“If you’re not cooking the meat right away, you don’t necessarily need to throw it in the freezer; look at the ‘sell or use by’ date and cook or freeze by then. To freeze it, wrap in freezer paper and place in a freezer bag to prevent moisture loss,” according to Kari Underly, one of America’s top butchers (third generation!) and fresh meat educators. She’s also the author of “The Art of Beef Cutting” (2011).
“Different cuts are usually arranged by cooking method-cuts for roasting and braising are together; cuts for grilling and pan-cooking are together. Many meat labels now come with the suggestions that will tell you what cooking methods are best. And don’t hesitate to order a special cut; just order it a week or so ahead.”
Beef Short Ribs-”Look for short ribs that are meaty and cover the bone (the bone allows for the meat to stay intact when cooking and to transfer easily to the plate). If you can’t find the meaty ribs you’re looking for, ask your butcher for short ribs cut from the chuck.”
Beef Rib Roast-Ideal for celebrations and Sunday dinner; it’s pricey, but is considered worth it because it doesn’t require a lot of care or spices (seasonings) to make it great.
“Most people know this as prime rib (the ribeye roast with the bone-the bone acts as a roasting rack and also helps the roast keep its shape). It comes labeled as ‘large end’ or ‘loin end’. The large end cut will have more fat and flavor; the loin end will be smaller and leaner.”
“Probably the most recognized bone in the meat case is the T-bone (a bone-in strip steak is the T-bone without the tenderloin). The bone gives the steak structure and protects it from moisture loss.”
Beef Shanks are ideal for slow cooking: “They keep their form during cooking and the bone marrow adds tremendous flavor to any sauce.”
Smoked Ham-”Most hams are wet cured, then smoked (wet cured hams are better for roasting the dry cured ones). When a whole ham is cut in half you have the butt or rump half and the shank half (the butt half will have a higher meat-to-bone ratio).”
Lamb Loin Chops contain both the tenderloin and the top portion of the loin. “If you’ve never tried lamb, loin chops are a good place to start (they’re easy to prepare, have a mild-sweet flavor and are a smaller-portion alternative to beef).”
Source: “Food Recipes”segment-Better Homes and Gardens, Feb. 2011