The most tender cuts of beef are from the less used muscles along the back of the animal - the rib and the loin. These cuts of meat are more suitable to dry heat cooking such as roasting, grilling and barbecuing. The more active muscles such as the shoulder, flank, and leg will produce beef that is a little less tender. Cuts from the front of the animal - the chuck and the round are heavily exercised and less tender, and best suited to moist heat cooking such as casseroles, curries and stews. Since the most tender cuts make up only a small proportion of a beef or lamb carcass, they are in greatest demand and usually command a higher price than other cuts.
· Leave a thin layer of fat on your steak, roast and chops during cooking to seal in the juices. The fat is full of flavour. Trim excess fat after cooking.
· Only turn beef with tongs, piercing it with a fork allows the flavourful juices to escape.
· Salt beef or pork after cooking or browning. Salt draws out moisture and inhibits browning.
· Place roast beef on a rack to allow the fat to drip off during cooking. Use the pan juices for your gravy.
· Under done beef is always more tender than well done - don't overcook!
· Let beef rest once cooked to ensure tenderness.
Place the steak over the hottest part of the barbecue and leave there for at least three minutes without moving. When the first side is good and browned, with those picture-perfect grill lines seared into the surface, flip them and sear the other side. It's possible that, by the time the steak looks grilled on the outside, the inside may not yet be done to your liking. If that's the case, simply move the steak to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Lightly press your thumb into the centre of the steak to check how well done it is. The softer the meat, the rarer the steak. Always let your steak rest for a few minutes before serving.
Rare (Red with cold, soft center) - 125 to 130 degreesMedium-Rare (Red with warm, somewhat firm center) - 135 to 140 degrees