How to Choose Meat for Father’s Day

We can’t wait to treat Dad to a home-cooked meal of his favourite curry or a tender juicy steak! Father’s Day or not, all Dads appreciate the time and effort put into home food. Do kindly allow as many Dad jokes as he can muster without a fuss during meal time. We figured many of you will be making your way to Barn Butchery to choose your meats, so here’s a simple guide to knowing your chops

Let’s Talk About Beef, Baby!

To choose your beef, look for cuts that are pinkish or light red, avoiding those that are dark red and slightly grey to the eye – those aren’t fresh! Grade 4? Marble 9? Relax, don’t have to worry about ‘grade’ this and ‘number’ that, those simply refer to the level of fat marbling in each cut. If price is not an issue, ask your butcher to recommend the highest grades. Wondering what’s the deal with grass-fed or grain-fed? You can expect leaner cuts from grass-fed cows that have been allowed to roam, while grain-fed cows produce fattier cuts having been fed a diet of corn and soy.   

Steaks For Grilling

When it comes to steak, the most tender and flavourful cuts are those that contain less muscle and connective tissues while having a generous amount of marbling (fat). Choice cuts generally come from the loin and rib around the backbone, away from the front and rear legs that are chock full of sinew and muscle.

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Ribeye – known for its robust flavour, ribeye is simply a rib cut with the bone removed. If the bone is still on, we call it a Rib Steak – you may also have heard of the mighty Tomahawk, which is a thick rib cut with 6-8 extra inches of bone. Richly marbled and pleasantly juicy. we’d recommend rib cuts any day.  

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Strip – also known as New York Strip or Kansas City strip, the cut comes from the short loin (between the rib and sirloin) and is slightly less tender than rib cuts, but still very flavorful due to high amounts of intramuscular fat.  

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Tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef, spanning the short loin and sirloin (towards the rear) part of the cow. You may also know it as Filet or Filet Mignon, often paired with sauce or truffle butter as it is not as flavourful as a ribeye or strip. However, its exquisite texture more than makes up for the lack of flavour.

T-bone & Porterhouse – these two loin cuts are very similar, with differing amounts of tenderloin in the cut. The T-bone gets it name from its t-shaped bone with the cow’s tenderloin on the one side and a strip on the other. The porterhouse is also a T-Bone, but one that is cut from the rear of the short loin. This means a higher percentage of tenderloin in each porterhouse steak, and if you ask any expert on their favourite, you would probably hear them say ‘porterhouse’ more often than others

Top sirloin – the most tender part of the sirloin and quite lean, making it less expensive than other popular steak cuts. Great for a non-special-occasion dinner with mashed potatoes and salad, it’s also a little tougher to chew and it doesn’t quite have the flavor of the other steaks, but an all-round decent steak all the same.

Roasting / Soups / Curries

Lesser-known beef cuts are used for slow-cooking, braising, stewing, smoking, or pot-roasting because it takes a much longer time to break down the connective tissues and muscle fiber of the beef (compared to steaks which are seared in a pan within a few minutes). Cuts like Rump, Top Side, Brisket, and Chuck are often overlooked but no less tender and flavourful when cooked right (think American-style slow-smoked BBQ Brisket – drool). You can by all means go for higher grade beef cuts in your curries and stews, but it would be quite wasteful compared to buying these cheaper cuts and coaxing out their meaty goodness.

There are also cuts such as Short Plate and Flank which originate along the underbelly of the cow. The meat is tough and muscly, so they are often cooked on high heat in stir-fries or used to make beef stock.  Round cuts from the back of the cow such as Round Roast, Tip Roast or Rump are also inexpensive due to lack of marbling, often used as ground meat to make burger patties or sausages.

Dry-Aged Beef

Dry-aging involves hanging beef cuts to dry at near-freezing temperatures to mature in their natural goodness. The idea is to allow moisture to evaporate while microbes and enzymes break down connective tissues of the meat over a period of time, increasing both tenderness and flavor. At our dry-aged beef section in Barn Butchery @The Linc KL, we age our meats up to 28 days, which is ideal to yield tender, juicy cuts concentrated with flavour.


You can also bring Dad over to eat-in! Our Grill-Me service allows you to pick your favourite cut for us to grill to perfection at The Grocer’s Kitchen. The dry-aging service is also available to customers want their chosen cuts to explore life a little more – just hand your cuts over and we’ll store them in our dry-aging unit.  

There’s so much more to know but we had to trim off some excess fat – all the same, the info above is meaty enough for you to place an order with confidence. Make friends with your butcher to learn as much as you can, and don’t worry about making mis-steaks. Everyone has made them beef-ore. See you at Ben’s Independent Grocer!

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