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Jan 17, 2014 03:15 AM

What to do with the better, more tender cuts of meat?

I have found, as a singleton, that buying less than tender meats and slow cooking them makes for good food at a low price. Examples...

Beef Chuck / Brisket / Beef Cheeks / Beef Shin / Osso Buco / Ox Tail / Beef Short Ribs.
Chicken Drumsticks / Legs with the bone in / Thighs / Marylands.
Pork Ribs / Spareribs / Shoulder.
Lamb Shanks / Shoulder / Ribs / Neck chops / Minced (Ground) Lamb.

But lately I've been wanting to live a little— you know, cook the better cuts, fish, and stufff, like....

Beef Fillet / Tenderloin / Sirloin / New York Cut / Porterhouse / Entrecote / Striploin / Ribeye Steak / Rib Fillet / Scotch Fillet / Cube Roll / Minced (ground) Beef (favs?)
Chicken Breast / Tenderloin / Whole chicken / Thigh Fillets / Minced (Ground) Chicken. (pretty straightforward— I usually shred mine, but I'm curious what you foodies like to do)
Pork Fillet / Tenderloin / Pork Cutlets / Loin Chops / Pork Chops / Pork Belly (Side Pork). (had experience with tenderloin in the oven turning out well.)
Lamb Fillet / Tenderloin / Lamb Cutlets / Rack of Lamb / Lamb Loin Chops / Leg (Gigot) / Minced (Ground) Lamb. (CLUELESS)
All Fish Fillets / All Whole Fish. (yuummmmm)
Prawns / Lobster / Shrimp / Crab / Oysters / Calamari. (moarr yummm)

So, I am the type of person that always looks for a "best way", though I know there often isn't one. So I'll leave the question at this— what method do you find yourself going back to when cooking the above?

I like juicy tender shtufff that freezes well if need be, but mostly just tastes good when it's hot out of the kitchen! Like anyone ;)

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  1. A lot of that stuff the answer is depends. Different cooking methods for different cuts of meat.

    Tender cuts of meat are usually fast and high heat cooking. Mincemeat is mincemeat and the source doesn't really matter whether it's lamb, beef or pork. Big pieces of meat with or without bones are normally roasted.

    Sounds to me like what you really need are to learn all the basic cooking techniques (roasting, braising, stewing, frying, etc...) and then you can do whatever you want with that entire list.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Zalbar

      Agreed! It depends, the list includes cuts that are worlds different from each other.

    2. Agree with the other posts, possibilities are endless, but to answer your question...

      My favorite piece of meat is a beef fillet tail. They cost on average about $30 each. For someone like me who doesn't eat meat much, they will last me 2-3 meals and are well worth the price. My mother turned me onto this cut years ago and it's typically the only beef I'll eat now.

      To cook, I season very well with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Then grill to desired doneness. Let rest 5-10 mins, slice coarsely and eat. The meat almost melts in your mouth and the flavor is clean and perfect as is! The less fussy, the better. No need for sauces, marinades, or adornments IMO.

      With leftovers (which are often hard to reheat to their original perfect state), I will add things.

      Slice into 1/4" or 1/2" slices and pile on top of a crusty roll with some BBQ sauce and lettuce. No need to reheat the meat.

      Or I will eat them rolled in corn tortillas with taco toppings like cilantro, chargrilled veggies (corn is great!), tomatoes/salsa. Guacamole, etc. The meat is so tender, it's easy to eat in this preparation.

      Sometimes I also season with a tiny bit of garlic salt toward the end of grilling.

      1. If you are able to cook outdoors, live fire is my preference for small tender cuts. A Weber is fine, Hasty-Bake better.

        1. plenty of the cuts on your spendy list i never make because they are expensive and essentially flavorless: white meat chicken, the leaner cuts of pork like loin and chop, like that.

          have to agree with the others though, that there is no *one* best way to cook the pieces on your list -- you've listed the potential of hundreds of possibilities!

          since you say you're clueless about minced lamb, though...

          i love lamb and for me ground is pretty inexpensive. most often i mix it with LOTS of chopped fresh parslet and cilantro. add in some grated lemon or orange zest, crushed fennel and coriander seeds, a bit of sesame oil and a raw egg. plenty of salt and red pepper flake. mix into balls, chill and then bake for delicious meatballs. i serve it most often with a yogurt sauce, drizzled with a bit more sesame oil and honey.

          1. Personal opinion:

            Beef Fillet / Tenderloin
            Roast. (Note here when I say "Roast" this is NOT pot roast but the traditional dry roast)
            Also good for beef Stroganoff.

            / Sirloin / New York Cut / Porterhouse / Entrecote / Striploin

            Steaks. Particularly over a proper charcoal fire. But a hyper-hot cast-iron pan also works.

            / Ribeye Steak

            Should never be bought. There are better things to do with a ribeye. Better bought whole and then roasted. Or possibly turned into a roulade. Bone-in rib is even better roasted.

            / Rib Fillet / Scotch Fillet / Cube Roll

            What are these? Never heard of these cuts.

            Minced (ground) Beef (favs?)

            So many ideas. But meat pie, hamburgers, and various pasta sauces are all reasonable.

            Chicken Breast /

            Chicken Kiev is the most luxurious, but generally good for deep frying.


            Another term I've never seen.

            Whole chicken

            Depends on size. If big enough, a good roast chicken in the French style is brillant. Smaller birds are nicer cut and grilled.

            Thigh Fillets

            Very versatile. I find them particularly adaptable, though, for stews.

            Minced (Ground) Chicken. (pretty straightforward— I usually shred mine, but I'm curious what you foodies like to do)

            I wouldn't generally use.

            Pork Fillet / Tenderloin

            Grilled, with olive oil and a bit of rosemary.

            Pork Cutlets / Loin Chops / Pork Chops

            Fried is nice; baked with lots of caramelised onions is even more decadent.

            Pork Belly (Side Pork). (had experience with tenderloin in the oven turning out well.)

            Roasted. Be sure to get the crackling (which is the point of pork belly)

            Lamb Fillet / Tenderloin / Lamb Cutlets / Rack of Lamb /

            All lovely roasted at a very high temperature with garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. This is my canonical Easter meat.

            Lamb Loin Chops

            Marinated then grilled over charcoal in a shish kebab-like way. Look up the Persian way to do this; it's awe-inspiring.

            Leg (Gigot)

            Can be roasted, but perhaps better either pot-roasted or braised. The Greeks have a great way of doing this (Keleftiko)

            Minced (Ground) Lamb. (CLUELESS)

            Kofte, either as meatballs or kebabs. This is basically lamb flavoured usually with cumin and mint, plus various other spices depending upon the country. There are numerous versions of this in the Middle East.
            On a more European note, Sheperd's pie.

            All Fish Fillets / All Whole Fish. (yuummmmm)

            Far too broad. Different fish, different methods.

            Prawns / Lobster / Shrimp / Crab / Oysters / Calamari. (moarr yummm)

            The classic with Calamari - deep fried, is an invariable winner. Being very honest, most of the rest I'm not especially fond of. Prawns, though, are very nice blackened in the Cajun style.