Cuts of beef and how to cook them

Here's a guide to the various cuts of beef and the cooking methods they are suitable for.

The quality of beef is dependent on all sorts of factors, such as the age, breed and sex of the animal and the hanging, storing and cutting up of the joints. It is worth seeking out a butcher who supplies the sort of beef you like. 



Shin or shank (foreleg) and leg (hindleg) are lean meat cuts with a high proportion of connective tissue. Sliced it is suitable for stews, casseroles, stock, soup and brawn.

Neck and clod

gebruik clod

Neck and clod are usually cut into pieces and sold as stewing “steak” or as mince. Silverside is traditionally salted and boiled in stock. Today it is more often cooked as a roast, but because it is lean, it needs constant basting. Uncooked salted beef is grey, but turns pink during cooking.

Fore rib

fore rib beste

Fore rib is a traditional cut of roast beef. It can be bought on the bone or deboned and rolled.

Wing rib

wing rib

Wing rib is a popular roasting joint that can be roasted on the bone or deboned. It can also be sliced and grilled or fried.



Sirloin is a tender and delicious cut of beef. It is sold on the bone or deboned and rolled with or without the fillet, for roasting. The fillet is the smaller “eye” on the inside of the rib bone, which is usually removed. It is sold in slices as fillet steak or whole.

Chuck and blade steak


Chuck and blade steak is a large, fairly lean cut of high-quality meat, that can be removed from the bone and sold as “chuck-steak”. It is suitable for braising (fry to seal in juices and then stew slowly covered), stewing and pie fillings.

Thick flank (top rump)

minute steak

Thick flank (top rump) is a lean cut suitable for roasting, pot roasting and braising or, when sliced, for braising and frying. Minute steaks can be cut from a variety of muscles, usually the thick flank, but these are taken from the top rump.

Thin flank


Thin flank is ideal for braising and stewing. It is often salted or pickled and frequently sold as minced meat.



Brisket, sold either on the bone or deboned and rolled, is suitable for braising or boiling, and is often sold salted. It is often served cold.

Short ribs


Short ribs are ideal in stews. Thin and thick ribs, usually sold deboned and rolled, are ideal for braising and pot roasting.



Rump is an excellent large lean and tender cut, sold in slices for grilling, frying and braaiing. It can also be cooked whole as a roast or cut into cubes and skewered as in the case of Portuguese Espetada.



Topside, a lean cut of beef, with little or no fat, is often sold with a layer of fat tied around it. It can be roasted or pot roasted.



Steaks are slices of the most tender cuts of meat, such as fillet (pictured), sirloin, rump, T-bone and porterhouse.

Related Articles

Back to top button