Beef is the meat most commonly used. It is in season all the year, its food value is high, and it is easy of digestion when well cooked.
1 Color - bright red after standing.
2 Texture - fine-grained, firm.
3 Juicy - not dry.
4 Fat - straw-colored, abundant, distributed through the tissue of the meat.
5 Bone not large in proportion to meat.
6 Odor - slight but pleasant.
7 Connective tissue not abundant.
8 Cuts made across grain where possible.
Because of the large size of the beef animal (450 to 600 pounds for family use, 900 to 1000 pounds for hotel use) it is divided into many cuts that can be cooked in a great variety of ways. The housekeeper can secure variety for the table by making use of the various cuts.
Diagram of Beef Animal Showing Principal Cuts
Principal Cuts Shown in Illustration on Opposite Page
1 Shank or leg
4 Knee Bone
6 Short Ribs or Cross Ribs
7 Chuck Ribs
8 Prime Ribs
15 Horse Shoe Piece
16 Soup Bone
Cuts of Beef
The beef animal is divided down the middle of the back bone into two halves called sides, and each side is divided into two parts called quarters.
The fore quarter is all that portion of the side lying in front of and including the last rib. In some markets the last rib is not included in the fore quarter.
The "Shank" or "Leg" is the first cut of the fore quarter. It is used for soup bone. The shank contains the "marrow bone" which is the middle portion of the shank bone. This is sometimes cooked and served on toast.
The "Shoulder Clod" or "Round Shoulder Piece" is the next cut; this is divided into two cuts, each about three inches thick. The second or upper cut is best. The "Shoulder Clod" is used for pot-roast.
The "Shoulder" contains two distinct layers of meat which are separated and boned, and used for cheap roasts, and pot-roasts. The inner portion of the shoulder from which the ribs are removed is the better.
The "Brisket" is the cut just in front of the shoulder. The ends of five ribs are included in the brisket. The ribs are taken out and the meat is sold as rolled roast, or corned and sold as boneless brisket.
The "Knee Bone" just above the brisket is a round bone surrounded by much gelatin but contains little marrow. It is sold for soup.
The "Neck" is used for stews, soup, and mince-meat.
The diaphram which lies inside the fore-quarter separating the lungs from the intestines is called "Skirt Steak." It is removed whole, stuffed, rolled and braized, or cooked as pot-roast.
The "Chuck Ribs" include the first six ribs back of the neck. They are sometimes trimmed for steaks or roasts, but make poor roasts; hence they are usually boned and rolled, and used in braizing, pot roasting, and stewing.
The last seven ribs are called the "Prime Ribs" or "Short Ribs." They are used for choice roasts, the last five giving the best cuts. The sixth or seventh ribs contain some cartilage from the shoulder blade, and more connective tissue, hence are not so desirable.
The "Navel End" lies just back of the brisket and shoulder, and is used for soup meat, boiling, hash, or corning.
The "Plate" which lies just above the navel and includes the lower portion of the ribs is used in the same ways as the navel.