Appetiser/Entree

One of the most common questions from customers looking for a steak is, which is best? What do butchers think? Is an expensive steak worth the extra money?  We know meat and steak so here is the Butchers guide to steak cuts.

To help you, I’ve broken this down into three different measures that we can use to help not just find the most popular steak but also help you, the reader, find the best steak for what you want to cook.

These will be price, texture and flavour.

Is the price a good guide?

Overall, yes, the price of steak is a fairly good indicator of its popularity. By simple economics, the more popular a cut is, the more expensive it is. There is, however, another factor in play, which is the yield/quantity of a cut per animal that is processed.

There is only one fillet steak per carcass, while there will be many rump steaks. This is why eye fillet tops the charts for the most expensive steak due to its popularity and low yield. So does that make it the most popular?

What does the Texture/Tenderness have to do with selecting a steak?

Actually, it has nearly everything to do with choosing a steak, and while it’s very common knowledge that eye fillet is the most tender of steaks (so it must be the best? Yes?) Well the texture and tenderness is primarily determined by the primal muscles group that the meat come from, also not everyone is aware that the cooking technique has a huge impact on the texture (and flavour) of a steak. Eye fillet comes out as the most tender as the muscle group does little work and is difficult to make tough with cooking (thou a gifted and determined bad cook can achieve this).

Chuck steak (which is one of the toughest cuts due to it muscles group) when cooked long and slow becomes melt in your mouth tender (think Beef Rendang, or Massaman curry).

Skirt steak is becoming popular in Australia as when marinated, cooked quickly and then cut across the grain it is fantastic for taco’s or sandwiches and is also a relatively cheap cut.

Is Flavour the King Maker?

From a butchers perspective it most certainly does. Most butchers I know don’t really like the Eye Fillet, sure it’s tender, but overall its quite lacking in flavour. Have you noticed that restaurants often serve the eye fillet with a sauce? Thats because the sauce is driving the primary flavour here. (opps I think we may have let the steak out of the vacuum pack here).

When I take my team out for dinner they invariable order the rump steak due to its flavour (I won’t go into the feedback they provide on the quality). As the tenderness goes down the flavour profile goes up, but the cooking techniques used can counter that. A quality rump steak cooked correctly can be almost as tender as a beef eye fillet.

The Breakdown

So with these three factors defined and explained lets get into the various cuts of steak.
Indicators (low to high)
Price 💵 to high 💵💵💵💵💵 🪙=1/2
Tenderness 🦷(Tender) to 🦷🦷🦷🦷🦷(Chewy)
Flavour 1 to 5 – 🍲
Butchers Rating: 🔪 to 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪

Eye Fillet
The Butchers Guide to Steak Cuts 7

Eye Fillet / Fillet Steak / Chateaubriand

Price = 💵💵💵💵💵
Tenderness = 🔪
Flavour = 🍲

The eye fillet, also known as tenderloin, is cut from the short loin primal cut of the cow. This particular cut is highly prized for its exceptional tenderness, as it comes from a part of the cow that gets little exercise. The eye fillet is very lean, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a milder flavor with a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s often considered one of the finest cuts of beef​​.

Butchers Rating – 🔪- mmeeehhhh, it is tender.

Scotch Fillet
The Butchers Guide to Steak Cuts 8

Scotch Fillet / Rib Eye / Cattlemans Cutlet

Price = 💵💵💵💵
Tenderness =🦷🦷
Flavour = 🍲🍲🍲
Scotch fillet, also known as ribeye steak, comes from the rib primal cut of the cow. This cut is known for its marbling, which refers to the streaks of fat within the muscle that enhance the flavor and juiciness of the steak. It is very versatile as it can be served as just a steak, steak with bone on, a rolled beef roast or a standing rib roast. This cut has a great beef flavour and does not require long or complex cooking.

Butchers Rating – Abit pricey but yummy 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪

T Bone Steak
The Butchers Guide to Steak Cuts 9

 T-Bone

Price = 💵💵💵🪙
Tenderness = 🦷🦷 
Flavour = 🍲🍲🍲

T-bone steak is a classic cut that comes from the short loin primal cut of the cow, located towards the back. The steak is characterized by its distinctive T-shaped bone, which separates two different sections of meat, with tenderloin on one side and the sirloin on the other. It is an impressive looking steak with the bone in the middle and give’s out ‘Fred Flintstone’ vibes.


The biggest problem I have with this steak is that you have two very different cuts of meat that required different cooking times. If you want the tenderloin just right then the sirloin will be underdone and the versa of the sirloin perfect with an over cooked fillet. Others will say it give the best of both worlds



Butchers Rating – 🔪Over-rated – Pick a lane

New York
The Butchers Guide to Steak Cuts 10

New York Steak / Sirloin / Porterhouse

Price = 💵💵💵🪙
Tenderness = 🦷🦷🦷
Flavour = 🍲🍲🍲

Sirloin steak comes from the loin primal cut of the cow. This cut is situated towards the rear of the cow and is typically divided into top sirloin and bottom sirloin. The top sirloin is known for its tenderness and flavour, while the bottom sirloin is less tender but still flavorful. The sirloin steak is often favoured for its balance of tenderness and robust beef flavour​​.

A solid staple steak for the BBQ, Frying etc. Has a great flavour, is easy to cook and is often available at a good price.
Butchers Advise / Rating – A great steak for the BBQ . Firm Favourite 🔪🔪🔪🔪

Rump Steak

Price = 💵💵💵
Tenderness = 🦷🦷🦷
Flavour = 🍲🍲🍲

Rump steak comes from the rump primal cut, which is located at the hindquarters of the cow. This area is known for its robust flavor and slightly firmer texture compared to other cuts. An often overlooked steak, this is full of flavour and, when cooked correctly, is very tender (the secret here is to use a thermometer to get the right temperature and let it rest really well).
Butchers Advise / Rating – A flavourful steak . May not be everyones taste. 🔪🔪🔪

Skirt Steak
The Butchers Guide to Steak Cuts 11

Skirt Steak / Flank Steak

Price = 💵
Tenderness = 🦷🦷🦷🦷
Flavour = 🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲

Skirt steak comes from the plate primal cut, which is located on the underside of the cow, near the rib cage. It is a long, flat cut known for its intense beefy flavor. Although skirt steak can be somewhat tough due to its fibrous nature, it becomes very tender when cooked properly, particularly with quick, high-heat methods like grilling or pan-frying. This steak is often used in dishes like fajitas because of its robust flavor and excellent compatibility with marinades​​.

Chuck Steak
The Butchers Guide to Steak Cuts 12

Chuck Steak

Price = 💵
Tenderness = 🦷🦷🦷🦷🦷
Flavour = 🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲

Chuck steak comes from the chuck primal cut, which is located in the shoulder area of the cow. This cut is known for its rich flavor and slightly tougher texture due to the presence of connective tissue. However, this same tissue makes it ideal for slow-cooking methods such as braising or stewing, as it becomes tender and flavorful when cooked for extended periods. Chuck steak is often used in hearty dishes like pot roast and beef stew, where its robust flavor and texture shine

Butchers Advise / Rating – The goto for long and slow cooking. 🔪🔪🔪🔪

Helpful tip: Don’t cut this too small, you want the meat to be large enough to cook and melt down, but not become tough and dry. I personally would never cube this less that 1 inch or 3cm’s and prefer to go larger. Remember it is always easier to break apart (most likely with a fork) after cooking.

The Wrap

Hopefully the above is a helpful guide to the various different steaks and will be useful the next time you are buying a steak. Observant readers will notice that I’ve not included the Oyster Steak/Spider Steak or dry age steaks. This is because there are only two Oyster steaks per steer and only available if the butcher is one who breaks down the whole body.

Dry age steak is another whole topic which we will cover later, and wagyu shares the same cut just very different fat profiles.

The Butchers Favourites

My Favourite steak for BBQ / Frying = Scotch Fillet – the perfect blend of taste and tenderness, along with a reasonable price point.
My Favourite for slow cooking is Chuck Steak – You just can’t go past how well this steak cooks down to become so tender and full of flavour
My Favourite for sandwich/tacos = Skirt Steak – A great taste when cooked and cut correctly at a great price.

You might wonder if there’s any substance to the buzz that rabbit meat is Australia’s next big culinary hit. As you consider integrating more eco-friendly and health-conscious choices into your diet, rabbit meat emerges as a serious contender. Known for its low-fat content and high protein quality, it aligns with your nutritional goals and your concern for sustainable food sources.

But beyond the health benefits, there’s a rich cultural narrative and a burgeoning market that might pique your curiosity. As you explore this emerging trend, you’ll uncover the complexities of its culinary potential and the implications for local farmers and the environment. This is not just about a new addition to your menu—it’s about joining a conversation that could reshape Australia’s food industry.

So, why is rabbit meat gaining such momentum, and what does that mean for you and your table?

History of Rabbit Meat

Delving into the history of rabbit consumption in Australia reveals its deep roots in European culinary traditions and its evolution from a survival food to a modern delicacy. You’ll find that early settlers relied on wild rabbits as a crucial source of meat, integrating this practice into the fabric of the nation’s food history. This was more than mere sustenance; it was a way of life that mirrored the age-old European customs from the Middle Ages.

As you explore this past, you’ll see that rabbit meat wasn’t always the specialty it’s today. It began as a necessity, a means to endure the harsh realities of pioneer life. Yet, over time, it’s been transformed by cultural influences and the adoption of European cooking methods, elevating it to a celebrated feature in Australian cuisine.

Today, when you savor the delicate texture of rabbit meat, you’re tasting a piece of history—a journey from fundamental fare to a refined ingredient. It’s a testament to the meat’s versatility and enduring appeal. Rabbit dishes are now a testament to the country’s diverse culinary heritage, showcasing a blend of tradition and innovation on your plate.

Health Benefits and Nutrition

Reflecting on rabbit meat’s storied past in Australian cuisine, it’s clear that its health benefits and nutritional value are as integral to its reputation as its historical significance. You’ll find that rabbit meat isn’t just a novelty; it’s a powerhouse of lean protein, low in fat, which is perfect if you’re managing your weight or watching your cholesterol. It’s packed with vital nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, and zinc, all essential for your health and well-being.

As you incorporate rabbit meat into your meals, you’re not only enjoying a tender and delicate flavor but also aiding muscle growth and repair. This is particularly beneficial if you’re an athlete or dedicated to a fitness routine. Rabbit meat’s high-quality protein is an excellent addition to your diet.

Don’t let its subtle taste fool you; rabbit meat is incredibly versatile in the kitchen. From simple stews to gourmet dishes, it can elevate your culinary experience. By choosing rabbit meat, you’re opting for a unique, nutritious protein source that complements a balanced diet, ensuring you’re not missing out on any of the good stuff.

Ethical and Sustainable Farming

As you consider the origins of your food, it’s worth noting that rabbit meat in Australia is often produced following ethical and sustainable farming practices. These farms take pride in not using hormones or antibiotics and feeding their rabbits on grass. The approach prioritizes animal welfare and supports the ecosystem, ensuring your meat comes from a source that respects both the environment and the animals.

Local sourcing is another cornerstone of their commitment. By choosing Australian rabbit meat, you’re also supporting local farmers, which in turn contributes to the strength and resilience of your community. The farms strive for environmental stewardship, incorporating renewable energy practices and eco-friendly packaging to reduce their carbon footprint.

You’ll find that the rabbit meat available to you adheres to rigorous quality standards. It’s fresh, made with premium ingredients, and ethically sourced. The range of products, from organic offerings to seasonal specialties, showcases the farm’s dedication to sustainability and ethical practices. By opting for rabbit meat from these farms, you’re not just making a choice that benefits your health, but also one that aligns with values of sustainability and ethical responsibility.

Culinary Uses and Recipes

Exploring how to cook rabbit meat reveals a treasure trove of recipes, from hearty stews to refined pastas, that showcase its delicate sweetness and versatility in the kitchen. You’ll find that European cuisine has long celebrated rabbit meat, often pairing it with tagliatelle pasta for a dish that balances the meat’s distinct flavor with the aromatics of white wine, raisins, pine nuts, parsley, thyme, and a breadcrumb topping.

Stewed Rabbit
The Delicious Rabbit Meat of Australia 22

This protein’s refined texture and nuanced taste make it a must-try. It lends itself well to slow-cooked stews and rich ragus, which allow its flavors to meld beautifully with other ingredients. If you’re exploring Italian Sicilian recipes, rabbit meat is a perfect fit; its lean and lovely qualities shine in these dishes. Keep in mind it cooks quickly once defrosted, but you’ll need to navigate around the bones as you eat.

When it comes to storage, you’ll receive rabbit meat frozen. If it’s still frozen upon arrival, pop it straight into your freezer. However, don’t refreeze it if it’s thawed. Vacuum-sealed packaging keeps it fresh, so once opened, aim to consume it within two days to enjoy its peak flavor.

Purchasing and Preparation Tips

Where can you find the finest rabbit meat, and how should you prepare it for a truly delectable meal? In Australia, you’re in luck because premium rabbit meat is within your reach. To ensure you’re getting the best, look for meat sourced from expert producers known for their nutritional properties and refined textures. You can find such high-quality, ethically sourced products that adhere to sustainable farming practices, free from hormones and antibiotics.

For a unique taste experience, why not try preparing a Tuscan-style braised rabbit? Imagine tender rabbit meat married with the flavors of white wine, raisins, pine nuts, parsley, thyme, and breadcrumbs, all nestled atop a bed of tagliatelle pasta. This dish promises to transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Italy.

FAQ’s

What is Rabbit Meat called?

Unlike beef, pork or lamb, rabbit does not have a special name, it is simply called, “rabbit meat

What does rabbit meat taste like?

Much like other meats, it is distinguished based on the type of rabbit you eat. For example, farmed rabbit meat is less gamey and less, while wild rabbit meat is drier and leaner. In terms of essence, rabbit tastes almost like chicken, almost sweet with a gamey taste.

Is rabbit a good meat to eat?

Yes, rabbit is a great meat to eat. It is considered healthy, as it is lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium than other types of meat, and rich in protein.

Conclusion

You’re joining a savvy group; did you know that Australians now consume over 200 tonnes of rabbit meat yearly? That’s a testament to its rising popularity.

By choosing this sustainable protein, you’re not only delighting in its unique taste but also contributing to a greener future.

Remember, whether you’re grilling, roasting, or stewing, you’re part of a movement that’s transforming the culinary landscape, one delicious, ethical bite at a time.

Keep exploring and enjoying the richness rabbit meat brings to your table.

Farm Fresh Local Butcher Sutherland
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