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got question -cut of beef for Indian cooking




Hello, I searched this subreddit and I found only one post about this which, unfortunately, didn’t answer my question.

I want to cook beef curry at home, which cut would be the right one for this? I usually cook mutton by tenderizing it in a pressure cooker for “3 whistles” which is about 20 minutes in the pressure cooker. I tried cooking beef the same way once, but the resulting meat turned out to be hard. Sometimes I cook mutton by just adding it to the boiling curry directly and letting it boil for 15 minutes and simmer for 10 minutes until oil from the spices separate.

Which cut of beef will be the softest/tenderest for the 2nd method?

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18 thoughts on “got question -cut of beef for Indian cooking

  1. I personally use beef stew cuts, my pressure cooker isn’t based on multiple whistles though, its just one whistle, and personally you may make it softer by cooking it in low heat for a longer time so its pull apart

    1. butchers in India don’t go by various cuts. Maybe they do go by cuts but give the best pieces to high-end restaurants 🙂 When we go to any butcher for goat (or I presume beef or pork) it would be a mix of various parts.

        1. sorry, I am not in India now 🙂 sorry for the confusion.

          I don’t think I can get beef in any Indian supermarket, the ‘vegan government’ is doing all it can to ensure that. If I were in a big city, I bet I can get it from a small butcher, but I would be ostracized (just google india+beef for hundreds of news articles)

      1. I’m assuming you mean beef from cows, not buffalo meat which is typically sold as beef in India.

        The time required to cook beef depends on the cut. Hard-working less-fatty parts of the cow (rump, shank) take a long time to cook. Less hard working parts like loin and sirloin are tender and cook fast. In the middle, you have parts like the shoulder (chuck) which takes moderately long to cook.

        So in terms of cooking time, you would prefer softer parts if your goal is speed. But taste is the opposite, because soft and tender parts are bland, while hard working parts have the beefiest taste.

        But there is another factor, which is fat. 90% of the flavor of beef is in the fat, not the muscle. So if you pick something like the rump, on one hand it should have good flavor because it’s hard working, but on the other hand it’s bad because it has no fat.

        For these reasons, the best cut for stew or curry is chuck (shoulder). It has the right balance of beefy flavor, not very long to cook, enough fat, AND it’s cheap.

        The worst cut is rump. In the US, it’s sold as the “round” and “eye of round” and it’s usually the cheapest cut because nobody wants it. A lot of the anonymous pre-cut chunks labeled “beef for stew” are actually rump, which is why you should avoid them.

        Buy some chuck. Look through the packages at the grocery store and pick one that has good marbling. Bring it home and cut it into stew sized pieces yourself. It will take 1 to 1.5 hours in the pot, or about 30-40 minutes in a pressure cooker.

        Now if you want to expand beyond chuck, you have a few possibilities. Sirloin is the next best. It has slightly less flavor than chuck, but is tender and juicy and cooks fast. Again, look for good marbling.

        Shank is very tasty, but takes much longer to cook. Over an hour in the pressure cooker. Try it when you have time.

        If you pick rump because of its low price, try to choose eye of round instead of round, because it’s fattier. Best way to cook either round or eye of round is in a slow cooker, over 12 hours.

        When I say look for a fatty piece with good marbling, I am talking about intercalated fat, that is, fat between the muscle fibers. Any piece of meat can have fat outside the muscle, but that fat is flavorless. Avoid it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google for images of “well marbled beef”. That’s what you want.

        If you are in India and beef is actually buffalo meat, ignore all these timings. Buffalo meat is tasty but much tougher than cow, so you may have to double cooking times.

  2. If your recipe can be adapted to simmer the beef for 2-3 hours, then I would recommend beef chuck (look for 7-bone roast or pot roast). Do not cut it into small pieces. Either cook the beef whole, or cut into large pieces (each piece 1/4 kilo or larger).

    Simmer for 2-4 hours, depending on shape/size of the meat. The meat will get hard and tough after an hour or two, then soften. When done, the meat can be easily pulled apart with a fork and spoon. If it is not extremely tender, cook it longer.

    Note that this recipe requires a cut of beef with lots of connective tissue, like chuck. Beef short ribs, cross-cut shank, or tail will also work. Do not use round or sirloin, it will be awful.

    As a bonus, beef chuck and shank are very cheap (cheaper than ground beef) and have rich beef flavor.

  3. Use your pressure cooker! You used what must have been a lean cut with little connective tissue. The cheap bits sold as “stew pieces” come out great in my PC in 30 to 40 minutes.

    Cook off your meat in water or stock, then when tender, remove, and reduce the liquid to become the wet component of your curry sauce.

  4. Chuck is what you should always use for any stew/curry type dish, but you need to let it boil for much longer than 25 minutes. You need more like 1.5 to 2 hours. A pressure cooker will also work.

  5. I use pre-cut stewing beef. I cook it in the oven, in an enamelled cast iron pot, covered, at 250F for around 4 hours. Long and slow means nice and tender.

      1. Lots of connective tissue, tasty meat, bone marrow. I cook oxtails for any stew or curry, anything I would put over rice.

  6. I’ve cooked beef for ~ 35 minutes in the pressure cooker, and then let it cool down normally. The beef was soft enough.

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