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Ribeye steaks are mostly composed of the longissimus dorsi muscle but also contain the complexus and spinalis muscles. The longissimus dorsi is also referred to as the "eye of the ribeye". The spinalis is also referred to as the "ribeye cap" and the complexus is a small muscle at the front of the ribeye which may be trimmed off by the butcher.
It is both flavoursome and tender, coming from the lightly worked upper rib cage area which spans from the sixth to twelfth ribs of the cattle. Its marbling of fat makes it very good for fast and hot cooking.
- In Australia and New Zealand, "ribeye" refers to a bone-in rib steak, while the boneless ribeye is known as "Scotch fillet" or "whiskey fillet".
- In French cuisine, the entrecôte corresponds to the rib eye steak, while rib steak is called côte de bœuf (literally: "beef rib").
- In Argentine cuisine, the rib eye is known as ojo de bife, while the rib steak is known as ancho de bife.
- In Spanish cuisine, the rib eye is known by its French name, entrecot.