Cuts of Meat

At Fenelon’s we are constantly being asked what should be done with a certain cut of meat. Now we really don’t mind this at all – it is why we are here to help and advise. However, as more and more people are turning away from pre-packed supermarket meat, we thought it would be useful to have a section on our website that describes the different cuts of meat that you will find here at Fenelon’s. Hopefully you will find this guide useful in choosing your cut of meat. Don’t forget to check out our video section where you will see Neven Maguire from the RTE Home Chef series cooking various cuts of meat.

Introduction - Get to know your Fenelon's Meat

Some Basics

Some of the most common questions that we get asked are common to all meats, be it beef, pork or lamb. By way of introduction, we try and answer them on this page.

How much do I need?

To size your piece of meat, allow approximately 225g (half pound) of uncooked meat per person if it is off the bone. If you are buying meat on the bone allow approximately (340g) of uncooked weight, but always allow a bit extra if you are feeding a hungry hoard or would like a little left over for the next day!

Weight Conversions: 1lb / 454g 2lb / 0.91kg 3lb / 1.36kg 4lb / 1.82kg 5lb / 2.27kg

Tips on storing meat:

  • Plastic will make the meat sweat. Remove meat from it’s plastic bag as soon as possible after buying and store in the fridge.
  • Meat should be transferred to a non-plastic dish and covered with foil or loosely covered with plastic to allow some air flow.
  • Raw and cooked meat should be stored separately.
  • Fresh meat will keep 3 – 5 days in the fridge. Cooked meat 5 – 7 days.

Freezing & refreezing meat:

Depending on the cut, uncooked meat can be stored up to 6 months in the freezer. Larger cuts, like steaks and roasts, can be safely stored for up to 6 months. Smaller cuts, such as beef steaks, should not be frozen for more than 4 months, and minced meat should not be frozen for more than 3 months.
Meat stored in the freezer should be kept at -18°C.
Freezer storage times for cooked meats are shorter than raw meat due to what’s known as flavour taint. Certain flavours oxidise in the freezer after a period of time.
If frozen meat has defrosted, refreezing is not recommended unless it is cooked first, for a number of reasons; the quality suffers each time frozen meat is defrosted and refrozen; freezing creates ice crystals within the structure of the meat (as meat contains a high percentage of water). These ice crystals rupture the fibre which causes the meat to bleed when defrosted. If repeated, the texture of the meat will be very dry.
Never refreeze meat which has been thawed and held at room temperature.

Thawing meat:

In the refrigerator: Plan ahead as this is the slowest thawing technique. Small frozen items may thaw overnight in the refrigerator, while larger items will take significantly longer.
In a microwave on the defrost setting: plan to cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a microwave, because some areas of the food may have begun cooking during the defrost cycle.
Meat should not be thawed at room temperature on the kitchen counter. Meat that has been thawed in the fridge will keep for a few days. Meat thawed more quickly should be used immediately. Thawed meat should not be re-frozen in it’s uncooked state.

Carving Tips - What to do once you've cooked your beef

Once you have cooked your beef, gently place it on a chopping board to allow the beef to settle (this is a good time to make your gravy). A chopping board with a groove round the edge to catch the juices is ideal for this –sirloin on bone don’t be tempted to try and carve on a platter or in the roasting pan as this makes the whole job a lot more difficult. To carve your joint you will need a sharp carving knife and a meat fork to help hold the meat steady.

If the knife is too blunt then it will encourage hacking and sawing at the meat. When carving, you should hold the knife at the same angle for each slice. Carve across the grain and slice into thin slices. As a small tip, it is often easier to take meat that is on the bone off the bone after cooking to make the carving easier. Carve only the number of slices that are to be served during the meal so that any leftover will retain the moisture and not dry out in the fridge.

Healthy Meat - Why Fenelon's Meat Is Good For You

Meat is particularly high in haem iron which, unlike non haem iron found in cereals and vegetables, is easily absorbed. Iron is good for our blood and helps carry more oxygen around our bodies. Sufficient iron intake is particularly necessary in young people and women of child bearing age. Meat is very rich in protein which is essential for energy and helps the body’s growth and repair. As a guide, one 90g portion provides half a person’s RDA for protein. Meat is also rich in zinc, vitamins B12, B6 and D. Zinc is needed for muscle recovery whilst vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy blood cells and nerve cells.

Vitamin B6 is one of those that does a lot and is pretty much essential for your good health. It is essential for your metabolism and immune system. Vitamin D is needed to maintain healthy bones and to stop them from going brittle. Beef in particular is rich is B12, B6 and D whilst pork is rich in B1 (thiamine) and lamb is rich in vitamin B6. Like everything though you can have too much of a good thing and it is vital that you maintain a balanced diet and get your proper intake of FRESH fruit and veg.