I thought this week we could cover some of the more popular meat cuts that we see in the store. I know when I shop I sometimes find myself overwhelmed when it comes to beef, then just end up buying chicken instead. Here is a great breakdown of those more common cuts and how to marinate, cook and serve them.
1) TOP ROUND
(AKA London broil)
Very lean with mild flavor; dense and slightly chewy.
Inexpensive with no fat to trim off, so more meat for your money; even shape makes it easy to slice thin.
Marinating will tenderize the meat.
Best served rare to medium (overcooking will turn this cut into leather).
Must be carved very thin, against the grain.
Great cold for sandwiches.
2) RIB EYE
(AKA Delmonico steak)
Naturally tender cut cooks up juicy, with a rich flavor of caramelized meat.
Can be sold bone-in for rib lovers and for a more dramatic presentation.
Lots of marbling makes it self-basting.
These steaks are pricey, so look for ones with a large “eye” and less surrounding fat.
3) FILET MIGNON
(AKA tenderloin steak)
Its mild flavor and tenderness make it the perfect canvas for a starring sauce.
Expensive, but unlike other cuts, it doesn?t need to be trimmed and doesn?t shrink much during cooking.
Avoid acidic marinades — they’ll deteriorate the fine grain and make the meat mealy.
Best eaten rare to medium.
Lean and tender enough to be eaten cold.
Skip the steak knife — it cuts like butter!
Nothing says “steakhouse” like a T-bone. Great for steak lovers who eat with their eyes first.
Combines two contrasting cuts in one sitting — part of the delicate tenderloin and robust, juicy strip.
The bone adds flavor and seals in juices.
Perfect for carnivores who feel the meat’s just a vehicle for getting to gnaw on the bone.
5) SKIRT STEAK
(AKA fajita steak)
Good bang for your buck — juicy and flavorful; quick-cooking and versatile.
Firm, accordion-like grain soaks up dry rubs and marinades.
Best served rare to medium-rare. Anything more toughens the meat.
6) STRIP LOIN
(AKA strip steak; New York strip steak; shell steak)
A beef-lover’s steak — you can really taste the steer.
A trophy cut — tenderness, succulence and a satisfying chew.
Low maintenance: cooks evenly, ideal for a variety of cooking methods (grilling, broiling and pan-roasting).
Serve rare or medium-rare: This cut turns mealy when overcooked.