An April Kitchen Challenge: Use a New to You Lean Beef Cut

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A new month is here, and I have a little challenge for us both.  Last fall, I talked a bit about stepping outside the ground beef comfort zone and trying other cuts of beef.  In the months since, I’ve cooked a handful of beef dishes of the non-ground variety and have found a few serious favorites  [Easy, Flavorful Beef and Veggie Fajitas, I’m looking at you!] Such serious favorites in fact, that I recently found myself in a “depending on my favorites” rut.


Long time readers may remember my 28th “Golden” year, full of trying new things and completing tasks in 28 different categories in my life. The major take away from that year-long challenge was the desire to continually seek new things.

I love to celebrate my favorites of course, but it took a lot of work for me to become more comfortable stepping away from the familiar and I’d rather not find myself regressed to the days of following the exact same routine every day, ordering the a grilled chicken sandwich no matter the restaurant, making pasta and pizza and breakfast, the end.  I’ve come to love a life full of not only trying new things when they are presented to me, but also seeking the opportunity to try new things, too.

This is why when I noticed that I had been stepping in the same direction whenever I stepped outside the ground beef comfort zone, I gave myself a challenge to try a different cut of meat and/or cooking technique sometime this month.  I’ve heard from a few friends that they also fall into menu patterns in need of a refresh and I’m guessing that this isn’t an uncommon habit a lot of us fall into.  And because nothing does better for me and my goals than old fashion partner challenges and “say it, do it” accountability, I want to invite YOU to join me on this challenge, too!


This month, let’s all use a new-to-us lean Beef cut in our kitchens!

What does lean beef mean?

I’ve talked lots about choosing lean beef in the past when I participated in the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet [BOLD!!] challenge.  You can read more about that challenge and what I learned in the posts I’ve linked to below – but here’s a quick summary:

To qualify as lean, cuts have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3 1/2 ounce cooked serving.

Research shows that eating lean beef can help lower cholesterol levels as part of a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle.  Besides the deliciousness, lean beef is filled with protein, iron and B-vitamins to help keep you satisfied, build muscles and fuel an active lifestyle [SCIENCE!].

Lean beef gives you almost half of the Daily Value [per the USDA] of protein in one 150 calorie, 3 ounce serving.  And lean beef variety and cut availability has grown leaps and bounds over the past several decades.

Learn more about lean beef:


I wanted to give you a bit of info on the different kinds of lean beef cuts you can find at your local market.  Today I’ll cover a list of roasts and later this week I’ll be back with a list of steak cuts, too!

Take a look at the list below… what roasts from this list haven’t you tried before?  Are any popping out at you to give a try this month? I hope you’ll join me in this challenge!


Cut I Purchased:
Sirloin Tip Roast // aka ball tip roast, full-trimmed tip roast, round tip roast, crescent roast, knuckle
// An economical choice with a good nutritional profile.  I will admit that the price-point for the roast was what made me choose this cut when I was at the butcher counter.
// Best cooked to medium rare using the oven and is often served carved into thin slices.
// Delicious Looking Sirloin Tip Roast Recipes to Try:

Other Lean Roasts and Prepared Cuts:
Bottom Round Roast // aka bottom round oven roast, bottom round rump roast, bottom round pto roast
// Another cost-friendly option, look for sales in your meat counter.
// Best flavor comes out when braised or pot roasted.
// Delicious Looking Bottom Round Roast Recipes to Try

  • Beef and Mushroom Pot Roast from Natasha’s Kitchen.  This slow cooker recipe is a great “set it and forget it” one pot meal that can be thrown together in the morning and ready for dinner time.
  • Beer Braised Bottom Round Roast from King’s.  Just the title of this recipe makes my mouth water!


pictured above: brisket brie tacos with mango barbecue sauce from Prevention RD

Brisket // brisket will often be listed with a variety of descriptors; front, point, whole, center, flat, nose, etc.
// Ultra flavorful, lean cut.
// Best when pot roasted or braised, when it becomes incredibly tender.
// Delicious Looking Brisket Recipes to Try:

Chuck Roast // aka shoulder pot roast, chuck 7-bone roast, blade pot roast, chuck arm roast
// Strong, beefy flavor.
// Best when braised or pot roasted, becoming moist and tender.
// Delicious Looking Chuck Roast Recipes to Try

Eye of Round Roast // aka round eye pot roast
// Extremely economical and very lean.
// Best when cooked in the oven, only to medium rare and carved into thin slices.
// Delicious Looking Eye of Round Roast Recipes to Try:

  • Perfect Eye of Round Roast from The Domestic Man. Russ admits that this cut can be intimidating, but his broken down, simple steps and basic flavors show this beef who is boss!
  • Balsamic Eye of Round Roast from Edible Harmony. The combination of balsamic and slow caramelized onions gives this recipe a sweetness duo I’d love to bring into my kitchen.


pictured above: beef shank osso buco with lemon-parsley gremolata from serious eats

Shank Cross Cut // aka center beef shanks, fore shank, soup shank,
// Can be very tender and flavorful when handled properly.
// Best when cooked in liquid, either stewing or braising.
// Delicious Looking Shank Cross Cut Recipes to Try

Shoulder Pot Roast // aka boneless English roast, clod roast, shoulder roast, cross rib roast, book roast
// Strong beef flavor.
// Best when pot roasted or braised.
// Delicious Looking Shoulder Pot Roast Recipes to Try

  • Garlic Bacon Pot Roast from Tastes of Lizzy T’s. Another one to let the slow cooker do the work for you, with bold, family-favorite flavors.
  • Chipotle Barbacoa Tacos from Against All Grain. Homemade tortillas make this dish a bit fancier, and the smoky chipotle flavor is a favorite around these parts!

Tenderloin Roast
// This boneless roast is the most tender of all the lean cuts. You can find this as a whole roast or a smaller center-cut roasts in the meat case.
// Best when roasted in the over.
// Delicious Looking Tenderloin Roast Recipes to Try

Grilled Vegetable and Tri-Tip Salad

pictured above: grilled vegetable and tri-tip salad from Peanut Butter & Peppers



Tri-Tip Roast // aka bottom sirloin roast, triangle roast
// This boneless, tender roast is most readily available on the West coast, but is making it’s way across the country.  If you haven’t found it near you yet, ask your butcher!
// Best when grilled, broiled, or oven roasted.
// Delicious Looking Tri-Tip Roast Recipes to Try:

Stew Meat (or Roast, cubed)
// Not all stew meat is guaranteed lean, so be sure to look for package nutrition or ask the meat retailer.  Another option is to choose a roast listed above to cut into stew meat pieces.
// Best when cooked in liquid!
// Delicious Looking Stew Meat Recipes to Try

  • Simple and Tasty Beef Stew from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life. Toss it all together, throw it in the oven, keep busy for a couple hours, and before you know, you’ve got dinner ready and on the table!
  • Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Beef from Real Mom Kitchen. Less than 10 ingredients and letting the slow cooker do the work!

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Beef Expert Bureau.  This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff.

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8 thoughts on “An April Kitchen Challenge: Use a New to You Lean Beef Cut

  1. Pingback: Kitchen Challenge: Use a New to You Lean Beef Cut – Part 2 Steaks » Then Heather Said

  2. Biz

    I love sirloin tip roast – I am lucky that my store sells that on sale about every three weeks for $3.99 a pound, here is my class Chicago style roast beef – great as a roast one night and then sliced for sammies for the rest of the week:

    I will disagree about pot roast – I quick sear mine after marinating for 4-6 hours or overnight. It is super tender and cuts like butter!
    Biz recently posted..It’s The Weekend For Me!

  3. Pingback: Kitchen Challenge Accepted: Oven Slow-Roasted Rosemary Thyme Rubbed Sirloin Tip Roast with Freggie Medley » Then Heather Said

  4. Pingback: Podcast Episode 007: Protein Challenge – Interview #2 with Protein Partner Heather Shugarman – Snacking & Travel | Sound Bites RD

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