Get the Most from Your Beef Cuts, Part Two
In Part One of our series on getting the most from your beef cuts, we focused on the topside, flank, and silverside cuts and three different recipes that make the most of their qualities. In Part Two, we look at the shin, top rib, and the neck, chuck and shoulder cuts.
Beef shin is one of the most affordable cuts, due to it being one of the least naturally tender. However, when left to cook slowly on a low heat, the most intense flavours and wonderful textures are created – making it perfect for a winter stew or hearty soup.
Blogger Shu Han Lee’s recipe for Chinese red-cooked beef does exactly that, braising the shin in soy sauce, star anise, rice wine and sugar for three hours to create a beautifully rich and tasty end result. Using a similar method but totally different flavours, this boeuf bourguignon benefits from brandy, chestnuts and pancetta and recommends serving up with a basket of crusty French bread. Another great way to use beef shin is to blitz it and use as a mince, as in this recipe for baked pastitsio topped with kefalotiri cheese.
An economical beef cut with heavy marbling and extra fat content, these qualities mean the top rib is perfect for slow roasting. Make sure you include a little liquid, leave the bone in throughout, and rest for 15 – 30 minutes to ensure best results.
This classic Irish recipe for slow cooked top rib with pearl barley suggests adding a good glug of red wine to tenderize the meat and adds flavour and colour and serving with creamy champ. Another recipe with a distinctly Irish appeal is this braised top rib with potato purée from Michelin starred chef Ross Lewis. Using buttermilk to create the silky smooth accompanying puree and adding crispy potato skin creates a riot of textures on the plate.
Neck, Chuck and Shoulder
We have grouped these lean, tasty beef cuts together as they have similar requirements when cooking in order to really get the best from them. Good trimming and slow cooking will release their rich flavour and soft, flaky texture. These affordable beef cuts are some of the best for mincing, casseroling or braising.
Our fabulous steak and kidney pudding is well worth making it from scratch and suggests using chuck beef steak, trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes. Food blogger Karen Burns Booth serves up the ultimate comfort food dish: braised beef with redcurrant port sauce, recommending cooking at a low temperate for six to eight hours. Another comforting and hearty dish, a pithivier is a round, enclosed pie made by baking two disks of puff pastry and then filling. This pithivier recipe uses a hearty mixture of sausage and braising beef, plus stout, red wine and a range of different vegetables and herbs for a fragrant result.