The Anatomy of a Cow Explained - Page 2

Cow anatomy

T-bone is a fantastic cut of meat, because you get a piece of two cuts in one. On the one side of the bone you have a lean piece of Fillet, and on the other is a juicy Sirloin. What could be better? The T-bone naturally then will come from the back top half of the cow and is in between the Sirloin and Fillet area. 

Forget the duck, we’re eating Chuck

The Chuck cut is from the shoulder of the cow and is generally full of beefy flavour. This cut is very reasonably priced, and is often used for mincing. Nevertheless, a good piece of fresh chuck will go down a real treat after being marinated and then sizzled away on a braai!

You’ll feel pretty fly when you cook up some Rib Eye

This relatively popular cut is one of the juiciest pieces of meat and comes from the top middle section of the cow. And as you probably guessed it, the meat is rib meat, which adds to it’s unique and delicious flavour. This is a superb cut of beef for the braai!

Crank up the flavour with a piece of Flank

The bottom back piece of the cow is known as the Flank. It can be a delicious piece of meat and is really good for marinading as it is quite porous, and absorbs the juice without losing it’s natural flavour. The long, flat cuts of flank meat, are great for beef olives too! 

Who’s gonna have dibs on your Short Ribs?

Who doesn’t like a good rack of ribs straight off the braai? It’s true that pork is usually more popular, but with the right spices and marinade, you can be guaranteed of a winning dish when you prepare a delicious rack of beef ribs. This cut is found on the lower half of the cow in the centre under the rib eye section.

Having a braai? Frisk it up with some Brisket

Brisket Steaks are probably some of the cheapest cuts of meat, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in flavour! They have a fair amount of fat and bone in them, but that often adds to their unique flavour. If you have the means to smoke a piece of Brisket, you’d be doing your guests a huge culinary favour. These pieces of steak come from the breast portion of the cow.

As a general rule, when cooking your steaks, keep in mind that the cuts from the lower half of the cow generally take longer to cook, while the cuts from the top half can be done much quicker. The softer the meat is when cooking it, the more rare it will be. 

Preparing food, whether you braai, roast, grill or smoke it, is all about testing ingredients, methods and cuts of meat. So try out a new chunk of meat at your next braai and you may be pleasantly surprised!