Lamb is not the kind of meat that everyone would like to cook at home. Its strong flavour and not quite knowing how to cook it makes many of us pass it up for more familiar and popular cuts. If you are a lamb lover, don’t let this unfamiliarity deter you from cooking a succulent piece of lamb. Because if you think about it, cooking lamb chops is no different from cooking pork chops and braising a lamb stew is pretty much the same as braising a beef stew.
Slow-braised Lamb Ragu with Paparadelle
For all meats, whether they come from a cow, a pig or a lamb, the types of cuts are very similar because these animals all have 4 legs and move in the same way. Therefore the muscles and parts of their bodies that are used (or not used) are pretty much the same. The tenderest cuts will be the loin chops and tougher cuts will be their shoulders, legs or shank area. For example, lamb chops can be quickly pan fried just like pork chops or steaks. Tougher cuts such as leg of lamb or brisket area are best to braise slowly for 2-3 hours. Continue reading
I think there is a fear in many when it comes to cooking pork chops. The dilemma comes from wanting a juicy and tender piece of pork chop without over cooking it, yet we are always told to cook the crap out of pork chops because we need to make sure that the meat is fully cooked. It is not like a piece of steak where you can have it medium rare. So if you want to make sure that a piece of pork chop is fully cooked, of course you would cook it longer and that would give you a tough and dry piece of meat at the end.
For many, having a good steak dinner is usually reserved for special occasions. A good piece of steak is tender, juicy, meaty and packed full of flavour. Paired with the right side dishes, a piece of good quality steak is elegant, comforting and satisfying.
I am sure we are all quite familiar with the top cuts, also known as, the primal cuts of beef. These cuts, including, rib eye, sirloin, tenderloin, and T-bone are all extremely good cuts of meat. However, they can also be quite expensive. And with a price tag that is so high, many home cooks are afraid to cook them. I used to only eat steak in fancy restaurants and I enjoyed every minute of those meals.
With all these various cuts and with beef always being quite expensive, it is worth knowing the different cuts of beef.
Primal cuts are usually from areas of the cow that don’t need to do much work. These muscles are not exercised very much or they don’t contain a lot of connective tissues that would need hours of cooking time to break them down. As a result, these steaks are extremely tender and cooking them over intense high heat, sealing in the juices, is usually all that needs to be done to them.