Cut of beef

Cuts of beef are first divided into primal cuts, pieces of meat initially separated from the carcass during butchering. These are basic sections from which steaks and other subdivisions are cut. The term "primal cut" is quite different from "prime cut", used to characterize cuts considered to be of higher quality. Since the animal's legs and neck muscles do the most work, they are the toughest; the meat becomes more tender as distance from hoof and horn increases. Different countries and cuisines have different cuts and names, and sometimes use the same name for a different cut; e.g., the cut described as "brisket" in the US is from a significantly different part of the carcass than British brisket.

The American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote in the American Anthropological Journal of the American Anthropological Association, "cultures that divide and cut beef specifically to consume are the Koreans and the Bodi tribe in East Africa. The French and English make 35 differentiations to the beef cuts, 51 cuts for the Bodi tribe, while the Koreans differentiate beef cuts into a staggering 120 different parts."

American cuts

Flank steak Shank Rib Plate Brisket Shank Chuck Round Sirloin Top sirloin Tenderloin Short loin
American cuts of beef

The following is a list of the American primal cuts (in boldface), and cuts derived from them. Beef carcasses are split along the axis of symmetry into "halves", then across into front and back "quarters" (forequarters and hindquarters). Canada uses identical cut names (and numbering) as the U.S.[1]

Forequarter cuts

Hindquarter cuts

Argentine cuts

The most important cuts of beef in the Argentine cuisine are:[2]

Brazilian cuts

Brazilian beef cuts

The most important cuts of beef in the Brazilian cuisine are:[3]

British cuts

Flank steak Sirloin Thin rib Fore rib Leg Thick flank Rump Brisket Shin Neck & Clod Blade steak Chuck steak Thick rib Silverside Topside Rump
British cuts of beef

Dutch cuts

Tongue Neck Brisket Brisket Chuck Shankle Rib Flank Sirloin Tenderloin Top sirloin Round Shankle
Dutch cuts of beef

French cuts

Brighter colors show more expensive cuts

Portuguese cuts

Portuguese cuts of beef

Turkish cuts

UNECE standard for bovine meat carcases and cuts

The UNECE standard offer for the first time internationally agreed specifications written in a consistent, detailed and accurate manner using anatomical names to identify cutting lines[4]

See also


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