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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. "Cut" often refers narrowly to skeletal muscle (sometimes attached to bones), but can also include other edible flesh, such as offal (organ meat) or bones without significant muscles attached.

American cutsEdit

Flank steakShankRibPlateBrisketShankChuckRoundSirloinTop sirloinTenderloinShort loin 
American cuts of beef

The following is a list of the American primal cuts, 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, with the exception of the "round" which is called the "hip".[1]

Forequarter cutsEdit

  • The chuck is the source of bone-in chuck steaks and roasts (arm or blade), and boneless clod steaks and roasts, most commonly. The trimmings and some whole boneless chucks are ground for ground beef.
  • The rib contains part of the short ribs, the prime rib and rib eye steaks.
  • Brisket, primarily used for barbecue, corned beef or pastrami.
  • The foreshank or shank is used primarily for stews and soups; it is not usually served any other way because it is the toughest of the cuts.
  • The plate is the other source of short ribs, used for pot roasting, and the outside skirt steak, which is used for fajitas. The navel is the ventral part of the plate, and is commonly used to make pastrami. The remainder is usually ground, as it is typically a tough and fatty meat.

Hindquarter cutsEdit

  • The loin has two subprimals
  • The round contains lean, moderately tough, lower fat (less marbling) cuts, which require moist or rare cooking. Some representative cuts are round steak, eye of round, top round, and bottom round steaks and roasts.
  • The flank is used mostly for grinding, except for the long and flat flank steak, best known for use in London broil, and the inside skirt steak, also used for fajitas. Flank steaks were once one of the most affordable steaks, because they are substantially tougher than the more desirable loin and rib steaks. Many modern recipes for flank steak use marinades or moist cooking methods, such as braising, to improve the tenderness and flavor. This, combined with a new interest in these cuts' natural leanness, has increased the price of the flank steak.[citation needed]

Argentine cutsEdit

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

the large section of the rib cage including short ribs and spare ribs
Asado de tira 
often translated as short ribs, but also sold as long, thin strips of ribs. Chuck ribs, flanken style (cross-cut).
Bife de costilla 
T-bone or porterhouse steaks
Bife de chorizo 
strip steak, called NY strip in US
Ojo de bife 
ribeye steak
Bola de lomo 
eye of the round
upper portion of small intestines
Colita de cuadril 
tri-tip, or the tail of the rump roast
skirt steak
a long thin cut that lies just under the skin and runs from the lower part of the ribs to belly–or flank area
sweetbreads (thymus gland)
Tapa de asado 
rib cap
Tapa de nalga 
top of round roast
flank, though it may contain the muscles of other near cuts

Brazilian cutsEdit

Brazilian beef cuts

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

neck (2)
top/bottom sirloin (9)
tenderloin (7)
Coxão duro 
round (upper)
Coxão mole 
round (lower)
Filé Mignon 
part of the tenderloin (6)
round (outer) (10)
bottom sirloin/flank (15)
confluence of flank, bottom sirloin and rear shank (16)
rump cover or rump cap
hump (zebu cattle only)
confluence of short loin, flank and bottom sirloin
chuck/brisket (3)

British cutsEdit

Colombian cutsEdit

  • Posta (Top Round)
  • Muchacho (Heel)
  • Huevo de Aldana (Bottom Round)
  • Entretabla
  • Tabla (Bottom Round)
  • Solomo or lomo
  • Solomito extranjero
  • Solomito Redondo (Sirloin)
  • Solomito Largo (Tri-Tip)
  • Punta de Ancha (Sirloin Tip Center)

Dutch cutsEdit

TongueNeckBrisketBrisketChuckShankleRibFlankSirloinTenderloinTop sirloinRoundShankle 
Dutch cuts of beef
  • Neck
  • Rib
  • Sirloin
  • Tenderloin – Considered to be the premium cut, highly prized. It is called 'ossenhaas' in Dutch. It tends to be cut slightly smaller than its American counterpart.
  • Top sirloin
  • Round – Mainly used for kogelbiefstuk ('hip joint steak') considered to be the basic form of steak in Dutch and Belgian cuisine.
  • Flank
  • Chuck – Best cuts are used for stoofvlees, lesser bits are used in hachee.
  • Brisket
  • Shankle
  • Beef tongue is considered the cheapest piece of beef; it is used in certain styles of sausages such as the frikandel, though not as the main ingredient.
  • Tail, though not on the image shown, is used extensively in stews.

French cutsEdit

Brighter colors show more expensive cuts
  1. Basses côtes
  2. Côtes, entrecôtes
  3. Faux-filet
  4. Filet
  5. Rumsteck
  6. Rond de gîte
  7. Tende de tranche; poire, merlan
  8. Gîte à la noix
  9. Araignée
  10. Plat de tranche, rond de tranche, mouvant
  11. Bavette d'aloyau
  12. Hampe
  13. Onglet
  14. Aiguillette baronne
  15. Bavette de flanchet
  16. Plat de côtes
  17. Macreuse à bifteck
  18. Paleron
  19. Jumeau à bifteck
  20. Jumeau à pot-au-feu
  21. Macreuse à pot-au-feu
  22. Queue
  23. Gîte
  24. Flanchet
  25. Tendron, milieu de poitrine
  26. Gros bout de poitrine
  27. Collier
  28. Plat de joue
  29. Langue

German cutsEdit

German cuts of beef
  1. Rinderhals, Kamm or Nacken (Chuck steak)
  2. Querrippe (Short ribs)
  3. Rinderbrust (Brisket)
  4. Hochrippe or Fehlrippe (Standing rib roast)
  5. Vorderrippe or hohes Roastbeef
  6. Rostbraten or flaches Roastbeef
    5. & 6. together are the Roastbeef or Zwischenrippenstück
  7. Filet (Fillet)
  8. Spannrippe or Knochendünnung
  9. Dünnung or Bauchlappen (flank steak)
  10. Falsches Filet, Schulter, Bug or Schaufel
  11. Oberschale, Unterschale and Nuss
  12. Flanke, Schliem or Rindfleisch
  13. Hüfte mit Hüftsteak and Schwanzstück or Tafelspitz (Top sirloin))
  14. Hesse or Wade (Beef shank)
  15. Fricandeau [polish. ligawa]
  16. Schwanz or Ochsenschwanz (Oxtail)

Croatian cutsEdit

Croatian cuts of beef
  1. Vratina
  2. Hrskavi zapećak
  3. Rebra
  4. Pržolica (ramstek)
  5. Hrbat (rozbif)
  6. Hrbat (rozbif)
  7. Pisana pečenka (biftek)
  8. Rebra, mekana (srednja) rebra, potrbušina
  9. Masna potrbušina, slabina
  10. Rame (ribica), plećka (lopatica)
  11. But
  12. Vrh kuka
  13. Zdjelica
  14. Stražnja goljenica

Italian cutsEdit

Italian cuts of beef
Leg subcuts[4]
Scanello, noce or fesa (bottom sirloin or thick flank)
Sottofesa or fetta di mezzo or codino or controfesa or contronoce
Fianchetto (flank)
Rosa, fesa interna, punta d'anca (eye of the silverside)
Magatello or girello
Spinacino or tasca
Sirloin (lombata) subcuts[4]
Filetto (beef tenderloin)
Controfiletto or roast beef (sirloin)
Veal Carré (spare ribs)
Loin (schiena)[4]
Costata (T-bone steak)
Coste della croce (short ribs)
Collo (Chuck steak)
Reale or tenerone
Head subcuts[4]
Lingua (Beef tongue)
Testina (flesh from the head of a calf)
Shoulder subcuts[4]
Fesone di spalla
Fusello or girello di spalla
Cappello del prete or spalla
Hocks subcuts[4]
anterior and posterior Ossibuchi
Pesce, piccione, campanello, muscolo, gamba
Petto (chest) subcuts[4]
Punta di petto (Brisket)
Pancia di vitello, pancetta or fianchetto
Lower ribs subcuts[4]
Biancostato di reale or spuntatura
Taglio reale, polpa reale (Pony 6 Ribs, Square Cut, Chuck, Middle Rib, Steak Meat)
Pancia (belly) subcuts[4]
Biancostato di pancia
Scalfo (armhole)

Korean cutsEdit

Polish cutsEdit

Polish cuts of beef
  1. karkówka
  2. żeberka i szponder
  3. mostek
  4. rozbratel
  5. antrykot
  6. rozbratel (rostbef)
  7. polędwica
  8. żeberka i łata
  9. łata
  10. łopatka
  11. udziec
  12. pachwina
  13. rumsztyk
  14. pręga
  15. ligawa
  16. ogon

Portuguese cutsEdit

Portuguese cuts of beef
  1. Cachaço
  2. Coberta do acém, acém comprido
  3. Pá, peito alto
  4. Maçã do peito
  5. Peito
  6. Chambão
  7. Mão
  8. Lombo
  9. Rosbife, acém redondo, vazia, entrecôte
  10. Prego do peito
  11. Aba grossa
  12. Alcatra
  13. Chã de fora
  14. Rabadilha
  15. Pojadouro

Russian cutsEdit

Russian beef cuts
Illustration from Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890–1907). Scheme of sorting meat carcasses.
  1. Шея/Sheya (neck)
  2. Рёбра/rjobra (ribs)
  3. Челышко/Chelyshko, грудинка/grudinka (brisket)
  4. Толстый край/Tolstyy kray (thick edge), рибай/ribay (rib eye), корейка на кости/koreyka na kosti (loin on the bone)
  5. Тонкий край/Tonkiy kray (thin edge), короткое филе/korotkoye file (short filet)
  6. Оковалок/Okovalok (sirloin)
  7. Вырезка/Vyrezka (tenderloin)
  8. Покромка/Pokromka (shortloin)
  9. Брюшина/Bryushina (peritoneum), фланк/flank
  10. Лопатка/Lopatka (shoulder)
  11. Oguzok (rump), bedro (hip)
  12. Пашина/Pashina (flank)
  13. Кострец/Kostrets (leg)
  14. Голяшка/Golyashka (shank)

Turkish cutsEdit

Turkish cuts of beef
neck (1)
rib steak (2)
Steak (3)
rump (4)
fillet Steak (5)
the upper left side of nuar (6)
round of beef (7)
the lower left side of nuar (8)
mutton leg (9, 14)
the section between kontrnuar and pençata (10)
flank (11)
brisket (12)
Kürek, kol 
shoulder (13)

UNECE standard for bovine meat carcasses and cutsEdit

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[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Beef Cuts by Chart". Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  2. ^ Instituto de Promoción de la Carne Vacuna Argentina. "Principales Cortes Vacunos". Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Cuts of Beef Served in Brazilian Steakhouses « « RodizioDirectory.Com RodizioDirectory.Com
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Scheda sui tagli di carne bovina Archived 2011-04-23 at the Wayback Machine di
  5. ^ UNECE STANDARD - Bovine meat carcases and cuts

External linksEdit