Home Cooking Tips Manual for Fresh Meats and Cold Cuts

Manual for Fresh Meats and Cold Cuts

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Meat Cuts:

  1. A)Beef Cut


Chuck Meat is basically muscle and the chuck happens to be a heavily exercised area. Luckily, this area contains a great deal of connective tissue, including collagen. Collagen melts during cooking, making the meat intensely flavorful. Cuts from this area benefit from slow, wet cooking methods like stewing, braising or pot-roasting.

Blade Roast—an inexpensive cut which lies next to the ribs; more tender than most chuck; makes an excellent roast. Alternatively, the roast can be cut into a rib-eye steak, with meat above and below the bone excellent for stir-fry dishes Chuck Steak—a good choice for kabobs if well marinated

Rib Tender and flavourful ribs can be cooked any number of ways. Most recipes call for ribs to be roasted, sautéed, pan-fried, broiled, or grilled.

Rib Roast—known as a standing rib roast (bone left in), or without the bone for convenient slicing. Excellent when dry roasted. A seven-bone prime rib roast can be quite a hefty addition to the dinner table. It is great for a crowd, but for a small family a bone roast will do. Many butchers will cut a roast to order for you.

Rib Steak. Also cut from the rib section, these tender steaks can be purchased bone-in or as boneless rib-eye.

Short Loin. This area boasts extremely tender cuts and can be prepared without the aid of moist heat or long cooking times. Cuts from the short loin may be sautéed, pan-fried, broiled, pan-broiled or grilled.

Porterhouse Steak. A very popular steak cut from the rear end of the short loin; the name originated from the days when it was served in public alehouses that also served a dark beer called porter. The porterhouse consists of both tenderloin and strip steak. The tenderloin is often served separately as filet mignon.

T-bone Steak Cut from the middle section of the short loin; similar to the porterhouse steak; has a smaller piece of the tenderloin; usually grilled or pan-fried.

Tenderloin Often considered the tender cut of beef; responds well to sauces, meaning the meat does not overpower the flavour of the sauce. It can be cut as the whole strip, or into individual steaks for filet mignon.

Sirloin. "The backbone's connected to the … hipbone"—not a song, but a sirloin. These tender cuts respond well to sautéing, pan-frying, broiling, pan-broiling or grilling. 30

Sirloin Steaks. These steaks are available in a variety of boneless and bone-in steaks

Sirloin Tip. Roast Excellent when dry roasted or marinate.

Flank. This meat is lean, muscular and very flavourful. Flank is primarily used for flank steaks and rolled flank steaks. It can also be used for kabobs. Flank Steak—this steak has a great flavor, and should be sliced thin against the grain for maximum chew ability. Use to make the classic London broil.



Short Plate is section is best used for stew meat, where its rich, beefy flavour can be appreciated.

Round The round consists of lean meat well suited to long, moist cooking methods.

Top Round—this is the tender part of the round; it can be prepared as pot roast or cut into thick steaks for braised dishes.

Rump Roast. A very popular cut for pot roast, but can also be roasted at low temperatures.

Shank/Brisket Traditionally used for corned beef, brisket is best prepared with moist heat. Suitable preparation methods include stewing, braising and pot-roasting.

Fore shank Excellent stew meat.

Brisket First Cut A leaner cut of the brisket, for those who want the flavor but not the fat of a brisket pot roast.

Brisket Front Cut Fork tender and succulent, a Certified Angus Beef ® pot roast made with this cut is truly mouth watering.

RIB EYE STEAK. A rib steak is a beef steak sliced from the standing rib roast cut, which is part of the rib primal of a beef animal. In the United States, a rib steak is usually a rib eye steak with the rib bone still attached to the meat; however in some areas, and outside the U.S., the terms are often used interchangeably.


  1. B)Lamb Cuts:



Lamb Shoulder Square Cut. Lamb shoulder square cut whole is a square-shaped cut containing arm, blade, and rib bones. The thin, paper like outside covering is called fell. This cut is usually prepared by roasting.

Lamb Shoulder Arm Chops. Lamb shoulder arm chops are cut from the arm portion of shoulder and contain cross-sections of round arm bone and rib bones. They are usually prepared by braising, broiling, grilling, or pan broiling.

Lamb Breast. Lamb breast is part of the forequarter and contains ribs. It is oblong-shaped with layers of fat and lean, with fat usually covering one of the sides. Lamb breast is usually prepared by braising or roasting.

Lamb Shank. Lamb shank is cut from the arm of shoulder, contains leg bone and part of round shoulder bone, and is covered by a thin layer of fat and fell (a thin, paper like covering). Lamb shank is usually prepared by braising or by cooking in liquid.

Lamb Rib Chops. Lamb rib chops contain backbone and, depending on the thickness, a rib bone. The chops have a meaty area consisting of rib eye muscle. The outer surface is covered by fat but with the fell (a thin, paper like covering) removed. Lamb rib chops are usually prepared by broiling, grilling, pan broiling, pan frying, roasting, or baking.


  1. C)Pork Cuts


Pork Shoulder. Pork shoulder arm picnic contains arm bone, shank bone, and a portion of blade bone. It also contains shoulder muscles interspersed with fat. The shank and part of the lower area are covered with skin. It is usually prepared by roasting.

Pork Shoulder steak. Pork shoulder arm steak has the same muscle and bone structure as pork shoulder arm roast, only cut thinner. It contains round arm bone and the meaty part of the arm picnic. The outside is covered with a thin layer of fat. It is usually prepared by braising or pan  frying.


Pork Loin Back Ribs. Pork loin back ribs are cut from the blade and center sections of loin. They contain rib bones, meat between the ribs called finger meat, with a layer of meat covering the ribs that come from the loin eye muscle. Pork loin back ribs are usually prepared by roasting, baking, braising, broiling, grilling, or by cooking in liquid.

Pork Loin Center Rib Roast. Pork loin center rib roast is a cut from the center rib area of loin. It contains loin eye muscle and rib bones, and is usually prepared by roasting.

Pork Loin Rib Chops (Center Cut Chops). Pork loin rib chops, also called center cut chops, contain eye muscle and backbone. Rib bone may also be present, depending on the thickness of the cut. Fat covers the outside edge. These chops are usually prepared by braising, broiling, grilling, pan broiling, or pan frying.

Pork Loin Tenderloin Whole. Pork loin tenderloin whole is a boneless cut taken from the inside of loin. The largest end is round and gradually tapers to the thin flat end. Very tender, it is usually prepared by roasting, baking, braising, broiling, or grilling.

Pork Spare ribs. Pork spareribs are cut from the side. They contain long rib bones with a thin covering of meat on the outside and between the ribs. They may also contain rib cartilage. Pork spareribs are usually prepared by roasting, baking, broiling, grilling, or by cooking in liquid.


Pork Leg (Fresh Ham) Whole. Pork leg (fresh ham) whole is a bone-in hind leg, usually covered with skin and fat about halfway up the leg. It is usually prepared by roasting.

Smoked Pork Loin Canadian-Style Bacon. Smoked pork loin Canadian-style bacon is made from boneless loin, a single elongated muscle with little fat. Cured and smoked, it is usually prepared by roasting, baking (if sliced), broiling, grilling,  or pan frying.

Slab Bacon. Slab bacon is cured and smoked side. It contains steaks of lean and fat on one side. The other side may be covered with skin. Slab bacon is usually prepared by broiling (if sliced), pan broiling, pan frying, roasting, or baking.


  1. D)Chicken Cuts



Halves. The bird is split from front to back through the backbone and keel to produce 2 halves of approximately equal weight.

Breast Quarters. Halves may be further cut into which include the wing. A breast quarter, including portions of the back, is all white meat.

Split Breast. A breast quarter with the wing removed

Boneless, Skinless Breast. Split breast that has been skinned and deboned.

Whole Chicken Wing. The Whole Chicken Wing is an all white meat portion composed of three sections; the drumette, mid-section and tip.

Wing Drummettes. The first section between the shoulder and the elbow.

Whole Chicken Leg. The Whole Chicken Leg is the drumstick-thigh combination. The whole leg differs from the leg quarter in that id does not contain a portion of the back.

Thigh. The thigh is the portion of the leg above the knee joint.

Drumsticks. Drumsticks include the lower portion of the leg quarter (the portion between the knee joint and the hock).

Giblets. Includes heart, liver and neck.


Cold Cuts.

Cold cuts are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, which are sliced and usually served cold on sandwiches or on party trays. They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store, or they can be purchased at a delicatessen or deli counter, where they might be sliced to order. Most pre-sliced cold cuts are higher in fat, nitrates, and sodium than those that are sliced to order, as a larger exposed surface requires stronger preservatives. In any case, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) advises that those over 50 reheat cold cuts to "steaming hot" 165 °F (73.9 °C) and use them within four days.

Cold cuts also may be known as lunch meats, luncheon meats, sandwich meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats and deli meats. In Commonwealth countries and the U.K., luncheon meat refers specifically to products that can include mechanically reclaimed meat, and (pre Mad Cow Disease) offal. In British English, the terms cold meats, cooked meats, or sliced meats are used instead.




Country of Origin: Italy/ Bologna

Meat: Pork.

Mortadella is a large Italian sausage or cold cut made of finely hashed or ground, heat-cured pork sausage, which incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat (principally the hard fat from the neck of the pig). Mortadella is a staple product of Bologna, Italy. It is flavoured with spices, including whole or ground black pepper, myrtle berries, nutmeg and pistachios, jalapeños and/or olives, though those with flavours other than ground pepper and myrtle are not made with the original recipe from Bologna. Mortadella originated in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna, elsewhere in Italy it may be made either in the Bolognese manner or in a distinctively local style. The mortadella of Prato is a Tuscan speciality flavoured with pounded garlic. The mortadella of Amatrice, high in the Apennines of northern Lazio, is unusual in being lightly smoked. Because it originated in Bologna, this contributed to the naming of the American meat bologna. Mortadella is very popular in Spain and Portugal, where a variety with pepper and olives is widely consumed, especially in sandwiches. Sometimes, in eastern Spain, the standard mortadella is referred to as mortadella italiana (Italian mortadella), because there is a local variant named catalana.




Country of Origin: Spain/ Balearic Islands.

Meat: Pork Loin / Pork Bacon

Sobrassada is a raw, cured sausage from the Balearic Islands made with ground pork, paprika and salt and other spices. Sobrassada, along with botifarró are traditional Majorcan sausage meat products prepared in the laborious but festive rites that still mark the autumn and winter pig slaughter in Majorca. The chemical principle that makes sobrassada is the dehydration of meat under certain weather conditions (high humidity and mild cold) which are typical of the late Majorcan autumn. Sobrassada is made with a choice of pork loin, pork bacon, minced and mixed with paprika, salt and black pepper at the ends. Some makers also add cayenne pepper to the mixture and market it as coent, hot. Then the mixture is put into a pork intestine, and hung from a pole for some weeks until it is cured. The string which is tied around the intestine can be used to differentiate between the hot and dolç (literally "sweet", though in this case meaning "not spicy") varieties, the red or red and white string being the hot one. Small, thin sobrassada are called llonganissa, and are made from the small intestine. Bigger and thicker ones are called cular or pultrums, and the largest types are huge pork bladders called bufetes or bisbe (bishop). Thicker varieties have larger curation terms, allowing spreading its consumption over the year.




Salame Milano                                                   

Country of Origin: Italy/ Lobardy-Milano.

Meat: Pork

The Milano salami, among the most popular in Italy, produced in Brianza and in the whole district of Milan, is prepared with lean pork and bacon coarsely minced and moderately flavoured with salt and aromas, seasoned for a period varying from 3 to 6 months. When cut, it looks bright red-coloured, with a fine grain and it is excellent as an appetizer or just as filling for sandwiches.




Country of Origin: Italy

Meat: Beef

The Bresaola of the Valtellina, produced in this area since the 15th century, is a product from beef salted and naturally seasoned to be eaten raw. The word Bresaola - once Brazaola or Brisaola – has an uncertain origin. The etymology can be found in the term " brasa "(brace in Italian), i.e. embers, recalling the braziers which were once used to heat and dehumidify the air in the seasoning rooms. It is made out of the haunch tip, cut of rump and under rump, round and under-bone. After carefully trimming the muscles and nerves, the meat is dry-cured with salt and a mix of powdered cinnamon with cloves and ground pepper. After leaving it for 10 - 15 days at a temperature inferior to 4°C, one proceeds to washing, drying and sausage-making, then the Bresaola is let season for 3 months. When seasoning is complete, Bresaola has a cylindrical shape and the cut is compact, substantial, bright deep red-coloured, with slight veins of fat. Bresaola must be served cut into fine slices seasoned with oil, pepper and lemon juice and sprinkled at pleasure with rocket leaves and slivers of Parmesan cheese. In slimming diets it is one of the most indicated cured meats because it is not very caloric.

Fragrance: delicate and slightly aromatic.

 Aspect when cut: firm and elastic.

Colour: uniform red with just a hint of dark edge.

Taste: pleasing, moderately tasty, never sour.


Country of Origin: Italy

Meat: Pork

Prosciutto or Parma ham is a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto. Commonly associated with Friuli and Emilia, the most renowned and expensive legs of prosciutto come from central and northern Italy, such as those of Parma, and San Daniele, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Prosciutto is made from either a pig's or a wild boar's ham (hind leg or thigh). The process of making prosciutto can take anywhere from nine months to two years, depending on the size of the ham. Sliced prosciutto crudo in Italian cuisine is often served as an antipasto, wrapped around grissini, or accompanied with melon. It is also eaten as accompaniment to cooked spring vegetables, such as asparagus or peas. It may be included in a simple pasta sauce made with cream, or a Tuscan dish of tagliatelle and vegetables. It is used in stuffing for other meats, such as veal, as a wrap around veal or steak, in filled bread, or as a pizza topping. Prosciutto slices are often difficult to cut in pieces for use in cooking, as they tend to shred and stick to one another. In this case, either using very sharp knives or shredding by hand is best.


Salami Napoli.                                

Country of Origin: Italy/Napoli


Salami made exclusively with choice pork meat, a wise selection of herbs and spices and a gentle smoking process. A singular product with an intense aroma reminiscent of the southern regions. The history of this product starts in Campania, where it started out with a small-scale home production. Over time it became more widely appreciated, recognized and marketed, and eventually started being produced in different sizes and being traded on a completely different scale. The common denominator of these products is the climate. The gentle sea breeze caresses the landscape, the cooler air from the Apennines mixes with the warmer sea air and accompanies Napoli salami throughout its maturing process, conferring on it those characteristic and intense aromas of southern lands. Napoli Salame is undoubtedly the most renowned, but there are plenty of local variations which are very well known in the provinces. One such example is salami from Mugnano del Cardinale an ancient mountain town where the climate is not only ideal for the maturing process , but also confers the product with remarkable aromas thanks to the gentle winds brimming with scents of woodland understory and woody fragrances of beech, oak and chestnut.


Spanish Hams and Paletas                                         

There are several differences between a full rear leg Serrano ham and the front leg shoulder. The larger ham comes from the rear leg and is known as the ‘jamon’, the shoulder is the front leg of the pig and called the ‘paleta’. Comparing the two together you will immediately notice the size difference between these two cured legs. Full Spanish hams can range from around 6.5kg for smaller examples up to very large hams weighing in at 11kg plus. Shoulders on the other hand usually weigh in the region of 5kg – 6kg. Upon deciding which ham to buy it is worth considering that there is a lot more meat on the rear leg, front shoulders tend to be half the size and they are also much narrower than a full ham. Rear legs are plump and have been cured for longer losing near to 35% of their initial uncured weight during the process. The meat from a full rear leg is also moister; being thicker it tends to be softer in the middle and ever so slightly more aromatic. This is not to say that the humble shoulder is not a good buy, on the contrary, a paleta represents very good value for money, still has plenty of meat and makes the ideal gift or simply to have at home for personal consumption.

Serrano shoulders, in the main, have a slightly more intense flavour. The reason for this, even though they are cured for less time is that the ham is thinner and does not have as much fat as its rear leg cousins. The flesh within also tends to be firmer and slightly darker as a result of the curing process. Besides from this there is very little difference in the flavour making the front shoulder an ideal purchase for anyone wishing to dabble in the world of Spanish ham. Fat content is higher in rear legs and is something to consider depending on your personal preference, ask any Spaniard and they will tell you that the fat on a Spanish ham, either Serrano or Iberico is one of the most important factors affecting flavour, sliced ham in Spain usually has a generous layer of fat on the outside of the slices. It is worth noting that the shoulder is slightly more challenging to carve, being thinner there is less room for error and with less fat around the outside edge preparing the shoulder for carving needs a little more concentration as to not accidently cut to deep into the meat when removing the outer rind. A shoulder will produce some lovely deep red wafer thin slices which when left to breath at room temperature will begin to sweat resulting in the flavour intensifying. The same applies to rear legs where the fat will almost begin to melt resulting in a delicious creamy texture accompanied by the mild saltiness of the meat. The amount of servings you can achieve from each leg will of course depend on how thinly the ham is sliced, as a general rule the thinner the better so the slices are almost transparent, one should certainly be able to distinguish the blade of the knife underneath whilst slicing. A shoulder will produce around 50 good sized tapas and rear legs double that. Both are good for cooking with the flavour of the meat complimenting chicken dishes very well and also delivering a nice twist to starters such as lightly fried ham and poached egg, tostada, salads and whole range of other dishes. Rear leg hams do offer more choice with regards to grades and flavour, as a larger leg the ‘jamon’ can be cured from 12 months or even 2 years, shoulders given their size are generally cured for around 9 months and rarely more than that otherwise the meat will become too firm. Grades depend on each individual Spanish curing house but as a general rule (applicable to serrano hams) a ‘curado’ or ‘bodega’ grade will indicate 12 – 14 months curing, ‘reserva’ 14 - 18 months and ‘grand Reserva’ 18+ months.



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