The cube roll, or rib-eye roll, is prepared from the forequarter; running along the back of the animal from the 4th to the 13th rib between the chuck and the striploin. From the cube roll can be cut the following; OP Ribs, Bone-In Ribeye steaks, and Ribeye steaks (also called Scotch Fillet). Being a ‘support’ muscle not subjected to the heavy work of moving the animal around, Ribeye steaks are tender, tasty and moist and perform best with fast hot cooking methods such as pan-frying and barbecuing.
The striploin is located along the spine in the hindquarter and runs from the ribs to the rump, sitting above the tenderloin. From the striploin are cut the Sirloin steaks (also called Porterhouse steaks). Coming from an area of the animal where the muscles do less work, the sirloin is tender and flavourful and well suited to pan-frying and barbecuing.
If the Striploin is butchered in a special way to include the tenderloin muscle that sits directly below it, then this creates a T-Bone steak. The T-Bone steak really is the best of both worlds – on one half you have a sirloin steak and the other half a fillet steak. With little or no fat or connective tissue the T-Bone is a quintessential Aussie steak perfect for pan-frying or barbecuing.
A long and lean muscle, this is the most tender cut of beef available. The tenderloin is the source of fillet steak. Typically the tenderest cuts of beef with the least amount of connective tissue are those cuts that sit along the spine of the animal as they do the least amount of work. The fillet or tenderloin (as the name suggests) is one such cut. With little or no fat or connective tissue the fillet is best suited to portioning into steaks for pan-frying and barbecuing.
The tenderloin is also a component of the T-Bone. If the tenderloin is butchered in a special way to include the Striploin muscle that sits directly above it, then this creates a T-Bone steak. The T-Bone steak really is the best of both worlds – on one half you have a sirloin steak and the other half a fillet steak. With little or no fat or connective tissue the T-Bone is a quintessential Aussie steak perfect for pan-frying or barbecuing.
There are two briskets per animal accounting for around 7.2% of the carcase. Derived from the underside chest area between the front legs, brisket is a well exercised muscle with ample connective tissue. Due to the connective tissue in this muscle, this cut of beef needs to be slow-cooked to achieve tenderness. A nice low and slow cooking of brisket results in meat that literally pulls apart.
Also known as thick skirt or the butcher cut, there is only one hanger per animal – it ‘hangs’ from the last rib, attached to the diaphragm. Hanger steaks can be hard to find as there’s only one per animal. Whilst not the most tender of steaks, it makes up for the reduced tenderness with a robust flavour and is best cooked quickly over high heat.
Short ribs are taken from the forequarter after the brisket is removed. They’re made up of the rib bone and layers of rib meat and fat. They are full of flavour and are fall-off-the-bone tender when slow-cooked.
Located on the inside of the abdomen wall just below the ribs, skirt steak can be either of two long, flat, well-marbled muscles: the diaphragm and the abdominal muscle. Skirt steaks are versatile and full of flavour. When cooked on high heat, the characteristic marbling imparts an outstanding flavour. Slice it thick against the grain before serving to ensure maximum tenderness.
The rump is a boneless five-muscled primal that sits between the sirloin and topside. Extremely versatile rump can be sliced whole into rump steaks or subprimaled to reveal a range of cuts with varying textures and tenderness. The most common cut of steak from the rump is the Rump steak. A great all-rounder steak, rump is perfect for a variety of cooking methods. It can be eaten as a steak, diced for kebabs or sliced into strips for a stir-fry.
One muscle can also be separated out of the rump, called the Rump Cap. The Rump cap is a cut of beef that is in some countries considered to be the best cut of beef due to its marked flavour. It is famous and well liked in South American countries, especially Brazil where it is known as “Picanha”. Rump cap can be roasted whole in a hot oven, barbecued whole or cut (across the grain) into steaks or sliced into thin strips for a tender and delicious beef stir-fry.
Also known as bavette, this long flat steak is taken from a single muscle beneath the loin in the abdominal area. Perfect for thin slicing for a stir-fry, flank steak also performs extremely well under slow-cooking conditions. After slow-cooking, this beef cut can be shredded with a fork and added to burritos or salads.
The knuckle sits above the knee joint at the front of the hind leg. Made up of three muscles, it’s prepared from the thick flank by removing the cap muscle and associated fat. Eye of knuckle is the lean, centre weight-bearing muscle with little connective tissue. Used for roasting or preparing further into medallions, it produces a notably tender and delicious result when cooked with moist, slow methods.
Silverside comes from the outside of the rear leg and sits between the knuckle and the topside. Made up of five distinct muscles, it’s named after the silver wall of connective tissue that sits on the side of the cut, which is removed before cooking. As a well-exercised group of muscles, knuckle cuts need gentle, moist cooking. The resulting texture melts off the fork.
Topside comes from the inside of the hind leg, between the thick flank and the silverside. Topside is extremely lean and although sometimes sold as steak, it performs best when diced for slow-cooking in a hearty casserole or braise.
Derived from the shoulder region of the animal, blade accounts for around 5.5% of the carcase. Flavoursome and versatile, it contains several muscles with layers of fat and connective tissue and performs well as a slow braise or roast. The blade can be broken down into a few cuts, the most noticeable being flat iron steaks and oyster blade steaks.
The oyster blade sits on the shoulder blade and when separated from the shoulder can be cut into steaks for pan-frying or barbecuing. It has a thin line of gristle that runs through the centre of the steak which should be scored to prevent curling when cooking. It is also a perfect cut for stir-frying with its full flavour and tenderness.
Although oyster blade steak can sometimes be referred to as flat iron steak, true flat iron steak has all of the connective tissue and silver skin removed from the oyster blade and is cut into easy to use portions that are lean and extremely tender, juicy and full of flavour.
Made up of multiple muscles, the chuck is a well used area so contains a great deal of connective tissue. Popular for its balance of meat and fat, the chuck can be broken down into chuck ribs, chuck roast and chuck steaks and suits a range of cooking methods. Perfect for curries and stews with great full flavour and a fantastic gelatinous texture.