooking cuts
Beef – Slow Cooking Cuts
There are lots of occasions when we want to cook with nothing but the best to enjoy and impress. However everyday life exists and for that we need everyday cuts as well. We supply a number of items from the same high quality beef that we use for our joints and steaks –well we have not used the whole animal yet have we?
Best Casserole Steak
Otherwise known as round steak, best casserole steak comes from a hind muscle. It is ideal for fondues and for really special dishes like boeuf bourguignon as it is quick cooking and very lean.
Diced Shoulder Stew
Though not as tender as best casserole steak, shoulder stew is great nonetheless for stews and curries where the meat is browned off and then slowly cooked in a sauce.
This is great for winter warming stews and soups!
Shin of Beef
Shin of beef contains a lot of connective tissue and therefore really needs to be used in slow cooking recipes. It provides a very flavoursome dish and is often used in braising dishes or stews.
Great for stir fry or stroganoff dishes, the fillet tail comes from the thin end of the fillet which is too thin to cut to steaks or to use as a fillet roast.
Again taken from premium cuts, steak mince is very lean and of course great for making bolognaise, your own burgers or just great simple mince and tatties!
This is where we get our more economical roasting joints from. These tend to be quite lean and some customers will ask for extra fat to be rolled round the outside of the joint (this is OK by the way!)
More about boneless roasts
Beef – Roasting Joints Off the Bone
There are a number of different beef roasting joints and it can be difficult to choose which one is suitable for your occasion. We have listed all our joints below with their various attributes. Boneless joints have the advantage of being easy to carve but do not have the benefit of the flavour which comes from the bone. However you can always ask for some bones to roast the beef on top of.
The ultimate in luxury roasts, fantastic flavour and very lean. It is the centre cut of the fillet and can either be cooked as a roast or you can use it to cut your own fillet steaks. This is a joint best cooked rare and sliced thinly.
This is a basic boned sirloin. It is well marbled and has a good level of cover on the outside to give it great flavour. Also if you like to cut your own sirloin steaks so that you can define the thickness yourself, choose this joint as it is what we cut sirloin steaks from.
The rolled sirloin is the striploin rolled and tied using the mysterious butcher’s knot. Rolling the striploin allows for the juices to remain in the joint and gives nice round slices when carving.
Rolled Sirloin with Undercut
When the sirloin includes the undercut it means that the rump end of the sirloin roast is boned and rolled so that it contains both the sirloin and the rump fillet, the two best cuts, combining tenderness and great taste.
Rolled Rib Roast
This is cut from the fore rib and boned and rolled resulting in a tasty joint that is more economical than a rolled sirloin.
Rib Eye Roast
The centre of the fore rib muscle, this joint is the same cut as the rib eye steak. It has the same generous seam of fat running through the centre which melts away when cooking to give a fantastic tasting joint.
Probably the big favourite of all the roasts, this is a lean joint but as it comes from the hard working hind muscles it is not as tender as the rib and sirloin joints – it has great flavour though cook it rare and slice it thin!
Again from the hind muscles, this is a good pot roasting joint. It is extremely lean so the method of cooking requires a constant baste.
Beef Joint Cooking Times
Steaks and Roasts
Where we get our prime cuts from – either for roasting or to use as steaks. Roasting joints can be left either on the bone or they can be boned and rolled for easier carving. Steaks, on the other hand, are the ultimate in fast food! Also as a little bit of trivia, a roasting without the rump is known as a roast.
More about steaks and roasts
Beef – Steaks
The ultimate in fast food! Steaks are a very versatile cut and very quick to cook as well as being a healthy option. There are a number of different types with differing attributes and cost and once you have worked out which one you would like, our steak cooking guide will help you cook it to your taste.
The most expensive cut on the animal, this is extremely lean and tender. It is mostly cooked as a steak but is also used for Beef Wellington and for the really adventurous, Carpaccio. If you ever wonder at the high price of fillet, remember that there is only about 5kgs of fillet on each animal as opposed to about 50kgs of stewing beef! 6oz (185g) per serving.
An extremely tasty and tender steak with a good cover of fat on the outside and well marbled through the centre. We trim each steak so that it keeps a thin even layer of fat on the outside to maintain the famous sirloin taste. However as each steak is prepared to order you can feel free to specify the level of fat cover. 8oz (225g) per serving.
At Butcher’s Best, we call this the lovers’ steak as it is a great one for sharing. Cut from the sirloin roast and left on the bone, it is made up of the fillet and the sirloin – just make sure you both get a bit of each side! 14oz (395g) per serving.
An ever more popular steak, this is an extremely well marbled steak with a seam of fat running through the middle which gives it its great flavour. This is a great cut for a relaxed quick cook meal. 10oz (285g) per serving.
Our favourite at Butcher’s Best, this is a lean, tender cut but full of flavour. It is great as a steak but also cut thinly, it makes a fantastic ingredient for salads or stir fry. 6oz (185g) per serving.
A great steak for flash frying in, well about a minute!!! Ideal for steak sandwiches or stirfry. 6oz (185g) per serving.