Cuts of beef
As with most animals that are eaten, different parts of the carcase eat differently and are more suited to certain cooking methods.  This is due to several factors including the amount of ‘work’ the muscle has done over the lifetime of the animal,
for example neck and leg muscles which are in constant use for grazing and moving tend to be tougher due to the build up of connective tissue.  A rough guide to go by is the further the cut of meat from ‘hoof & horn’ the more tender it is. 
Other areas of the carcass can also be fattier or have more sinew present due to the job that they are designed to do.  Therefore to get the best results from the piece of beef you buy you have to adapt your cooking techniques for each individual piece.

 
BladeThis cut is often sold as Braising Steak. A little more tender than stewing steak. Use in casseroles, stews and to braise.Braised Steak
BrisketOften sold boned and rolled and sometimes salted. Suitable for slow or pot roasting. Pulled Brisket
ChuckThis cut is often sold as Braising Steak. A little more tender than stewing steak. Use in casseroles, stews and to braise.Casserole
FilletAlso known as tenderloin. One of the prime cuts. Has little fat and is very tender. Beef Wellington
HeadBeef cheeks - slow cooked as less tender than other musclesSlow cooked BBQ cheeks
Thin FlankOften used for minced or ground meat. Bolognese Sauce
Thick FlankThick Flank - also known as Top Rump (knuckle). Similar to topside and can be slow roasted as a joint or braised in pieces. Also sold as "flash fry" steaks.Ideal Mid-Week Joint
Fore RibSometimes sold boned and rolled but is traditionally sold on the bone. Has a higher fat content throughout the flesh and makes a superb roast.  Traditional Sunday Lunch Roast Beef
LegThis is one of the tougher cuts and is generally sold as Stewing Steak. Only suitable for very long, slow, moist cooking.Beef Bourginon
NeckThis is one of the tougher cuts and is generally sold as Stewing Steak or made into mince (ground) meat.  When sold in pieces it is only suitable for very long, slow, moist cooking.Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
RumpAlthough a prime cut, it is usually cheaper than fillet or sirloin because it's not quite as tender. Considered by many to have a far superior flavour than sirloin or fillet. Suitable for quick cooking e.g. frying, stir-fries, grilling or barbecuing.Beef Stroganoff
ShankThis is one of the tougher cuts but can be slow roasted for a very long time for a very flavoursome cut.Beef Shank on the bone
ShinThis is one of the tougher cuts and is generally sold as Stewing Steak or made into mince (ground) meat.  Can be sold as bone in pieces but it is only suitable for very long, slow, moist cooking.Osso Bucco
SilversideAlthough this was traditionally salted and sold as a boiling joint, this very lean piece of meat is now most often sold unsalted as a joint for roasting.  Requires frequent basting through the cooking time.Silverside Joint
SirloinCan be boned and rolled which is suitable for roasting. Also can be sold as steaks such as "T"-bone, Porterhouse or Sirloin steak.Herb Crusted Porterhouse
Thick RibThis cut is often sold as Braising Steak. A little more tender than stewing steak. Use in casseroles, stews and to braise.Slow Cooked Ragout
Thin RibThis is one of the tougher cuts and is generally sold as mince (ground) meat. Chilli con Carne
TopsideVery lean and when sold as a joint for roasting, often has a layer of fact tied around it to help baste and keep it moist.  Also suitable cut into steaks for frying or grilling and in stir-fries.Roasting Joint or Traditional Beef Olive
Ox-TailThis is a bony, gelatin rich piece of meat which requires slow-cooking sucs as stewing or braising. It is traditionally used as stock for soup.Ox-tail Soup
HeartAs the heart works a lot during its lifetime it is quite a tough muscle. In modern cuisine heart is often marinated to tenderise then grilled or braised.BBQ Heart
LiverLiver can be baked, boiled, broiled, fried, stir-fried or eaten raw. Liver has a very distinct offal texture and tasteBraised Liver & Onions
KidneyKidney is often braised or stewed. Traditionally found in pies and casseroles.Steak & Kidney Pie
TripeThis dish is cooked through boiling the bleached tripe with onions in milk.Traditional Tripe & Onions
Image Map Cheeks
Tongue Stewing Steak Braising Steak
Chuck Steak
Blade Steak Braising Steak Braising Steak Boneless shin
Shank Jacob’s Ladder
Fore Rib (Bone in or boneless)
Rib Eye Steak Rolled brisket Rolled sirloin
Sirloin steak
Tenderloin
Fillet Steak Skirt Rump joint
Rump steak Silverside
Topside Top rump
Frying Steak OssoBucco