Bone-in rib fillets, roasted in the oven and heading to the bbq to be seared.

Utilising all Beef Cuts Effectively and So Even the Lesser Cuts Taste Great – Some Insights and Tips

In this blog post I share:

  • Some of the knowledge we’ve learned when it comes to processing an animal
  • Ways to cook meat to gain the most nutritional value
  • Ways to prepare various cuts of meat, including those that are typically cheaper in price, so they still taste great!

When we had our first animals processed through the butcher, we wondered, surely there should be more rump steak?
We had regularly purchased a whole rump, unsliced, and it just didn’t seem like we had received what was expected.

As time moved on, one of the many things we have learned on this journey is that there’s not that much steak on a beef animal!

Now, when we process an animal, I spend time with the butchers. This gives more flexibility in the decision-making. The butchers’ expertise and years of training, combined with our understanding of what cuts are in demand at that moment, helps us break down an animal into its distinct parts. We assess each individual animal and see how each one has grown and matured, where it has put on fat and marbling so we can use the correct type of cut to provide the best eating experience as well as the best utilisation of the complete animal.

Below is a breakdown of one of our animals.

From a 208kg hanging weight* we approximately got:

  • Mince:                   37.5kg = 18%
  • Sausages:             36kg  =  17.3%
  • Rib Fillet:               4.1kg =  1.97%
  • Chuck Steak:        11kg  = 5.28%
  • Rump steak:         7kg  =  3.3%
  • Porterhouse:        2.5kg  = 1.2%
  • Eye Fillet:              2kg  =  .96%
  • Blade Steak:         4.98kg  =  2.39%
  • T-Bone:                 4.8kg  =  2.3%
  • Brisket:                  6.3kg  = 3%
  • Silverside:             11.4kg  =  5.4%
  • Round Steak:        5.7kg  = 2.74%
  • Topside Roast:     12.5kg = 6%
  • Short Ribs:            2.5kgs  = 1.2%

This gives a total weight of 148.28kgs, which equals 71.2% of the total hanging weight.*

If we compare rib fillet steak with silverside, and silverside with mince, we end up with almost three times more roasts than steak and three times more mince than silverside.

Less than 1% of the total breakdown of our animal was eye fillet while mince was 18%. Mince and sausages are the butchers way of making something of all the little bits that aren’t part of a specific cut. This is the main reason mince is the cheapest and eye fillet is the most expensive cut to buy.

So, price is reflected mainly in the quantity of the cut available, as well to some degree: the quality of the cut. It is ironic that the sweetest and tenderest cuts are the least available.

So how does this affect us?

The different ways of cooking meat can vary its nutritional value to us considerably – with slower cooking and preparation providing more and different beefy goodness than throwing a steak on the Barbie. The yield we get off a beef animal mirrors this, in that you get some steak and lots of other cuts that need care, preparation and slow cooking.

Beef Pie made from slow cooked chuck steak
Beef Pie made from slow cooked chuck steak

Slow cooking and marinating tougher cuts of meat provide a broader spectrum of nutrition to our bodies. The meat broth that is made during slow cooking helps your body digest the accompanying meal while the softening of tough meat fibers makes the meat itself easier to chew and breakdown, thus improving digestion.

A little research and experimentation in the kitchen can save money, provide good nutrition, deep satisfying flavour and satiety.

What have I learned in having to eat and prepare cuts of beef I haven’t any experience with?

What changes have I made in how I cook?

Firstly, and most importantly – What you create has to taste good, it may be different, but it has to be good. For if we or our families won’t eat or enjoy it, it’s pretty much a waste.

I have learned to brine fresh silverside for a chemical free meal.

I have learned how to cook a tasty topside roast – it took a few attempts!

Rendered down fat to use as a cooking oil.

I am still learning the best way to spice brisket to make my tastebuds happy.

And most importantly: variety in using up leftovers! So as not to waste any of the love and care that has been invested into a meal.

Slow cooked spicy beef brisket
Slow cooked spicy beef brisket

Things like…

Leftover lamb is great for shepherd’s pie OR lamb wraps OR mix in an Asian inspired sauce and create a stir-fry.

Cold silverside can become part of a tasty sandwich OR reheated with cheese sauce for lunch.

Brisket is great as pulled beef wraps OR re-heated with mash and gravy.

Topside roast can provide an extra dinner as well as starring in sandwiches OR beef wraps OR fried with leftover baked potato and gravy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, with more experimentation comes the opportunity to find new and exciting meals to keep the daily grind interesting and nutritionally dense.

All it requires is more time in the kitchen, a degree of organisation, and a desire to respect the whole animal by learning how to enjoy and even relish the different cuts available.

“….Reconnect to your food, learn, empower yourself, have fun, and create change

– all while feeding your body the most nourishing food on the planet.”

(An extract from the book Eat Like A Human by Dr. Bill Schindler)

*Hanging weight is the weight of the carcass after being killed, without the innards, head or feet. It is generally around 50-55% of the liveweight of the animal.

Bone-in rib fillets, roasted in the oven and heading to the bbq to be seared.
Bone-in rib fillets, roasted in the oven and heading to the bbq to be seared.


Sacred Cow Infographic
Sacred Cow Infographic. Thank you to for this Graphic
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