BEHOLD THE FIVE FINEST PIECES OF BEEF AVAILABLE.
1 BONE-IN RIB EYE
Porter Road’s James Peisker calls it “a big, swinging dick cut of beef.” “It’s by far the juiciest, most flavorful in the entire animal,” he adds. Carved from the sixth through 12th ribs, it’s ringed by a thick band of fat and beautifully marbled. Pan searing is best, and never cook it past medium rare.
A long, narrow belly cut, the skirt enjoys a zesty marinade and is never happier than when in a soft tortilla. Grilled, it’s a can’t-miss cookout favorite. Always ask for the outside skirt, not the inside. “It’s thinner and has a lot more marbling, which gives it a beautiful, iron-rich flavor,” Pat Lafrieda explains.
3 SHORT RIBS
Cut into chunks and braised, this beefy expanse just above the belly becomes fall-off-the-bone tender; sliced flanken-style (cut to expose a few sections of bone) and bathed in marinade, it makes hot coals swoon. Use leftover bones for beef stock, or wear them as a necklace— whatever works.
4 SIRLOIN CAP
This lean, angular standout from the hindquarters of the steer is incredibly marbled, with a moat of fat that imparts a distinctively rich taste. “It has more chew to it than the sirloin [from which it’s sliced] but is far superior in flavor,” says Peisker. Coat it with a rub or dunk it in marinade before flame grilling.
5 FLAT IRON
Sliced from the shoulder and marked by a line of connective tissue, this is beloved by the cognoscenti. Why? It’s intensely flavorful and gloriously idiot-proof: Says Jeremy Stanton, “This is the second most tender cut in the steer, and it will remain so even if well done.” But you know better than to do that, right?