Beef is the red meat from cattle raised for market. It is first cut into primal or wholesale cuts-large sections that are then cut by the butcher into individual retail cuts.
The shoulder section is the source of chuck steak, chuck roasts, and stewing beef, which are best cooked by braising or stewing. The foreshank is sold cubed or cut into bone-in slices for stewing, braising, or making stocks. The rib-cage section is the source of tender rib roasts and rib-eye roasts for oven roasting; rib-eye steaks for broiling or panfrying; and short ribs for braising. From the plate come short ribs and stew beef for braising or stewing; the inner muscle is sometimes sold as skirt steak for braising, broiling, or grilling.The short loin is the source of T-bone, porterhouse, top loin, tenderloin, fillet, and strip steaks for grilling or broiling, and tenderloin roasts for roasting or broiling. Tenderloin, the bottom part of the short loin, is the tenderest cut. The flank is the source of flank steak for braising or grilling.Sirloin is a cut that provides steaks for broiling or roasting. The round yields round (rump) roasts for braising or roasting and round steaks for braising.Calves' liver is prepared by sautéing, broiling, or braising. Ground beef comes from several cuts-chuck, plate, flank, sirloin, and round. The best quality is lean ground beef and lean ground sirloin. Beef bones are used to prepare stock, a rich-flavored liquid made by simmering the bones in water with onions and other vegetables, and herbs.