I come from a family of beef lovers. Well mostly, my Mom tolerates it but doesn’t really love love it. The men, well, all of them love it. Beef is something we serve often. I remember when I first started cooking and using different cuts of beef, I didn’t know much about them.When Marcus sent me the article below, which I am sharing with permission, I had to chuckle as I had some memories.
What Every Burger Lover Needs to Know About Beef
Just eating at a burger restaurant isn’t enough to make you a true connoisseur, and the occasional night out at a steakhouse is insufficient to make you a beef expert. To take your beef fandom to the next level, you’ve got to boost your knowledge; you’ve got to develop a real respect for the ingredient, which only comes when you spend some time studying it.
For starters: Recognize that the beef on your plate used to be part of an animal. That may not be a pleasant thing to consider when you’re biting into a hamburger, but it’s important nonetheless. Honor that animal, and show gratitude for your food, by acknowledging where it came from.
Getting to Know Your Beef
But don’t stop there. Take it a step further by getting to know the different forms that beef comes in—the different cuts from the bovine’s body. We’ll offer a quick crash course:
The T-Bone. The T-Bone is taken from the back half of the spinal column and ribs, an area that’s more generally known as the loin. This is a hefty part of the animal, and actually generates three different cuts—T-Bones, strip steaks, and porterhouses—just depending on how the animal is butchered. A good T-Bone is a unique experience, because either side of the T offers something a little different—one side quite tender, the other fatty but full of robust, beefy flavor.
The Ribeye. Ribeyes come from the back and rib section as well, just up from where the T-Bone is located. Ribeyes tend to be flavorful, tender, and have just the right amount of fat, which makes this a favorite cut of many steakhouse enthusiasts.
Lean cuts of beef. The rear of the cow has lots of large muscles that make for leaner cuts of beef. Some examples include sirloin steak and rump roast. This meat is great for fajitas, stir fry, or kebobs.
Thin muscles. The underside of the cow, meanwhile, has thin muscles that yield several other cuts of beef- flank steak, skirt steak, and brisket.
Chuck. Finally, there’s the front side of the cow, which is more commonly known as chuck. The meat you use for a chuck roast or a pot roast comes from this part of the animal. This meat tends to be a little bit on the tough side, but the flavor is often superb.
This is a slightly simplified explanation of where your beef comes from, of course—but a good starting point for anyone looking to understand their food a little better. Study up on your beef, and try some different cuts—really being mindful of what makes each one distinct.