Selecting beef cuts like a pro

Curries, stews and roasts are some of the top winter favourites, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’re a meat lover but don’t know when to use fillet or shin, or always just use the same cuts for each meal, we’ve got you covered right here.

So to start off, it helps to know where each cut comes from…


We love this picture that spells it out:

cuts of beef

 Now that you have that knowledge, here’s what to do with each piece:

  • Use chuck when you’re pot roasting, blade when you’re making a stew or casserole with plenty sauce, and brisket when you’re roasting, grilling or braaiing (lots of flavour, but higher in fat)
  • The ribs we all know – cut into steaks and grilled, or marinated and slapped onto the braai, these are always delicious
  • Sirloin, which is served as porterhouse/striploin/T-bone, is nicely tender and can be grilled or roasted
  • Fillet, the most tender and usually also the more expensive cut of meat, is very versatile. Whether you’re braaiing, grilling, pan-roasting or oven-roasting, this cut  will never disappoint. Just remember that it shrinks the more it cooks, so what looks like a huge cut in the shop may end up much smaller when cooked through.
  • Flank is not something you’ll see in the shops every day, so if you haven’t heard of it, don’t start stressing. It’s most often used for mince, boerewors and patties, and we all know how to cook those!
  • Rump you’ll usually see deboned and available as steaks. Super tender and with lots of flavour, this is great on the braai – just cook as is and flavour with a little salt and pepper afterwards
  • Topside and silverside are both lean cuts of meat, but while topside is usually reserved for mince and boerewors, silverside is better for roasting.
  • The thick flank, also known as the knuckle, is also used for mince, but you’ll probably recognise it as minute steaks
  • And lastly, the shin, is perfect for curries, stews and soups and is also more affordable than some of the other cuts.

So what are you waiting for, pull out those recipes and get cooking!



The info and pictures were generously shared by the folks at Bluff Meat Supply in KZN. Pop over to their website where you’ll find recipes for all the different meat cuts, as well as more info on lamb, pork and chicken 


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