The rib consists of all the rib bones of the cow as well as the
associated muscle groups surrounding those bones. The
cuts produced from the rib bones and immediately
surrounding the bones are best used in slow braises or
smoking where the connective tissue can be broken down.
The larger muscles above the rib such as the ribeye are
sufficiently tender to be prepared like a loin and are prized
for their exceptional marbling.
Short Loin Cuts
The short loin is one of the highest valued section of the cow.
Is fine grained muscle fibers and moderate marbling yield a
moist tender steak that can be prepared equally well on the
grill or sautéed quickly. Steaks from this section tend to me
milder in flavor and color compared to other cuts. Due to the
moderate marveling, care should be taken not to over cook
steaks from this section or they may become tough.
This long fine grained and exceptionally tender grouping of
mussels extends through the sirloin and the short loin. On
average this section is the most valued on the cow due to
the low yield. When fully trimmed the tenderloin is exactly
what the name implies, a tender long loin that is the highlight
of some of the finest steak dinners world wide.
Sirloin - Top Sirloin Cuts
The top sirloin is the group of muscles above the hip
adjacent to the show loin. These cuts are mild in flavor, light
colored, with fine muscle grain and little marbling. Due to
their lower fat content these cuts are ideal for quick meals
such as stir fries and pan searing.
Bottom Sirloin Cuts
The bottom sirloin is the lower posterior extension of the
Short Loin that consists of some of the most valued grill
selections for grilling throughout to the world. The cuts from
this section are tender enough to grill, featuring juicy rich
flavored, and contain moderate amounts of marbling. The
only recommendation is to grill these cuts whole on low
heat, allow ample time to rest after grilling and then serve
thinly sliced across the grain.
This is the cluster of muscels that make up the front shoulder
of the cow. These muscles are course grained, well marbled,
rich, and flavorful. Steaks from this muscle group are best
suited for braises where the connective tissue can gelatinize
and the muscle fibers soften absorbing flavors from the
The brisket is the muscle group above the for shanks that
carries much of the weight of the animal. The result is a
distinctive long striated muscle fiber with moderate marbling
and a prominent fat cap running along the chest area. The
muscles from the area are prized for its performance in
smoking and hence is the preferred melee group for
Pastrami, and Texas-Style Smoked Beef BBQ.
Located just below the Sirloin and Tenderloin, this section features a thin layer of large grained muscle fibers that are lean and very flavorful. A favored cut for quick grilling or pan searing, it is recommended to slice this cut into thin strips cross grained for the best bite. The flank is a highly sought after cut in Asian and Latin cuisine and just recently has come into vogue in the US.
The Plate extends from the dorsal side of the brisket to the
belly. The muscles in the section are course grained thin
muscles laminated with loose light colored fat thought out.
The larger cuts from this section are primarily used for bacon
and then some thinner steaks such as the inside and outside
skirt are prized for quick grilling such as beef fajita.
The round is the collection of muscles on the hind quarter of
the animal not including the sirloin and shank sections. Cuts
from this section are generally very lean, fine grained and
best suited for slow roasting. Ground beef derived from this
section is considered of highest quality since is contains little
connective tissue and very little marbling.
The shank is separated into the fore and hind shanks and
can be prepared either bone-in style or boneless. The cuts
produced from this section are dark and rich in flavor. The
presence of connective tissue and cartilage necessitates
these cuts to be braised or utilized for broths. Once prepared
the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the resulting sauces
or broths collagen rich.
Whole Animal Cuts
This section refers to the trimmings generated from cutting
steaks through out the animal. These trimming are utilized for
grinding into hamburger or sausage.