In order to get the most out of beef, it is advisable to know the origin of the beef and what part of the animal is the best to carry out the recipe.
The different pieces of beef are divided into five categories according to their quality: extra, first A, first B, second and third. Even so, in spite of this classification, each piece of meat can be used in cooking if it is treated properly, allowing to extract all the flavor and the appropriate texture in each case to be able to take advantage and enjoy all the parts of the beef.
• Sirloin, of which three parts are distinguished: head (you get the Châteubriand), center (tournedos) and punta (filet-migñon). If it is whole it is cooked in the oven, the grilled tournedos and the filet-migñon a la plancha or sautéed.
• Loin, meat very tender, juicy and tasty, there are two parts: the low loin, from which the entrecôtes are extracted (the griddle is cooked), and the high loin, from which the roast beef is prepared (prepared in the oven so that its interior is red) and the villagodio (first a blow of iron is given to caramelize the outside and ends in the oven).
• The chuletón or chop is usually extracted from young cattle, the most appreciated being those obtained from the low loin (fried, roasted or grilled).
First A: All the pieces are in the back room of the animal
• Tapilla, it is a piece of small size. Its narrow part is as juicy as the sirloin, it can be prepared on the grill or in steaks and scallops grilled or pan.
• Hip, it is quite juicy and tender. It is used for steaks, scallops and the so-called rumpsteak, which is prepared on the grill.
• Round, it is somewhat dry because it has little fat and is often used whole to braze or whip it.
• Babilla, is somewhat dry and can be cooked whole to brase, chopped into stew and fillets obtained from its softer part.
• Against, it is dry so it tends to go full length, braised for fillets and cut into stews.
• Contra stock, it is more juicy but its appearance is worse by internal tendons and nerves, it is usually cooked in stews and ragout.
• Hip stem, used only for bottoms and cooked.
• Needle, like the previous one is dry and its use is for stews because of its appearance.
• Fish, offers a very tender meat with a nerve that runs along its length but that is easily extracted.
• Shoulder, it has an unattractive appearance but it is usually a tender and tasty meat that contains a lot of fat. The meat of the high part is used to make steaks, the one of the low part to roast or fry.
• Fin, it is a hard piece, if the animal is not very young it requires a prolonged cooking.
• Flat, has a crushed shape and is covered with a whitish film called complexion.
• Brazuelo, is a lean meat, with abundant fat and gelatinous texture, so it is tasty on the palate. It is especially suitable for cooking and preparing broths.
• Morcillo, its meat is very gelatinous and with many nerves. It is used for cooking, stewing and boiling. If it is cut with the bone, it is known as Osso Bucco and stew is prepared.
Third: In general the meats in this category are rich in jellies and have no application for roasting
• Pescuezo, it is only used to prepare broths.
• Skirt, can be stewed, stuffed and cooked
• Rib, is very fibrous, with streaks and gelatinous. Mainly it is boiled, stewed and cooked.
• Rabo, has a gelatinous flesh that gives special flavor, can be used for stews and for oxtailsoup.
• Chest, a piece with fat and very gelatinous.
Summary of uses in the kitchen of the different meat pieces
Frying and grilling: Babilla, hip, tapa y tapilla
Grill: Sirloin, ribs and loin
Breaded fillets: Babilla, contra y tapa
Minced meat: Neck, skirt
Stew and stew: Needle, fin, against, shoulder and tail
Roast beef and roast beef: sirloin, tenderloin, round, fish, breast and ribs.