At Simon Howie we source the majority of our beef from the North East of Scotland where the rich and rolling landscape is the natural home of Scotch Beef. We have over 20 years experience working with farmers who ensure our extra mature beef is hand selected and graded to strict specifications before being conditioned on the bone for a minimum of 21 days to develop the texture and flavour.
Know your beef cuts:
Click on the different cuts on the right to view more information
The fillet can be found beneath the back bone and on the opposite side of the bone to the sirloin. This muscle is not a working muscle this is where the lean, tender characteristics of the fillet stem from. An oblong shaped muscle the fillet has two ends, the head which leads into the sirloin, and the tail. The fillet can be broken down into three sections, the head or the butt which will be trimmed to become a chateaubriand. The centre cut can be portioned up into fillet steaks, and the tail which can be used in dishes such as Stroganoff or steak sandwiches.
The Fore rib is located between the shoulder and the centre of the back. A cut that has a significant amount of fat amongst the meat and once aged correctly creates a superb flavour. Once fully trimmed it creates the well-known and highly regarded Rib Eye. The Fore rib can be trimmed and served as steaks or slow cooked accordingly.
The word sirloin derives from the French surloigne which translates to ‘above the loin’. Found in the upper middle section of the beast the sirloin does less work than say the shoulder but more than the fillet, as a result it has a good marbling which creates a fantastic flavour. Nowadays this cut is seen more as a steak but can be used on or off the bone. A favourite among many, this cut can be used to roast or portioned to serve as steak.
The Brisket is located by the breast, or lower chest of the beast. A cattle beast has no collar bones and as a result these muscles support around 60% of the beast’s weight. As a working muscle the Brisket must be cooked correctly to avoid toughness, more often than not a braising or slow cooking method is preferred. It is important to leave fat on this muscle due to slow cooking process, without the fat the meat would dry out.
Located by the shoulder the Chuck is another working muscle and can be cut into a number of different forms, either with or without bones. When cut from the beast there can be connective tissue and collagen found which is why this muscle is best slow cooked or used as a roast. On the other hand, because of its rich flavour and good meat to fat ratio the chuck is often used as mince or pated into burgers.
The shin, also known as the ‘hough’ or ‘nap’ that can be used whole, cubed or sliced. With more connective tissue than most cuts it is important to cook the shin correctly, but if done so it will create a fantastic hearty dish.
The Rump is also referred to as the ‘Pope’s eye’ and is located at the rear of the beast, specifically where the leg meets the base of the back. A thick cut that is made up of several individual muscles that the butchers can seam cut or alternatively cut the whole rump into thick steaks. Hard to beat once matured, and great value for money.
The Topside comes from the hindquarter of the beast. A lean cut that is best cooked with a sauce and plenty of vegetables to enhance the flavour. Definitely one of the more cost effective cuts the Topside is a stern favourite when it comes to slow cooking and pot roasts.
An often overlooked cut, the ox cheek is making a resurgence amongst chefs throughout the country. The cheek is naturally tough but once trimmed and slow cooked the connective tissue breaks down and gives a unique texture and flavour.
Taken from the hindquarter this is a lean, boneless and versatile cut of beef that can be roasted or braised. It gets its name from the shiny silvery membrane covering its internal surface.