At the Butchery our trained meat cutters are knowledgeable about all our meat products. We can help you with any questions you might have. But here is a primer about meat cuts in general. Meat is muscle, and, regardless if it is beef or lamb, all animals have the same basic arrangement. The parts you get from the forequarter - the front legs, neck and breast - tend to be less tender and are best used for braising and stewing.
The hindquarter sections - the back legs, loin and rib cage area - are more tender and great for grilling, roasting, and soups. This is where your filet, sirloin and round are found.
Some common cuts of meat are:
Chops - These cuts come from the rib section. You will most often hear this term when referring to lamb, pork and veal.
Chuck - Derived from the neck and shoulder blade areas, this is best for slow-cooking and chopped meat.
Crown Roast - The rib bones of a lamb or pork loin tied into a circle.
Hanger - This thin cut of beef comes from the hindquarter below the short loin.
Porterhouse - This huge cut includes portions of the tenderloin and top loin and contains the T-bone.
Round - This meaty cut comes from the hind section.
Shank - The shank comes from the front leg of a cow, pig or lamb. This is the cut used for osso buco.
Short Loin - The area located in the center of the back between the rib cage and the sirloin has two main muscles running through it: the tenderloin and the top loin.
Sirloin - A tender cut of meat located near the rear section of the back, behind the short loin. This is usually made into steaks or roasts.
Skirt - Since skirt, comes from the diaphragm muscle, it can be tough, but it does have a lot of flavor.
Strip - Also called a New York steak, New York strip steak or shell steak. The strip is a part of the top loin that has had its bone removed.
Tenderloin - Filet mignon comes from the tenderloin, the rear portion of the loin in beef and pork. The tender loin is the least used and thus most tender muscle.
Top Loin - This front part of the short loin yields the Delmonico, Kansas City and New York strips.
We sell only USDA GRADED BEEF
How is Beef Inspected?
Inspection is mandatory; grading is voluntary, and a plant pays to have its meat graded. USDA-graded beef sold at the retail level is Prime, Choice, and Select. Lower grades (Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner) are mainly ground or used in processed meat products. Retail stores may use other terms which must be different from USDA grades.
USDA Prime beef (about two percent of graded beef) has more fat marbling, so it is the most tender and flavorful. Most of the graded beef sold in supermarkets is USDA Choice or USDA Select. The protein, vitamin, and mineral content of beef are similar regardless of the grade.
How Is Ungraded Beef Different?
All beef is inspected for wholesomeness. The overall quality of ungraded beef may be higher or lower than most government grades found in retail markets.
What is Marbling?
Marbling is white flecks of fat within the meat muscle. The greater amount of marbling in beef, the higher the grade because marbling makes beef more tender, flavorful, and juicy.