Here we will cover the plate section of the cow, its cuts, what can be done with the meat from these cuts, and cover other important information as well. A picture will be given to show the location of this cut section on the cow. Also, you will be able to understand what the individual cuts from this section are, and what you can expect from them when they are prepared and cooked.
You will find this information helpful if you are buying these from a meat dealer for the first time, or buying these cuts regularly for a restaurant. This guide also applies to the wagyu cow, except the wagyu is going to be more tender due to its extra intramuscular fat.
The plate section of the cow is located below the rib section, and is in between the brisket section and the flank section. It is the cow’s belly area (the diaphragm muscles for the skirt steaks) and only takes up about 9% of the cow. Short ribs are made from this section of the cow, since the cow’s ribs do go down into this section. However, many butchers do not include the short ribs in this section, and instead group the short ribs in with the rib section. They will remove the skirts from the plate section and then move to the ribs.
The plate section of the cow is used for making skirt steaks, sometimes short ribs, and many other dishes with small strip cuts of beef included in them. It can also be used for ground beef.
The texture of the beef in the plate section is known to be juicy, because of its high fat content, but also tough to somewhat tender, depending on the cut.
Best cooking methods:
The meat from the plate section of the cow is usually grilled on a grill at high temperatures for the best results. The meat here is thin, so it performs better in short cooking times, when cooked at high temperatures.
Ensure that the outer layer of fat and membranes on the surface of the meat is well removed before cooking.
The outside skirt is a cut taken from the plate section that is underneath the membrane of the cow when it is cut out from the inside. It is on top of the inside skirt. In order to reach the outside skirt, membranes have to be pulled off first. The outside skirt is then cut out from the plate section. The outside skirt will have membrane still on its surface after it is cut from the plate section. The outside skirt is the smaller skirt when compared to the inside skirt. When this is removed, it is often rolled up into a full like sleeping blanket since it is a fairly long flat strip.
Outside skirt uses:
The outside skirt is used to make fajitas, sub sandwiches, Asian stir-fry dishes, as pizza toppings, in appetizers, and other foods that have strips of meat used in them.
The outside skirt is the more tender cut of the two skirts. It is juicy, and exceptionally tender if prepared correctly.
Best cooking methods:
The outside skirt is cooked best as a whole at high temperatures for a short period of time on a grill. The outside skirt can also be cut into smaller whole pieces in the same direction as the grain so that it can be cooked at high temperatures in a skillet as well. It is often marinated for hours before it is grilled on a grill or cooked in a skillet.
Ensure that the membrane, connective tissues, and silver skin are removed from the top and bottom surface of the outskirt before it is cooked. Some of the fat can also contain some connective tissues underneath them.
The inside skirt is the less popular skirt steak of the two, and it comes from the same section as the outside skirt. It is underneath the outside skirt cut after it has been removed, when cutting it out from the inside of the carcass. This cut is often confused and mixed up with the outside skirt. However, when cutting it out from the inside of the cow carcass, it is more inside the cow than the outside skirt. The outside skirt is on the outside surface of the inner part of the cow carcass. This is the larger/longer cut of the skirt steaks.
Inside skirt uses:
Both the inside and outside skirt steaks are used to make the same dishes; and to make sandwiches and tortillas. It can also be used to make ground beef.
The inside skirt is somewhat tough in texture; especially if it isn’t trimmed well of its connective tissues. It can also be quite chewy, with it being even more difficult to chew if it is cut incorrectly. When making strips from the skirt steak, it has to be cut against the grain.
Best cooking methods:
The inside skirt is cooked best by marinating it first for hours and then grilling it or cooking it in a skillet at high temperatures. It is also used to stir-fry.
Ensure that the silver skin, connective tissues, and membrane are removed from the surface of the inside skirt. The membrane can be carefully trimmed off with a small pointy sharp knife, or it can be pulled off by hand in some cases. However, pulling the membrane may tear the meat if it isn’t cold enough. This same thing applies for the outside skirt.
The short ribs are from the same ribs in the ribs section of the cow, but they have been sawed off to divide the plate section from the rib section. This is done by taking the entire rib section and plate section portion of the cow and simply sawing it near the middle. From here, the ribs can be sawed again on the plate section to make short ribs. The same thing can be done with the ribs in the rib section, except these ones are from the plate section. The ribs can come cut as a whole, or divided into pieces, which is done by slicing them in between the bone after they have been sawed off.
Short rib uses:
Short ribs are of course used to make ribs, but they can also be used to make ground beef.
Short ribs are known to be a tough cut. They have connective tissues that can be quite tough to chew.
Best cooking methods:
The best way to cook short ribs is to braise them. After the short ribs have been sliced into individual short ribs on the bone (divided from being an entire ribcage) they can be braised for 4 to 5 hours at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The ribs can be checked after 3 and a half hours to see if they have become more tender. This can be done by poking them with a knife.
Ensure that the short ribs have the membrane on the outer surface removed. Also, the silver skin on the surface of the short ribs must be removed. It will not cook down during the braising process and the silver skin is very tough and chewy.