Meet the Meat

Meet the Meat

Meet the Meat

We spoke to expert butcher, Irshad Ahmed and renowned home chef Haroon Sheikh all about how to cut and cook meat. Here’s what we learned.

Just Right – how to make the perfect steak

The key to a great steak is not to under or over cook it, which of course means getting the temperature just right.

“A good steak is tender, but we tend to overcook our steaks to the point that they become rubber,” says Sheikh.

A great way to do this is the finger test, however, if you don’t want to risk it we recommend investing in a good meat thermometer. Here are the temperatures to know;

Rare: approximately 125 Fahrenheit,
Medium-rare: approximately 130 Fahrenheit,
Medium: approximately 145 Fahrenheit,
Medium-well: approximately 155 Fahrenheit,
Well-done: approximately 165 Fahrenheit.


A Cut Above – What to keep in mind at the butcher’s

“No one will teach you about the right cuts at a butcher shop in Pakistan, so make sure you know what you’re looking for before you go,” says Ahmed.

Heeding this advice, we’ve made a list of all the cuts and where you can find them so that you’re prepared for your next trip to butcher.

T-Bone and Porterhouse steaks are found in the short loin area of the cow. Both steaks include a t-shaped lumbar vertebra with muscles on each side.


Rib-eye is a boneless cut found from the rib section of the cow that comprises mostly the Longissimus dorsi muscle (the rib primal of the steer).


The Sirloin is the cut made from the rear back portion of the cow — the best cut being the top sirloin.

Tenderloin contains two main cuts, the short loin and the sirloin. It is found underneath the ribs, next to the backbone.

The undercut, a term coined in Pakistan refers to the tender meat of the loin muscle, found on each side of the cow’s vertebral column.

The Chuck contains the lower neck and upper shoulders of a cow. It is the cut that produces flat-iron steaks and shoulder tender medallions for burger mince

The Brisket comes from the front chest of a cow, near the bottom. There are two briskets per animal and the cut itself is quite tough in comparison to more tender varieties like the sirloin.

The Flank cut is taken from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the cow. It is mostly lean meat and has a very intense beef flavour

Shank is the part of the leg portion of a cow and is tough, dry and lean.


Overall, making a good use of your meat is all about what happens before the actual cooking. It starts from knowing the right cuts, to finding the right butcher and to marinating the meat perfectly.

We hope this Eidul Azha you’ll be able to experiment a little with the help of this guide!

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An avid foodie, filmmaker, and journalist, dedicated to answering all your food-related questions.


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