Beef is probably the type of meat most Quebec households prefer. Delicious and rich in iron, there is no lack of recipe ideas when it comes to beef. It readily satisfies the palates of young and old alike. The wide variety of beef cuts is sure to suit every taste and every budget! But are you aware of the characteristics of each cut of meat?
There are so many cuts of beef and so many options to choose from that it’s not always easy to figure out what to get and many end up gravitating towards the same cuts. Want to shine in the kitchen and impress all your guests? Follow our guide and the different cuts of beef will no longer hold any secrets for you!
Beef is first divided into primary cuts, from which we can narrow down more specific cuts. Generally speaking, the tenderest parts are the most expensive because they are also the rarest. They are quick and easy to cook, which makes them the standouts of summer barbecues. For the less tender parts, we recommend slower cooking and a little more patience.
The beef round includes the leg and buttock of the animal. The cuts taken from the round are not the most tender, but are quite lean. Its characteristics make it an excellent meat for braised dishes. The inside of the round is ideal for roast beef.
The loin: tenderloin, sirloin and steak
The most famous cuts of all come from the loin. Located in the back of the animal close to the spine, this area yields large and tasty cuts. The muscle is less used in this part of the beef, which makes the meat leaner. The flesh is tender and has very little sinew or fat, which gives the meat its delicacy. Among the most prized cuts are the tenderloin, sirloin and steak. Regarding the preparation, we only have one recommendation: cook it quickly and over high heat to preserve all its tenderness!
Discover our Renard style filet mignon.
The sirloin is found a little higher in the back of the animal than the loin, near the first three dorsal vertebrae. A little less tasty than the loin, it is also less expensive yet remains tender and delicious. Its cuts are classic and can easily be adapted to suit all tastes, for example the top sirloin steak, which can readily be incorporated into a variety of dishes.
Quality prime ribs are sure to satisfy the cravings of any red meat lover! It is a very thick cut that includes the top part of the rib and the meat that covers it. It is one of the most expensive cuts as it is very tasty, quick to cook and offers more tenderness and flavour. Ribs should not be confused with the rib eye, which is actually a part of the rib that’s boned and sliced more thinly. Contrary to what one might think, the rib eye is not a cut that has been extracted from between two ribs. It is called rib eye when the bone is removed from the cut. Tasty and tender, rib eye steak is a favourite among many grilling enthusiasts.
Be sure to check out our Renard rib eye.
The shoulder is the area located above the ribs of the animal. Cuts include the blade steak, the cross ribs, the collar steak and the shoulder steak. It is a fairly muscular part of the body, so the meat is firm but rich in flavour. It is recommended to marinate the meat and simmer it over low heat to give it even more flavour.
The flank refers to the flat muscles in the animal’s abdomen. It isn’t the most tender part of the beef and its cuts taste best when marinated. More fibrous, like the flank steak, its cuts are tough and hearty while remaining quite lean. When properly prepared, flank meat is very tasty, but it shouldn’t be cooked too long. It is also recommended to slice it in the opposite direction of the fibres to tenderize them before serving.
The brisket is the located under the shoulder of the animal, above its front legs. It is therefore a part rich in thick muscles and separated by cartilaginous layers. It is surrounded by fat, but has very little marbling on the inside, i.e. very little fat. The brisket is a very tasty cut that requires a little more attention and patience, but the results are worth it!
The brisket tip
Thicker and tougher, the brisket tip has a very pronounced beefy flavour. It is ideal for smoked cooking and has been made famous by smoked meat, for which it is the preferred cut of beef. Whether cooked in a stew or braised, brisket is sure to make your mouth water!
The beef shank is the cut located around the shin of the animal. It is available with or without the bone. Its meat is quite gelatinous, which makes it ideal for stewed dishes such as pot-au-feu or beef bourguignon.
Recipe ideas for beef are almost endless. Between the different cuts, cooking methods and side dishes available, beef can be used in a wide variety of ways. Whether you’re a fan of grilled meat or prefer a more tender cut, it is truly the most versatile meat to cook with. At Renard, we provide quality that is rare on the market. We hear you salivating from here, so come and discover all our beef cuts without further delay!