Better beef: uses for the beef forequater

By Kirstin Buick
14 June 2013

The YOU lifestyle team lays out everything you need to know about cooking with beef.

1 SHIN:

CHARACTERISTICS Consists of a large percentage of bone; contains plenty of connective tissue, making it a tough

but flavoursome cut

USES Slices (15 mm thick): braised dishes and soup

Cubes: stews

Bones: meat stock

2 BOLO

CHARACTERISTICS Boneless cut, coarse texture with little intermuscular fat, bright red muscle layer on top, consists of several muscle layers lying in various directions

USES Whole: pot-roast Slices (3-5 mm thick): minute steaks

(shallow fry), stew Slices (15 mm thick): braised dishes

Cubes: stews

Offcuts: mince

3 BRISKET

CHARACTERISTICS Coarse texture, contains breast bone and a few ribs, lots of flavour

USES Deboned and rolled: pot-roasted, wrapped in foil or cooked in a baking bag Deboned, rolled and cured: corned beef Cubes or slices: stews or braised dishes

4 SHORT RIB

CHARACTERISTICS Flat cut with ribs

USES Whole: cured and cooked

Bones: meat stock

Cubes: stews

5 PRIME RIB

CHARACTERISTICS 3 ribs, large eye muscle and even outer fat layer

USES The only forequarter cut that can be cooked with dry heat (such as steaks and other hindquarter cuts). Cheaper steaks such as rib-eye are cut from prime rib.

6 CHUCK

CHARACTERISTICS Consists of back vertebrae cut into pieces and 6-7 ribs and sometimes the shoulder blade.

USES Deboned and rolled: pot-roasted or cooked in a baking bag

Steaks or cubes: stews

Strips: stir-fries

Bones: soup

Offcuts: mince

7 RUMP

CHARACTERISTICS Boneless cut that varies in size depending on breed, contains plenty of intermuscular fat (marbling)

USES Whole: corned beef and pot roast

8 NECK

CHARACTERISTICS Consists of neck vertebrae with a large quantity of meat.

USES Slices (15 mm thick): braised dishes and casseroles

Cubes: stews and pies

Bones: meat stock

Offcuts: mince

COOKING METHODS: HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR CUT

MOIST HEAT (addition of liquid or covered)

POT ROASTING

For tougher, whole cuts or deboned rolls weighing more than 1,5 kg only (there is too much shrinkage when smaller cuts are used). Secure the meat with a piece of string to retain its shape. Brown the meat in a little oil or butter. Add a little heated liquid, cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender.

STEWING OR BRAISING

Brown meat cubes or pieces in a little oil in a large heavy-base saucepan and remove. Fry onions with whole spices in oil. Return the meat to the saucepan and add a little hot liquid. Sprinkle with ground spices, cover and simmer over low heat until the

meat is tender. Add vegetables about 40-30 minutes before the end of the cooking time. When braising the meat is cooked on a bed of vegetables from the start.

COOKED IN A CASSEROLE, WRAPPED IN ALUMINIUM FOIL OR IN A BAKING BAG

For tougher meat cuts weighing more than 1,5 kg and cubes, slices and pieces. Always cooked in the oven. Temperature: 160 °C. Cooking time: 45-50 minutes per 500 g meat plus 40 minutes extra.

CASSEROLE

Brown the meat in oil or butter in the casserole. Add hot liquid and seasonings. Cover tightly with aluminium foil or a lid and cook for required time.

BAKING BAG

Rub the whole cut with seasoning, put it in a baking bag, fasten the bag with string and make a few holes in the bag. Put the meat in a roasting tin and cook for the required time.

DRY HEAT

OVEN ROASTING

For tender whole cuts weighing 1,5 kg or more. Rub the meat with seasoning. Put on a rack over a roasting tin and roast uncovered. Always done in the oven. Temperature: 160°C Roasting times: Rare: 15-20 minutes per 500 g plus 15 min

Medium: 20-25 minutes per 500 g plus 20 min With the exception of grilling rib-eye steaks, other dry-heat methods aren’t suitable for forequarter cuts.

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