Beef is the one of the most versatile meat in the world. Beef comes from bovines and it is primary meat used in Middle East, Brazil, Europe and Australia. Buying the right cut of beef for your recipe can be sometimes confusing. Each cut means different cooking time. It depends on the part from where it is from.
Like the chuck which located at the neck part of the cow and it is normally used for hamburgers and roasts. The rib which is divided into three parts: the short ribs, prime ribs and rib eye steak. The brisket that located at the bottom of the chuck and it is usually used for stews and other cooking method that requires slow and a long time. It is also the cut used for corned beef. The shank which is at the leg part and it is commonly used in soups and stews as well as it imparts a very strong beef flavor. The loin which is composed of three divisions: the tenderloin used for filet mignon and porterhouse steaks. The sirloin is more flavorful than the tenderloin and it is used for stir fry. The short loin is used for a strip steak.
Always remember that more marble of fat in the meat, the more tender it is. You can always ask your butcher to give you the right cut for your recipe. They always know which cut fits your recipe. To check the freshness of the beef, make sure that it does not smell bad. If it is smells funky and rancid then it is not fresh anymore and therefore you should not buy it. Another thing to consider when buying beef is the firmness. A good meat is a firm meat so make sure to touch and check the beef before buying it. Touch the fleshy part of your hand below the thumb, raw meat should have the same firmness.
Color is also a crucial part in buying beef. Raw beef is red in color and it is brightly colored. If it is pink and soggy, definitely it is a bad meat. Aged beef is different though. Aged beef has a chocolate brown and reddish color to it. Make sure to buy what is needed and not what is economical. We all know that buying in bulk saves a lot of money but it is does not apply in meat. Beef for instance, has a very sensitive handling procedure and short shelf life that it cannot be stored at home for a very long time and still maintain its quality. So make sure that when you buy beef, to buy what is called in the recipe. Ask your butcher for the shelf life of the meat and the right temperature to store it if you are not going to cook it right away.