Ranch Cooking 2: How to Cook Popular Cuts of Beef

During my time out in Montana, I was extremely spoiled with ingredients from the ranch. It is a working ranch producing Alfalfa and other types of sweet grass, but it also has plenty of cattle. Once or twice a year, a few cow's are butchered and I am the lucky one who gets to utilize this special meat. It is unlike any beef I have tasted. It has incredible color, a bit of grass smell, and a wonderful marble of fat. It also tastes amazing. Usually, with this quality of ingredient, you don't want to fuss too much. Salt, pepper, maybe a bit of seasoning is all you need. But, it's fun to create accent sauces, like a chimichurri, that will enhance your experience eating such high end beef. Below is a quick guide to the popular cuts of beef and some suggested methods, sauces and sides. 

Rib Eye - My personal favorite cut of beef.  Typically served in steak form, you can also get a full roast (Prime Rib).  I prefer bone-in, as it adds much more flavor and utilizes the fat off the bone to keep the 'eye' moist and tender. This cut was meant for the grill. 3-4 minutes per side on a HOT grill. 

T-Bone - The old school. The "T" refers to the bone, which resembles the letter, but more importantly, it separates the New York strip from the Filet. A generous sized (1.25" thick or more) T-bone will have almost an equal sized filet portion as the NY strip, and is also referred to as a Porterhouse steak. Cooking times are a little bit longer due to the bone. Cook 5-7 minutes per side for medium rare. 

Tri-Tip - Arguable the most versatile cut of beef out there, Tri-Tip is in the sirloin family. Originating in California, the triangle shaped cut is gaining more popularity across the country for its supreme marinating and bbq'ing capabilities. This meat is ideal for marinades and a great cut to serve a small crowd. Tri-tip is always available on my menus.  My favorite part about the cut is it can be elegant as well as casual all in one go.  I like to grill mine, about 10-15 minutes per side depending on weight. It also can be put in to a 400* oven for about 25-30 minutes for the same cooking temp. Check out my recipe for a Tri-tip French Dip

Flank / Skirt - These two cuts have a lot in common, but are actually different cuts. Flank is from the abdominal region while skirt is from the diaphragm muscles. Both are best when cut thin after a hot sear, preferably on a grill. And both are traditionally used in mexican cooking... Tacos anyone? ! 

Flat Iron - Cut with the grain from the shoulder region, this cut is a butcher's best kept secret.  It is tender, with lots of flavor and a fraction of the price of a rib eye or sirloin. The flat iron lends itself very well to rubs and light marinades. Treat this cut like you would a skirt or flank steak. 

Check out more of my recipes here. Happy grilling!

About the Author

After six years in the kitchen and many extraordinary events, Kellan has become more than a chef, he’s cooking up experiences. From small intimate dinner parties, cooking lessons, and family meals to large corporate bar-b-ques, beer dinners, and holiday soirées, the Kitchen has it covered. Kellan and crew are not just cooks and servers, they’re hosts, cocktail gurus, and burgeoning sommeliers. With a focus always on the food, Kellan’s Kitchen also pays great attention to hosting, vibe, comfort and the vision of the host. Everyone must walk out with a smile, full belly, and sometimes a nice buzz.