The Adult Bible - Cooking

All about the beef…

Different cuts of beef…

Rib-eye: this cut used to be quite cheap, but is now creeping up in price. It has an open-fibre texture and a marbling of creamy fat. Cook with the surrounding fat still attached, then remove after cooking, says Gordon Ramsey. The fat adds flavour as well as basting the meat during cooking

Fillet: this is typically the most expensive cut. It is very lean, succulent and, because it has short fibres, very tender. If you buy from the butchers ensure that the sinewy chain that runs down the side is removed

T-bone: Comes on the bone, hence the name. It has a good marbling of fat with a layer of creamy fat on one side – this should be left on for cooking, then removed after, says Gordon Ramsey. Sirloin is on one side of the bone and a fillet on the other, take care when cooking, as he fillet will cook more quickly than the sirloin. There is some marrow in the bone which can be spread on the cooked meat

Sirloin: this is typically sold boned and rolled. A prime cut, which is perfect for a classic Sunday roast. Sirloin steak is taken from the same area but is cut into steaks such as ‘T’-bone, Porterhouse and Entrecote. These are prime cuts, which are suitable for grilling, frying, stir-fries and barbecuing

Thick Skirt: the ‘butcher’ steak’ because he often took it home. Also know as Onglet or Hanger Steak, it has lots of texture and flavour. It must be cooked very quickly and served rare

Oxtail: one of the most, flavoursome and inexpensive cuts of beef. Oxtail is most often sold cut into individual vertebra.  Long and slow braising it will release their excellent rich flavour

Featherblade: also known as Flat Iron, it comes from under the animals shoulder blade. It has a bit of texture and a lot of flavour. It works fairly hard – so it’s best served rare

Brisket: usually sold ‘boned and rolled’, and sometimes salted. This joint is suitable for slow cooking or pot roasting. Brisket is the cut traditionally used for making corned beef; it is also used for lean mince

Rump: although this is a prime cut, it’s often cheaper than fillet or sirloin, because it’s not quite as tender. However many say that it has a far superior flavour than sirloin or fillet. Rump is suitable for quick cooking such as frying, stir-fry, grilling and barbecuing

Bavette: it’s part of the Flank and like the thick skirt it has a full, rich flavour and must be cooked very quickly and served rare, and sliced across the grain

Minute: also known as the frying steak, this is quick, versatile and very tasty – the original fast food, it’s perfect in a sandwich but also great in a stir-fry

A selection of the information has been sourced from the National Beef Association website



A selection of the information has been sourced from the BBC Good Food website

How to have a steak cooked…

Beef steak can be served in a variety of ways, because it’s a red meat and it doesn’t carry many parasites which can infect us, it can be eaten almost as raw as you like, although it’s never 100% safe. Here is a list of ways you can have a beef steak;

  • Blue (Very rare) – Seared on the outside, completely red throughout. The meat remains gel-like in texture
  • Rare – Seared and still red 75% through the centre
  • Medium rare – Seared with 50% red centre
  • Medium – Seared outside, 25% pink showing inside
  • Medium well done – Done throughout with a very slight hint of where the pink was
  • Well done – 100% brown meat

How to tell how the steak is cooked…

A good way to tell when you’re steak is ready… your cheek is rare, you chin is medium and your forehead is well done.

For top tips on how to cook the perfect steak, check out this recipe from the BBC Good Foods website

If you’re cooking a chunkier piece of meat for a Sunday (or whatever day you like) roast, check out Jamie Oliver’s ultimate roasting guide here!