Beef Information

CHUCK The Chuck extend from the neck to the fifth rib and includes the shoulder blade. These cuts are tasty and have a lot of connective tissue which keeps the meat moist and thickens stews, but they are tougher than cuts that get less exercise.
Chuck Roll
Chuck Roll Roast
Wholesale Cut: the Chuck Roll includes the Chuck Eye Roll, Chuck Tender and Chuck Under Blade.
The Chuck Roll Roast is a thick cut across the whole Chuck Roll with part of each of the three.
Chuck Eye Roast
(Boneless Chuck Fillet,
Boneless Chuck Roll)

Chuck Eye Steak
(Boneless Chuck Slices,
Boneless Chuck Fillet Steak)
The Chuck Eye Roll is the Rib Eye extended into the Chuck, but is not as tender. The Chuck Eye Roast is a thick cut across it and the Chuck Eye Steak is a thin slice.
Chuck Tender Roast
(Mock Tender Roast,
Medallion Pot Roast,
Fish Muscle, Fillet Roast)

Chuck Tender Steak
(Mock Tender Steak,
Fish Steak, Chuck Fillet Steak)
Not really very tender so best braised. The Chuck Tender #116B (1# to 3#) is is a narrow muscle next to the Chuck Underblade. The roast is a thick slice across and steak is a thin slice across.
Under Blade Roast
(Bottom Chuck Roast,
California Roast

Under Blade Steak
(Bottom Chuck Steak,
California Steak)
Cut from directly below the shoulder blade. The steak is sliced from the roast.

Shoulder Clod Wholesale cut: the Shoulder Clod Trimmed may be cut into Shoulder, Top Blade and Shoulder Tender which may then be sub-cut.
Shoulder Clod Roast
Cross-rib Roast
Boston Cut, English Cut,
Bread and Butter Cut
The meat cut from over the spine end of ribs 3 through 5, bones not included. Roasts may be the whole Cross-rib (very large) or they may be cut thickly crosswise from the whole roast as shown.
Top Blade Roast
Flatiron Roast,
Top Chuck Roast,
Blade Roast, Lifter Roast,
Chuck Roast First Cut
Triangle Roast

Top Blade Steak
(Flatiron Steak,
Top Boneless Chuck Steak,
Petite Steak, Book Steak
Lifter Steak, Butler Steak)
Cut from above the shoulder blade. The roast is a thick slice across. The steak is produced by cutting the roast in half horizontally into upper and lower halves to remove a membrane. This is the most tender of the chuck cuts.
Shoulder This large section is generally cut into two major pieces and a few minor ones. The majors are Shoulder Center and Shoulder Top.
Shoulder Top Steak Cut crosswise from the top half of the Shoulder cut. Not particularly tender but not as tough as the Shoulder Center Steak.
Shoulder Center Steak
Beef for Kabobs
Cut across the lower half of the Shoulder cut, not particularly tender. Beef for Kababs is the steaks cut into cubes to make it more useful.
Shoulder Tender Roast
Shoulder Tender Medallions
A narrow cut sold whole as a roast or sliced into Medallions.
Arm  Arm Roast
(Arm Pot Roast, Arm Chuck Roast,
Round Bone Pot Roast
Arm Steak
(Swiss Steak)
The upper portion of the front leg, easily recognizable from its round bone, this is a movement muscle so it'll be tasty but far from tender. Roast is a thick slice across, steak is a thin slice.
Boneless Shoulder Roast
(English Roast)
Cut from right behind the arm roast.
Other 7 Bone Roast
(Center Cut Pot Roast,
Chuck Roast Center Cut)

7 Bone Steak
Popular for pot roasting, the 7 Bone Roast is a cross cut of the shoulder blade and gets its name from a bone shaped like a numeral "7". It can also be sliced into steaks, tasty but definitely not tender.
Neck Pot Roast A pot roast cut from the 7 neck vertebrae. Not common in California.
Short Ribs
- Flanken
- English Style
Short Ribs are also made from other parts of the cow, but they are particularly meaty from this area (ribs 1 through 5). Cut across the ribs (bone in) they are called "Flanken". Cut parallel to the ribs they're "English style" and may be sold boneless.


RIB   The Rib primal cut includes ribs 6 through 12 (the 13th is in the Short Loin). Cuts from this section are reasonably tender and suitable for grilling, broiling and roasting.
     Back Ribs This is the upper portion of ribs 6 through 12 after the Rib Roast is removed from over them. How much meat remains depends on the meat cutter. The bottom ends of these ribs will likely have been cut off and sold as Short Ribs.
Rib-Eye Roast
Rib-Eye Steak
The Rib-Eye is cut from over the Back Ribs and is boneless. Rib-Eye Steaks are cut from the roast. These are tender cuts and tend to be expensive.
Rib Roast
(Standing Rib Roast)
Rib Steak
This is the same meat as the Rib-Eye, except the bone is left on. The Rib Roast is so large (16 pounds and up) it is often cut into two sections called the First Cut or Small End Cut (ribs 9 or 10 through 12) and Second Cut or Large End Cut includes ribs 6 through 8 or 9.
Short Ribs Short Ribs are also cut from other primal cuts. These are the bottom ends of ribs 6 through 12 when cut from the Back Ribs.


SHORT LOIN This cut includes the 13th (last) rib and the small of the back. This is where the most tender (and most expensive) cuts are to be found. They are also very lean but don't have the flavor of the tougher cuts. From here are cut some of the best known steaks because this section is tender enough for grilling, but they should be cooked quite rare or they'll become more tough and your money will be ill spent.
Top Loin Top Loin Roast
Top Loin Steak
This is the outer muscle of the Short Loin and lies over the Tenderloin muscle (which extends into the Sirloin cut). Top Loin steaks may be boneless (Strip Loin Steak, New York Strip Steak, Kansas City Steak, Ambassador Steak, Boneless Club Steak, Hotel Style Steak, Veiny Steak) or bone in (Club Steak, Chip Club Steak, Country Club Steak, Delmonico Steak, Shell Steak, Strip Loin Steak).
Tenderloin Tenderloin Roast
(Whole Filet
Filet Mignon Roast
Tenderloin Tip  Roast)

Tenderloin Steaks
(Filet Mignon
Filet Steak
Chateaubriand Bifteck)
The Tenderloin muscle runs under (inside) the Top Loin muscle and extends into the Sirloin cut. It is tapered from a tip end (starting just behind the 13th rib) to a thick butt end within the Sirloin cut. The Tenderloin Roast often has the tip end folded under to make the roast a uniform thickness.
Crosscuts Porterhouse Steak This steak is a crosscut, meaning it includes both the Top Loin muscle and the Tenderloin muscle in a single steak. It differs from the T-bone steak in being thicker and including a higher percentage of Tenderloin.
T-bone Steak This steak is thinner than the Porterhouse and contains a smaller percentage of Tenderloin as compared to Top Loin.
Hanger Steak Hanger Steak
Hanging Tender
Bistro Steak
Butcher's Steak
Onglet (Fr)
This part of the diaphragm muscle and hangs down between the 12th and 13th ribs next to the kidneys. There's just one per beef, weighing 1 to 1.5 pounds, and due to its internal position it doesn't show up on beef charts. It is tough but flavorful - generally marinated and cooked briefly with high heat to no more than medium rare. Traditionally butchers kept this cut for themselves.


SIRLOIN Cuts from the this section are tender, but less tender than from the Short Loin because they are closer to major movement muscles in the Round. They may, however, be more flavorful.
Bottom Butt Bottom Sirloin Butt Cuts from this muscle which runs under (inside) the Top But are more economical than Short Loin cuts and are tender if properly cooked.
Top Butt Top Sirloin Butt Roast
Top Sirloin Steak Boneless
Cuts from the Top But are considered higher quality than those from the Bottom But, but are still comparatively economical compared to Short Loin cuts. Top Boneless Sirloin Steaks are cut across the grain of this cut.
Tri-Tip Tri-Tip Roast
Tri-Tip Steak
(Triangle Steak
A triangular cut from the bottom of the Sirloin adjacent to the Flank and Round. The Tri-Tip steak is cut crosswise from this section.
Crosscuts Sirloin Steak
(Pin Bone Steak
Flat Bone Steak
Wedge Bone Steak)
These steaks are all cut crosswise from the upper portion of the Sirloin and include both the Top Butt and Bottom But muscles. They are named by the shape of the piece of hip bone they include. As listed they are from the front to the back of the Sirloin. They also run most tender to least tender in that same order.


ROUND  This primal cut includes the rump and most of the rear leg. This is a major movement muscle area so meat from this cut is lean and can be tough. Wet cooking methods such as braising or simmering should be used.
Round Roast Round Steak Crosscut This steak is cut across the whole round, with the bone removed. It includes the Bottom Round, Top Round and Eye Round. A very lean but not very tender steak so it's best for recipes that call for the meat to be cut into thin pieces or that use a long moist cooking method.
Bottom Round Bottom Round Roast
Bottom Round Steak
(Swiss Steak
Cubed Steak)
This is the outer muscle of the upper rear leg. It is very lean but tough, best braised or long simmered. The Bottom Round Steak is cut crosswise from this roast. The Cubed Steak has been mechanically tenderized by many small cuts.
Standing Rump Roast
Boneless Rump Roast
These are cut from above the Bottom Round. The Boneless Rump Roast may be sold flat or it may be rolled and tied.
Eye Round Eye Round Roast
Eye Round Steak
The eye is a cylindrical muscle from within the leg. It is boneless and very lean but can be pretty tough so braising or long simmering is recommended. The Eye Round Steak is cut crosswise from this muscle.
Top Round Top Round Roast
Top Round Steak
(London Broil)
Round Steak
This is the inside leg muscle opposite the Bottom Round. Top Round Steaks are thick slices cut crosswise from the roast. Thinner slices are called simply Round Steaks. The Top Round Steak is sometimes called a London Broil, but more often the cut of that name is from the Flank.

This cut is very lean but not quite as tough as the Bottom Round. Still it's best to braise or simmer it though a particularly tender piece can be oven roasted. It can also be sliced thin and then into narrow strips which are marinaded and then stir fried.

Round Tip Round Tip Roast
Round Tip Steak
(Trimmed Tip Steak
Ball Tip Steak)

Kabob Meat
This cut is from the front side of the leg from the hip to the knee and is somewhat more tender than the other Round cuts which come from the back of the leg. Round Tip Steaks are cut crosswise from an untrimmed roast. If the roast is trimmed the steaks are called Trimmed Tip Steak or Ball Tip Steak.
Other Ground Round
Ground Beef
Off-cuts and other miscellaneous pieces can be ground up and called either Ground Round or Ground Beef (must be 70% lean to be Ground Beef).


FLANK Blurb.
Flap Meat Flap Meat
Flap Steak
Bavette (Fr)
Cut from the flank at the bottom of the sirloin section, this is a very thin flat piece of beef, used mainly in Mexican and Chinese recipes that are sliced into strips.
Flank Steak Flank Steak
Beef Flank
Bavette (Fr)
The muscle of the Flank below the Short Loin, it's relatively tough but is not cheap due to its popularity for Mexican cuisine.


SHANK More flavor and connective tissue than any other part.
Shank Center cut Beef Shanks (photo specimen) are great for beef soups and stews. They include plenty of the most flavorful meat on the beast, and plenty of connective tissue for a rich stock. The bone is cut in slices exposing the marrow, and very little of your money goes for fat.
Soup Bones Beef Bones can come from all parts of the beast, but those from the shank (photo specimen) are particularly good because they include some of the most flavorful meat and plenty of connective tissue. These are also very easy for the butcher to cut up on his bandsaw. In any case, what you're looking for is bones with some meat and tendons on them, and cut or broken to expose marrow in the center.
Calf Foot An essential ingredient in many traditional soups, including Philadelphia Pepperpot - the soup that saved the American Revolution.
Beef Tendon Very popular in Asia as a feature ingredient in soups and stews, these are recovered from the lower shank leading into the foot. They can also be used as a more convenient substitute for Calf Foot. The larger of the two photo specimens was 13-1/8 ounces and 12 inches long, the smaller 7-3/4 ounces and 10 inches.


INNARDS Herding and agricultural societies eat every edible bit of an animal, including the parts inside that many squeamish Americans turn up their noses at. Demand for these favored items makes them expensive in most countries, but they tend to quite affordable in North America.
Brains Beefs are not particularly noted for high intellectual achievement, but they do need a fairly sizable brain to run all that musculature and complex stomach system. While called for in many older recipes, brains are not as popular today. In particular the USDA frowns on brains due to the possibility of mad cow disease, and will only allow them to be harvested from very young beefs where the risk is minimal. I've tried brains, and recommend you don't bother - sweetbreads are a far superior substitute. A calf brain weighs about 6 ounces, a cow brain about 1 pound.
Beef &Veal
Every beef has two of these, so you might wonder why they aren't common in markets. Actually, there are several reasons. Many kidneys are destroyed in the USDA inspection process. Then there's the general degradation of American cooking knowledge. Most Americans are now so distant from the source of their food they've become squeamish about anything recognizable as part of an animal. In many ethnic cuisines this is a prized part of the animal.
Beef & Calf
A beef liver is very much larger than you probably want for household use, so they are always sold sliced crosswise. Liver is held particularly compatible with onions in just about all beef eating cultures, so it's not easy to find a recipe that doesn't include them. The photo specimen was 11 inches long, 5 inches wide and 1 inch thick, weighing 1 pound 5 ounces.
These come in two varieties, "throat sweetbreads" (thymus) and "heart sweetbreads" (pancreas), also sometimes called "stomach sweetbreads". The heart sweetbreads are preferred, and have a roughly round shape. The throat sweetbreads are of a roughly cylindrical shape. They are often cooked together. The photo specimen, a pancreas, was 8 inches long, 4 inches wide, 1-1/4 inches thick and weighed 0.9 pound.
Bull Testicles / Rocky Mountain
In Spain the balls of a fighting bull killed in the ring are highly prized, but here in California we have to settle for just any old bull. These are cooked in major cattle raising regions, particularly Spain, Mexico, Southeastern Europe and the U.S. Mountain West. Specimens weighed about 7 ounces each. RM Oysters are a lot smaller.
Beef & Veal
Beef and Veal Tongues are considered highly desirable cuts, particularly for appetizers. They are popular in all beef raising cultures, but less so in North America then elsewhere. Typically a veal tongue will weigh 1-1/2 pounds cook in 1-1/2 hours, and a beef tongue will be around 3-1/2 pounds and cook in 3-1/2 hours.
Tripe Tripe appears in many famous recipes and is the key ingredient in Philadelphia Pepperpot Soup, the soup reputed to have saved Washington's starving army. Tripe is the lining of a cow's stomach, and there are four kinds because cows have four stomachs (click on the picture for details).


BRISKET Blurb.   PLATE Blurb.
Major Cut Cut Name Description. Skirt Steak Skirt Steak Description.
Major Cut Cut Name Description. Major Cut Cut Name Description.

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