Cooking beef that's not like shoe leather is not hard, you just have to learn how to cook the different cuts in different ways.
There are basically eight cuts of beef.
If it's tender or tough just depends on how much it used the muscle. So, meat near the shoulder or leg, which is used a lot, is going to be tougher.
Cuts in the center (the rib, plate, and loin) are going to be more tender.
Each cut needs to be cooked differently to get the best flavor and most tenderness.
For grilling, broiling, and pan frying:
Rib Eye Steak
Flank steaks (cook them quickly and remember to cut them against the grain)
For Stir frying:
Top Round Steak
These cuts are best cooked quickly, and because the meat is cubed, they'll be more tender.
Standing Rib Roasts
Top Rump Roast
For a pot roast, braising (slow cooking) or pressure cooking:
Chuck is best because it has the most flavor and is also the most tender.
For ground beef, use chuck, again because it has the most flavor.
How you cut meat also will determine whether or not it's tender. Flank and shoulder steaks (London Broil) have a long grain. These steaks must be cut against the grain. If you do, they will be oh so tender. If you don't...well, that's where the shoe leather comes in.
One more very important thing to remember no matter what the cut of beef, you MUST let it rest at least 5-10 minutes before cutting it to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat, if you don't, all of your juice will run out when you cut into it and you'll have one dry piece of meat.
Try these great beef recipes:
Chicken Fried Steak Recipe
Mama's Roast Beef Recipe
Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
Bacon Cheeseburger Dogs
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