Chicken may still be the most consumed meat in the United States, but cows provide more types of meals than any other meat. Chicken can be cooked a few different ways, but it’s always considered chicken. Cows give us steaks, burgers, and more – and that doesn’t even consider the different kinds of steaks we eat regularly. Then there are the dairy products from cows that go in many meals, dinner included.
If you had to eat only one type of meat for the rest of your life, beef would be the smartest choice. Beef means so many things that you could eat a different recipe every night for a week, and nothing would taste the same. Do you know all the different meals that come from the different parts of a cow? We’ll tell you, you’ll be amazed.
The Many Different Cuts of Beef
Cows are large animals, sometimes weighing between 1,300 to 1,800 lbs. This means there’s a lot more meat on their bones than most livestock. Each different part also has a different taste and texture. It’s common to like one part and not the other, but did you know just how many different meals you like are from this one animal? Here are the different ways beef finds its way onto your plate.
Steak is one of, if not the most popular, ways to eat cow meat. Steak is a thick slice of braised cow meat, typically from the hindquarters. Because so many people like steak, though, many chefs have experimented with where the meat comes from. Not all steaks are made with meat from the same place on the animal.
Short loins are one of the most popular steaks. These are from the upper-middle section of the cow. While short loins also make good roasts, the way they taste after a good braising is unlike anything else.
Similar things can be said about sirloins, which can be found right behind short loins. These must be pan-fried to get the best results. Cook them right or find someone who will, and you’ll have a nice juicy steak.
Fore shanks, which come from underneath the front legs, are only properly edible when braised as a steak. Short plates, from the underbelly of the cow, have a similar problem, where they’re only edible and delicious when made into steaks.
Everyone likes a good rib. You can already tell where this meat comes from by its name. It tastes the best when cooked in the oven or pan-seared. It has a healthy balance of muscle and fat that allows it to stay edible after spending time on the grill, where some other types of beef grow too hard to chew. Add some barbecue sauce, and you have all you need for a good dinner.
Brisket is similar to steak in that it’s a cut of the meat, but it’s rarely as large, is from the breast of the cow, and is slowly cooked with dedicated smokers or charcoal grills. Try to make it with meat from a different section of the cow and it’s not a brisket. The same is true if you try to cook this meat with anything other than a type of smoker.
Roasts & Stew
Roasts and stews are not the same things, but because of the way they cook the meat, they use the same parts of a cow. If a part of the cow is tough when braised, it has a place in roasts and stews, which can keep them tender.
Chuck meat tends to be leaner and tougher than other parts of a cow. Chuck meat comes from the upper body of the animal where there’s more movement. Because of this, chuck meat tends to be perfect for pot roasts rather than steaks.
Round meat from the rear section of the cow is also better for roasts and stews. While most meats from the rear section are better for steaks, the absolute rear is where the cow is toughest. This also makes round meat pretty good for hamburgers as well.
Ground beef is special because it can truly come from any part of the cow and still taste good. This is beef that’s been put through a grinder. You can eat it in dishes like meatloaf, hamburgers, or meatballs.
Eat Your Favorite Beef at Rikasa
Rikasa serves several different dishes with beef, among other types of meat on our menu. All carnivores are welcome, and if you want a good steak, you have to come and try our 14 Oz. Black Angus NY Strip with its bruleed bleu cheese, balsamic glaze, mashed potatoes, and asparagus on the side. Make a reservation today!