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Best beef cuts for your budget

Quick Beef Bulgogi <br> Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden Author: Credits: Quick Beef Bulgogi <br> Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden

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Best beef cuts for your budget

As any frugal shopper knows, the grocery store can be one of the hardest places to stay on budget. And for carnivores, meat can represent a big chunk of your bill, especially when prices start to rise.

If you’ve noticed a price surge for your Friday night steak, you’re not alone.
Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index shows that the average price of sirloin steak has increased 37 percent since 2010.

Higher prices may be good for farmers, but for consumers, not so much. But don’t worry, there’s not need to give up your delicious, grilled steak. There are flavourful, juicy cuts of beef that are just as tender as premium cuts for only 60 percent of the price, says Kevin Van Groningen, a third generation meat producer.

Van Groningen was born into the meat business. He, along with his three brothers run and operate VG Meats in Stoney Creek, Ont. The youngest brother, he focuses on sales and the science behind meat. This mean he knows the ins and outs of the beef industry and how to find the most tender cuts for less. “You can have an exceptional beef eating experience and still not pay much money,” he says.

Which cuts are easiest on your wallet? Van Groningen shares some of his top picks for the most undervalued and tender cuts you can find.

The cut: Flat iron
The flat iron is found in the shoulder of the cow. Cut from the same area as ground beef, the flat iron has consistent texture throughout and is shockingly tender.
How to cook it
Add a little butter and sear it on the grill. You can dress it up with some delicious homemade sauces. Van Groningen suggests chimichurri, butter or blue cheese butter.

The cut: Petite tender
This smaller cut is also known as the shoulder tender, is found just below the flat iron. Long and shaped like a tenderloin, the petite is rarely larger than 4 lbs. It is also one of the least popular cuts, which makes it easier to get your hands on.
How to cook it
It can be seared on the grill, then sliced into juicy medallions, making for an impressive presentation on the plate.

The cut: Skirt steak

One of the most tender and undervalued parts of the carcass, the skirt steak is cut from the bottom of the animal. The cut is marbled with fat, making it incredibly flavourful. It makes delicious morsels for tacos and is tasty and moist when marinated, grilled and sliced against the grain.
How to cook it:
Van Groningen loves it sliced thin and grilled Korean style. Try adding a sweet sauce that caramelizes as it hits the heat, then serve it in lettuce cups.

Looking for more options? Van Groningen also suggests the tri-tip, Denver and the sirloin cap as other budget-friendly cuts to consider.

Want to learn more about beef cuts? Check out our interactive graphic.

Roast, meat pie and more: Try one of our best beef recipes.

Join our celebration of Canadian flavours and learn more about Canadian beef.

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Best beef cuts for your budget

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