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Tips for Choosing the Perfect Cut of Meat from Your Butcher

The meat section of your local grocery store can be pretty overwhelming, even if you’re not a big meat eater. With so many cuts of red meat and options to consider when you go to the butcher, it can be hard to know where to start your selection process. If you’re looking for tender, tasty and lean cuts of red meat, however, your local Butcher Melbourne should be able to help you out with these tips on how to choose the perfect cut of meat from your butcher.

Step 1: Understand your cut

The butcher’s job is to assist you in choosing a cut that fits your needs. He or she will ask questions, such as: How will you cook it? How much time can you invest in cooking it? What do you plan on using it for (e.g., pot roast, steak, stir fry)? Is price important? And so on… In addition to your desired use and method of preparation, butchers consider several other factors when they look at cuts: leanness (marbling), tenderness and flavour. The leaner a cut is, generally speaking, the less flavour it has; however, with marbling comes juiciness and tenderness.

Step 2: Look for marbling

It’s that little streak of fat running through your steak, found between its muscles. Marbling is what gives meat its flavour and juiciness—the more marbling, the tastier (and fattier) your steak will be.

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Most people should avoid ordering lean cuts like sirloin or filet mignon because they won’t have enough fat to keep them juicy while they cook; instead, look for fattier cuts like ribeye or New York strip. Keep in mind that marbling can vary among steaks, so take a close look at each one before you buy it.

Step 3: Consider aging

If you don’t like one cut, try a different one. Some people hate beef filet because they’ve had dry, stringy cuts in a restaurant before, and that was their only experience with filet mignon. But if you find out that sirloin is more to your liking, you can take it to your butcher and have them prepare it as steak Frites or as medallions on a bed of sautéed mushrooms. If pork tenderloin doesn’t work out for you, then maybe loin chops will be more satisfying. The key here is not to give up too quickly on a cut because of an unfulfilling experience.

Step 4: Try different cuts.

A butcher knows all of their cuts inside and out. They’re an expert on where each cut comes from, what flavour it has, and how to cook it. You can trust that they know their stuff (especially when it comes to steak). When you go into a butcher Food shop, ask them what’s good today. You may just discover something new. If you see a cut that you love, ask your Butcher Melbourne if they can recommend another cut with similar properties or if they have anything similar in terms of taste and tenderness. For example, do you love flat iron steak? Then try flank steak—they’re both relatively lean steaks with loads of beefy flavour!