meat cuts image

01. Rump

Lean, tender and full of flavour. Contains part of the fillet which is one of the most tender cuts of meat.

ORIGIN

The rump - as one may have guessed - comes from the hind of the animal, more specifically in the area where the spine and pelvis meet. The full cut consists of two parts – the rump steak and the rump tail.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

The cut consists of loosely connected muscles but this part of the animal does not work very hard, making it lean yet tender. The rump usually needs to be well-hung which brings out that strong beef flavour.

Best Prepared

Due to the fact that rump is a very lean cut, care must be taken when cooking to prevent it from becoming tough. Our recommendation is to fry or braai a 2.5cm or thicker steak for a few minutes on each side, served medium to medium rare (or according to your preference). Don't forget to let your steak rest for a few minutes after removing from heat to retain all those delicious juices.

02. Striploin

Succulent, juicy and soft in texture - sometimes referred to as the sirloin. This part can be cut to produce the T-bone and Porterhouse favourites.

Origin

The striploin is cut from the middle of the back, with a good amount of fat running through the muscles and surrounding it. It originates from an area that does not work very hard, making it soft and succulent.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

This cut of meat lacks the strong beefy flavour that may be present on the rump for instance, therefore is often hung for extended periods of time to bring out the taste. The striploin is a favourite due to its fine texture and wonderful tenderness.

Best Prepared

The striploin is a versatile cut of meat and can be prepared in a number of ways – from grilling and braaing to roasting and frying. It’s always best to cook it with a little butter to maximise the flavour.

03. Fillet

Tender, versatile and mild in flavour. Also known as the beef tenderloin.

Origin

The fillet comes from inside the striploin and is cut from a muscle that does very little exercise.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

Because the muscle does very little  exercise, the fillet is a very soft, tender and lean cut of beef. In terms of taste, this cut does not have as much flavour as some other cuts and cannot be hung or matured for very long.

Best Prepared

The fillet is very versatile and can be prepared in a multitude of ways but the preferred method is to braai, grill or pan-fry.

04. Silverside

Very lean and muscular cut of meat, easily distinguished by the layer of silver connective tissue that covers the muscle, similar to topside.

Origin

Silverside is cut from the hindquarter of the animal – an area that is worked very hard. These muscles not only help the cattle move around but also carry a great amount of the animal’s weight.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

Because of the amount of muscle and lack of fat in this piece of meat, silverside is a very tough and coarse cut. For this reason, silverside is often cut into smaller pieces and tenderised, or used to make biltong. The flavour of the meat is often mild and needs to be brought out with sauces and seasoning.

Best Prepared

Preparation of the silverside will depend on how it has been cut but most instances, stewing and roasting often brings out the best of the meat. For thinly sliced steaks, quick pan-frying makes for a tasty beef sandwich.

05. Topside

A large, lean cut of beef with little fat and a course texture, similar to silverside.

Origin

Topside is cut from an area that contains a lot of muscle and connective tissue, namely the inner muscle of the thigh. It is easily recognised by the half-moon shaped layer of fat that appears on the outside.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

Although this cut of meat comes from an exercised area of the body, it is tender compared to other hind quarter cuts. The texture is very coarse due to the leanness and lack of marbling (fat). It has a rich but subtle flavour, which is only enhanced by aging.

Best Prepared

Topside is often used to make mince and biltong but makes for an especially wonderful roast. When preparing this cut, very high temperatures should be avoided as this can affect the tenderness and texture and serving it rare of medium-rare ensures a tender and succulent eating experience.

06. Flank

A tough but very lean cut of meat that is covered in a thick layer of connective tissue. It is one of the more flavourful cuts of beef.

Origin

The hindquarter flank is cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow, an area that has a significant amount of fibrous connective tissue. This cut of meat is easily identified by it’s characteristic grain, which is quite stringy.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

As mentioned, the flank comes from a very lean area that has a lot of connective tissue, which can cause the meat to be quite tough and chewy if overcooked. Its texture is also very fibrous and stringy, but what makes this cut great is it’s wonderfully strong flavour.

Best Prepared

While this cut is often processed to make mince, it can be thinly sliced against the grain to produce delicious steaks to be grilled quickly at a high temperature. The flank can also be braised to increase it’s tenderness and further enhance the flavour.

07. Short Rib

A juicy and tasty cut of meat that is equal parts tender, soft and flavourful.

Origin

Short ribs are cut from the rib section that contains 3 to 4 ribs and can vary in thickness depending on how it has been cut. Naturally, due to the rib bones being present, there is not as much meat in this cut as in the other cuts, but it makes up for that with flavour and tenderness.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

Short ribs are favourite among beef eaters because they can be exceptionally juicy and tender if prepared well and have a great punch of flavour compared to other cuts of meat. The cut contains meat that is interspersed with fat, muscle and tendons that vary according to age and upbringing which contributes to its taste.

Best Prepared

This cut is quite flexible in terms of preparation as it can be used in a number of dishes in a number of ways. The most popular method is to marinade and braise the meat at a low heat for a longer period of time.

08. Chuck

A tough, fatty but deliciously flavourful cut of economical meat.

Origin

Chuck is cut from the top forequarter area (neck and shoulder) of the beef and contains a significant amount of bones including vertebrae, ribs and the blade bone. It consists multiple layers of muscle and can contain quite a lot of fat and gristle.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

While chuck can be very tough, fatty and bony, it is one of the most flavourful cuts of beef and when prepared correctly, it can make for a bold dining experience. This area contains collagen connective tissues which melt during cooking, giving it that delicious beef flavour.

Best Prepared

A type of cut like this is best suited for slow, wet cooking methods such as braising and stewing but it is often fried or grilled as a steak as well.

09. Brisket

A tough but tasty cut of beef with a coarse texture.

Origin

This cut originates from the chest of the cow and contains the breast bone and a few ribs. It is most often divided into 3 sections – the point brisket, mid-brisket and navel brisket. Because cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support up to 60% of the animals body weight and thus contains a lot of connective tissue.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

Because of its origin, brisket is a very tough and coarsely textured cut of beef but has a good flavour. When prepared well with a lot of moisture, the connective tissues soften and result in a more tender cut of meat. It is usually boned and trimmed of excess fat.

Best Prepared

Brisket is used to make pastrami and is the most popular cut to make corned beef. It does not respond well to fast cooking methods, so slow, wet preparation will give you the best result.

10. Knuckles

A very muscular cut that contains both tough and tender parts.

Origin

The knuckle is cut from the cow’s hindquarters, particularly the hip and a portion of the leg. This cut of meat consists of 3 distinct muscles, sometimes referred to as the tip centre, tip side and tip bottom, with the centre being the tenderest portion.

Taste, Tenderness & Texture

This cut ranges from very tender to relatively tough depending on the portion. As mentioned, the innermost muscle is soft, while the other muscles contain a lot of connective tissue, making them tougher and coarser in texture. It has a mild flavour that is enhanced through cooking.

Best Prepared

This is another cut of meat that benefits from slow and low cooking with lots of moisture and lots of time. Stewing and braising are preferred methods but this cut can also be broiled or grilled.