Choosing the right meat: tips from a chef

To make the dish tasty and healthy, it is important to choose the right meat. How to do it? The experienced cooks have their secrets. We asked Igor Dovgel, the chef of El Gaucho restaurant, where it is better to buy meat (it will be mainly beef), what to pay attention to when choosing and how to cook deliciously.

Where it is better to buy meat

– Ideally, if you buy meat from the same butcher every time. This way you can be sure of the quality of the product. From the butcher you can find out where the meat is brought from, the conditions under which the animals are kept. If you have any doubts about the quality of the product, check the appropriate certificates. A good butcher will always help you choose the piece of meat you want to prepare.

By the way, the market is a much better place to buy meat products than a supermarket: on an open counter it is easier to evaluate the color of the meat and examine its surface. When the pieces are vacuum-packed in a store, it is difficult to understand their quality.

What kind of meat to choose

Beef comes in herbal and grain fattening. If you plan to cook a steak for dinner, give preference to beef grain fattening – the dish will turn out to be delicate and very tasty.

The main Russian suppliers of beef are in Voronezh and Bryansk. If you want to buy imported meat, pay attention to products from Argentina and Uruguay. The meat, which is brought from these cities and countries, is of high quality.

What to pay attention to when choosing meat

Pay attention to the color and structure of the meat. It should be homogeneous, without white patches. When choosing a piece of meat, carefully consider the fat, even if you are not going to eat it, but plan to throw it away. The fat should be white or – in the case of lamb – creamy. In addition, the consistency is important: for example, quality beef fat usually crumbles, and mutton fat is quite dense. And of course, the fat should have no unpleasant, rancid smell.

How to choose quality meat in a supermarket

When you buy packaged meat in the store, pay attention to the shelf life and integrity of the package. If you are in any doubt, choose another piece. Meat with an expired shelf life should be cooked immediately after purchase.

Meat for different dishes

You can buy a magnificent piece of raw meat, but do not get the expected result from the finished dish. This is because different parts of the ink are used for different dishes. Which meat to choose to make the dish very tasty?


Steaks are prepared mainly using the dorsal part of the mascara: a thick edge (ribay), a thin edge (striptease, tibon), as well as delicacy internal sirloin. To prepare a delicious dish made of such meat, you will need salt, pepper and coals – nothing else.

From the meat cut between ribs is also prepared a classic entrecote – a hearty piece of meat with a thickness of 1-1.5 cm and the size of the palm.

The back of the carcass

The rear part of the carcass consists of a bundle, hip, chin, cam part and a bromine. The cucumber and hip are suitable for braising and baking, as well as for cooking kebabs. The famous Latin American pike steak is made of a rump. For broths and soups it is best to use the cam part – the dish will be nourishing.


Most of all this part of the cut is suitable for languishing and quenching. In the West, such meat is also grilled. You can also make soup with vegetables and cereal from brisket.


Brutal steaks such as Denver are produced from the neck of the beef. This part of the carcass is very juicy, but it is important not to overcook it, otherwise the meat will become hard.


It is an ideal meat for baking and stewing. The spatula can be baked with potatoes in the oven – it will turn out juicy and very tasty.

Head and tail

These carcass parts are also quite suitable for cooking. The tail is a rather fat cut, from which beautiful soups are made. If this meat is stewed, it will be soft, literally disintegrating into fibers, the main thing is to correctly separate it from the bone. Beef cheeks are suitable for long languishing. Gourmets like brains cooked at low temperatures – this is probably the most delicate part of the carcass.


Of beef by-products, liver, udder, and, of course, tongue are especially popular. All of them can be fried – in a frying pan or on coals, as well as baked and served as a supplement to salads. From the tongue you can make a festive bakery, and the heart can be used as a filling for pancakes.