There is nothing more delicious than a perfectly grilled ribeye steak or a pork roast that is falling off the bone. If you regularly serve meat in your kitchen, there are two things you need. First, you need a high quality wood cutting board to keep your food safe from cross contamination. Second, you need a basic knowledge of the various cuts of meat to help you prepare the absolute tastiest meal possible. Let’s take a quick look at the cuts of meat you are likely to see most often in your kitchen.
These cuts include the chuck, which gives you those savory bone-in chuck roasts and whole boneless chuck roasts that are perfect after a long day in the Crockpot. Taken from the area around the arm or shoulder blade, the trimmings may also be ground up for hamburger.
The rib includes part of the short ribs and is responsible for ribeyes and prime rib, while the brisket includes the entire rib area and is best cooked into stew, barbeque, pastrami, or corned beef. Finally, the plate is a second source of short ribs and is most often responsible for pot roasts. The outer area of the plate is referred to as the outside skirt steak and is great for fajitas. Other meat in this area tends to be tougher and fattier, so it is typically ground into ground beef.
As the toughest cut, the shank or fore shank is mainly used for soups and stews.
The loin is divided into two cuts or three if it is boneless. They include the short loin, which gives you Porter house and T-bone steaks, or Kansas City strip steaks if it is a boneless cut. Less tender, but more flavorful than the short loin, the sirloin is divided into the top and bottom sirloin. Finally, the tenderloin (which is the area that provides the tenderest meat) is cut into tenderloin steaks, tournedos, and filet mignon.
The round is frequently cut into eye of the round, round steak, and bottom round roasts or steaks. This area should be cooked to lesser degrees of doneness because it is a particularly lean area with a lower content of marbling (or fat) that can be somewhat tough. It becomes tougher the longer it is cooked.
The flank is frequently used for grinding, with the exception of the flat and long flank steak that is often used for London broils and the inside skirt steak, which is perfect for fajita meat.
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