When you’re at the meat market, being able to speak directly to a butcher to get advice on the tenderest cuts of meat can be a great comfort. But it’s just as important for any aspiring chef to be able to spot what they’re looking for in any situation. Here’s a guide to how to identify tender cuts of meat and what makes the meat so tender.
When it comes to meat, especially beef, certain cuts are always going to have a much larger selection of tender pieces available. In general, there are a few cuts you should look for if you want the tenderest cuts of meat. The main cuts to look for come from the short loin, tenderloin, and rib of the animal.
There are also other cuts you want to avoid if you’re looking for meat that’s already tender. These areas include meat from the round, shank, and chuck areas. That isn’t to say this meat doesn’t have flavor— bringing out all that flavor will just take more work.
Several different factors affect how tender a cut of meat will be. One of the major factors is the location on the animal from which the meat is taken. The fewer muscles that develop in the area and the less collagen that can built up in the muscles, the more tender the meat will be. That’s why meat that comes from cuts such as the short loin is much more desirable.
There’s also the question of preparing the meal. The more tender the cut of meat, the less you want to cook it to avoid moisture, which makes the meat tender, having the chance to evaporate. And if the meat is already tender, you should avoid slow cooking, because this method will fail to add any additional flavor to your meal.
At Vincent’s Meat Market, we specialize in finding the perfect cut of meat to match each customer’s needs, and we know how to identify tender cuts of meat for our clients. To buy lamb, beef, pork, or any of our other amazing products, stop in at our shop, located in the heart of the Bronx.