Beef is a staple in many households, and choosing the right cut can make all the difference in your meal.
Two popular cuts are silverside and topside, both taken from the hindquarter of the animal. Silverside is leaner and traditionally used for boiling or making corned beef, while topside is larger and more tender, making it a great choice for roasting.
But which one is the best cut of beef?
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between silverside and topside and help you decide which one is right for your next meal.
So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
Which Is The Best Cut Of Beef Silverside Or Topside?
When it comes to choosing the best cut of beef, it really depends on your personal preference and how you plan to cook it.
Silverside is a leaner cut of beef, which makes it a great choice for those who are watching their fat intake. It’s traditionally used for boiling or making corned beef, but can also be roasted if it’s well-basted and cooked for a long time. Silverside has a strong beef flavor, but can be a little drier and grainer in texture compared to other cuts.
On the other hand, topside is a larger and more tender cut of beef. It’s perfect for roasting and has a lovely texture with a beefy flavor. Topsides are normally sold with an extra layer of fat tied to it, which helps to self-baste the meat while cooking. This lean cut of beef can also be cut into steaks for grilling, frying, or stir-frys.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive roasting joint, silverside is a good choice. However, if you want a more versatile cut that can be used for roasting, grilling, or frying, then topside is the way to go.
What Is Silverside?
Silverside is a cut of beef that comes from the outside of the rear leg, sitting between the knuckle and the topside. It’s made up of five distinct muscles and is named after the silver wall of connective tissue that sits on the side of the cut, which is removed before cooking. Silverside is a tougher meat from the flank, which is why it’s often boiled or used to make corned beef. However, it can still make a good roast if it’s well-basted and cooked for a long time. Silverside is leaner than topside, making it a more affordable option for those who are watching their fat intake. It can be used as an inexpensive roasting joint, but yields much better results as a slowly cooked pot roast. Additionally, steaks cut from silverside make excellent braising steaks. Overall, silverside is a good choice for those who want a leaner cut of beef that can be used in various cooking methods.
What Is Topside?
Topside is a cut of beef that comes from the hindquarter of the animal, between the rump and leg. It’s a large and lean cut that’s perfect for roasting. The topside muscle is both tender and lean, making it an excellent choice for those who want a healthy and flavorful meal.
Topsides are normally sold with an extra layer of fat tied to it, which helps to self-baste the meat while cooking. This ensures that the meat stays juicy and flavorful throughout the cooking process. Topsides can also be cut into steaks for grilling, frying, or stir-frys.
This versatile cut of beef can also be used for slow-cooking in hearty casseroles or braises. When diced, it performs exceptionally well in these dishes, adding a rich and beefy flavor.
The Differences Between Silverside And Topside
Silverside and topside are both cuts of beef that come from the hindquarter of the animal, between the rump and leg. Silverside is taken from the outside of the rear leg, while topside comes from the inside of the hind leg, between the thick flank and the silverside.
One of the main differences between these two cuts is their texture. Silverside has a wide-grained texture and can be a little drier and grainer compared to topside. This is because silverside is a leaner cut with very little marbling of fat. On the other hand, topside is a larger and more tender cut with a smoother texture.
Another difference between these two cuts is their best cooking methods. Silverside is traditionally used for boiling or making corned beef, but can also be roasted if it’s well-basted and cooked for a long time. It’s a good choice for those who are watching their fat intake. In contrast, topside is perfect for roasting and can also be cut into steaks for grilling, frying, or stir-frys.
In terms of flavor, both cuts have a strong beefy taste. However, some people may prefer the taste of silverside over topside due to its stronger flavor.
Cooking Methods For Silverside And Topside
When it comes to cooking silverside and topside, there are a few things to keep in mind. Silverside tends to be tough and can dry out easily, so it’s important to ensure there is always moisture around the meat. Slow cooking silverside for a long time can help to make it tender, and using a marinade can add moisture that will slowly evaporate and create steam while also tenderizing the meat.
When roasting silverside, it’s important to cover the roast completely with foil or a lid, leaving only a few areas open so excess steam can escape. This will help to keep moisture near the meat so it doesn’t dry out. Slow boiling or braising silverside can also be beneficial, especially if ingredients such as beer, wine, vinegar or onions are used to tenderize the meat as it cooks.
As for topside, it’s important to bring it to room temperature before cooking and season with good quality sea salt just prior to cooking. Roasting topside in a large, heavy-based roasting tray with deep sides and handles for easy movement is recommended. A trivet made by roughly chopping equal amounts of onion, carrot, and celery (or celeriac) plus a bay leaf, sprig of thyme and a few black peppercorns can be placed at the base of the tray to add flavor.
When roasting topside, it’s recommended to cook for 20 minutes at 200°C (fan assisted) or 215°C (ovens without a fan), then reduce the temperature to 170°C (fan assisted) or 180°C (ovens without a fan) and continue roasting for 20 minutes per 500g until reaching a core temperature of minimum 56°C for a medium rare roast.
Which Cut Is Best For Different Dishes?
While both silverside and topside are great cuts of beef, they are best suited for different dishes.
Silverside is perfect for slow-cooked pot roasts, as the lean meat yields better results when cooked slowly. It can also be used as an inexpensive roasting joint, but it’s important to ensure that it’s well-basted and cooked for a long time to prevent it from becoming dry. Thin slices of silverside also make ideal minute steaks for flash frying.
Topsides, on the other hand, are best used for roasting. As a working muscle, the meat is fairly lean and should be roasted gently to ensure that it remains pink at the center. It’s a very versatile cut of beef that can also be used for pot roasts, braising, or boiling. Steaks cut from topsides make excellent braising steaks and can also be cut into thin slices for minute steaks.
Other cuts of beef worth considering include top rump (also known as thick flank steak), fore rib (which is sold either boned and rolled, French trimmed, or on the bone), brisket (a cheaper cut that’s perfect for slow or pot roasting), whole sirloin or striploin, bolar blade roast, eye fillet butt, and rump cap.
Price Comparison: Silverside Vs Topside
When it comes to price, silverside and topside are both relatively affordable cuts of beef. A 1kg piece of either cut will cost around £16 and can feed up to four people.
However, when comparing the two cuts, topside is generally more expensive than silverside. This is because topside is a larger and more tender cut of beef, making it more versatile in terms of cooking methods.
Silverside, on the other hand, is leaner and best suited for slow-cooking methods such as pot roasting. While it can be roasted, it requires more attention to prevent it from becoming too dry.