Beef Meat – From Steak To Roast. Which Cut Should I Buy?

Beef meat

We’ve all been there, trying to decide which cut of beef meat to buy at Morrisons. There are so many choices.  Questions start to come to your mind. Will it be tender?  Will it be enough? Will it add flavour to my dish? Oh, that’s expensive!  Add Tesco’s finest range in the mix and panic starts to ensue.  Thankfully at Whelan Meats and Provisions, we know our Beef meat. We’re a high-end wholesale meat supplier located in London, this is our area of expertise.  

We’ve put together this definitive guide to help you get that perfect cut the next time you want to order your beef meat.  Warning: This article is not for the vegan or vegetarian among us.

‘Beef meat is one of the most versatile ingredients you can use in your cooking. The secret is knowing which cut to buy for the dish you are trying to cook and to buy the best beef you can afford.’ – Jack Whelan.

Do your research

The best way to do this is to go to the source. The first place to look is at what’s available locally. If you live in the country, find your local farm shop, or if you live in the city and you can’t find a good local supplier, ask your butcher, farmer, or retailer how they source their meat. There is a lot of variation between different suppliers. Some use grass-fed cattle, others buy from larger industrial producers.  As long as you get a consistent product quality at a good price, it doesn’t really matter how it’s sourced. 

What makes beef tender?

Beef tenderness is often considered the most important quality factor in meat products. The most desirable tenderness in beef is achieved when the meat is harvested and cut at an early stage of maturity when the muscle fibers are short and thick. The fibers run parallel to each other and cross at right angles to the muscle fiber length, resulting in high resistance to stretch. This produces a product with a “springy” feel, so don’t be afraid to ask your butcher to feel the meat.  Tenderness is also determined by the way the meat is cooked, for example, if you were to fry a whole roasting joint, the results would be very different than if you were to cook it for four hours in the oven.

For Casserole, It’s all about the bone

If you are making a casserole, you will want to find a piece of beef for a reasonable price and beef that will keep its shape during cooking, that will yield the most flavour. The most common choices are sirloin steak (a little pricier), blade, chuck (also known as stewing beef), leg, and middle rib. Anything with a bone will add bags of flavour and keep the meat moist. Then you just need to add your vegetable choices and cook it low and slow to release the flavour.  My personal favourite for a flavoursome casserole is middle rib.

Scotch Beef Meat for Roasting

A lot of us are familiar with the standard way to roast beef, but have you ever thought about what cuts of meat are used to roast? There are at least eight different ways to roast beef, but the most common types of roasting cuts are the rib-eye, the short loin, the sirloin, the fore ribs, and the silverside. Each cut has its own benefits. The rib-eye can be very tender, but it’s usually smaller than the other cuts. The sirloin is better for those looking for a steak with more flavour than silverside, and the fore ribs are perfect for retaining moisture and could be the best option if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck.

Steak Cuts for Flavour 

The next time you sit down to a steak dinner, ask yourself which cut you would want to eat. Chances are you can’t remember what the other cuts taste like because you’re so familiar with your favourite. If you want to know which cut tastes best, try a new one at least once a year. Sirloin or fillet are good choices.  The sirloin is marbled with fat and some think it is more flavoursome than the fillet, but the fillet should in theory be more tender.  A T-bone is both a sirloin and a fillet separated by a bone, but my personal favourite is the Ribeye.  It’s a perfect mix of flavour and tenderness and should definitely be one you add to your list to try.

There are many factors to consider when buying beef meat. You need to choose the right cut for the job (are you having a bbq or a dinner party), which type of meat you want (e.g. steak or mince), the amount of fat, how it’s been stored (e.g. how fresh it is), did it come from dedicated beef cattle or dairy cattle, and the price. The best place to buy cheap beef is from your local supermarket like Tesco or Morrisons, but if you want the best quality and you don’t mind paying a little more, then you should visit a farm shop, if you are looking for a wholesale beef meat supplier then you are in the right place here with us.