A rough guide to steaks

When purchasing a steak – whether in a restaurant or from a butcher for you to cook at home – the experience can be confusing. Many of us enjoy eating steak, but not all of us know our rib-eyes from our rumps, and sometimes we’re a little embarrassed when presented with a long list of options. Thankfully, we’ve put together a guide to help you out, with all the basic information needed to understand different cuts.

Rib-eye steak

As the name suggests, rib-eye comes from a cow’s rib section. The meat is actually trimmed from within the fore rib on the upper part of a cow’s back. Rib eye steak is very tender and has a lot of marbling through it, which means that as the meat cooks, the fat melts and keeps it moist and juicy. Because of the intense flavour provided by the fat within the beef, the steak should be juicy and richly flavoured.

Sirloin steak

Due to its popularity, it is likely that this is one of the cuts you are most familiar with. The sirloin comes from the upper middle of the cow, which is a part that is not heavily used by the animal. For this reason, it is a particularly tender cut of meat, marbled with fat and possessing a good flavour. It is advised to remove all gristle if you are cooking a sirloin yourself at home.

Fillet steak

The fillet steak is not as rich in flavour as the sirloin or rib eye, but it is considered to be the most lean and tender cut of all. The centre cut of fillet steak is usually the most expensive, but it is a melt-in-the-mouth section of meat with great texture. The fillet tail tends to be cut off and used in other beef dishes such as stroganoff or steak tartare, while the butt end is reserved for Chateaubriand. If cooking a fillet steak, pat it first to remove excess moisture and grill it on a higher heat.

T-bone steak

A T-bone steak is split in two by a bone, with sirloin on one side and fillet on the other. This is great to order in a restaurant if you’d like the best of both worlds, or can work well as a sharing steak for those who’d like a little of each cut. A porterhouse steak is similar to the T-bone, but includes more tenderloin.

Prime rump steak

The prime rump is considered to be one of the most flavoursome of all the cuts of beef. It is taken from the lower back of the cow towards the rear and is typically quite large in size. This steak is tender and, because it is ‘prime’ or ‘premium’, has been cut from a single muscle – which means there should be no gristle. 

Skirt steak

Skirt steaks come from a cow’s diaphragm muscle, which is located in the area just below the ribs on the animal. The skirt is a long, thin cut of beef and is also known as “hanger steak” or “onglet”. When cutting an outer skirt steak, butchers tend to leave the membrane attached, which should be removed before cooking. Fry this steak quickly and serve it with chips to create a classic dish of steak frites.

If you are a fan of steaks and beef dishes, why not take things up a notch and visit London’s finest steak restaurant, M Grill. Not only does M boast the best grill menu, it also provides customers with one of the finest dining experiences in the capital.

For special occasions try the Wagyu Experience Menu, showcasing the world’s highest grading Wagyu and Kobe beef. Find out more by visiting M Restaurant London today