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Beef; Cuts

Various areas of the beef carcass are suitable for different dishes. Generally speaking the fore-quarter area provides the tougher meat, more suitable for slow and gentle cooking and the hind-quarter the more expensive cuts suitable for frying or grilling. However, it should always be remembered that the cheaper meat often has much more flavour, it just needs more effort and time to cook. Skirt and shin (1 & 13) are cook examples of this – both make delicious casseroles, if cooked very slowly; particularly the latter, which contains a jelly-type membrane which dissolves to make a rich sauce. Fillet, on the other hand, is a roll of muscle running inside the ribs where the sirloin (5) is, does practically no active work, so is very tender – however, it has very little flavour. When a cut is taken through the sirloin and fillet, including the rib in the centre, a T-Bone steak is produced, with the sirloin on one side of the bone and the small fillet 'roll' on the other.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.

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