Foodie Trips

What you need to know about cuts of beef

If you are a vegan, please skip this blog. Nothing to see here, move along.

So if you entered, then you are a carnivore like me. I love my beef.

Let’s start with the greatest of all beef eaters – the US of A.

Cuts of beef – USA

The cattle industry of USA is a multi-billion dollars industry. USDA grades their beef according to several grades, the top 3 grades are the cuts you will get in supermarkets and butchery

  • Prime grade beef is made from young well-fed cattle. It has a high degree of marbling and is both tender and flavorful when cooked. Prime grade makes up a very small (about 2%) of all beef and is generally sold to fine restaurants or in specialty markets.
  • Choice grade is still a very good quality beef but as a little less marbling and will turn out less tender if overcooked. If using a loin or rib cut this will be a great piece of beef. Choice is generally available in many stores but you might have to ask for it or get it from the counter.
  • Select grade beef has a lot less marbling and may be tough and dry if not prepared right. With a select cut, you should really consider a marinade to tenderize and make the meat more flavorful. Select is commonly available in most cuts.

You always hear about US Angus beef, let’s not get confused between the breed of the cattle and the grade of the beef. Angus does not equal prime beef. Angus is just the Scottish breed of cattle that was introduced to the US in 1880s.

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Cuts of beef (US) © AHA

If you are wondering what happened to the neck, oxtail, tongue, tendons, etc, well, the Americans don’t eat them. Neither do they eat the liver, intestines, stomach and other goodness inside the cow. It is estimated about 40% of the cow are thrown away as a result. And there’s a good reason – because of the way they raised the cattle in US, these organs and other parts are often too fatty or laden with antibiotics or steroids to be fit for human consumption. Another reason not to get excited by cheap beef Shabu-Shabu or so called Angus beef sausages. These are usually made with the rejected parts.

Cuts of beef – UK

beef-cuts-16-9

OK, the old world eats more of the cow.

Cuts of beef – France

French-Cow
Cuts of beef (FR)

Now, it gets more interesting. The tongue (la langue) and the oxtail (la queue) are cuts by themselves.

Cuts of beef – Spain

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Cuts of beef (ES)

Cuts of beef – Japan

Japanese cuts of the beef mirror closely to the French, but they are more particular about cutting the laterally to maximise the marbling across the meat, especially for the Kuroge beef. Nothing is gone to waste, just like the French, because of the high quality of life the cattle lived. Every bit of the cow is delicious.

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Cuts of beef (JP)
  • 牛五花肉【日文:カルビ(Calvi),ショートリブ(Short ribs)】
    特点:脂肪含量适中,最常见的部位。最人气也是最入门级食材,最肥嫩的五花肉通常价格不菲。
  • 牛肩排【日文:カタ(Kata)】
    特点:脂肪含量少,风味浓郁,算入门级食材吧
  • 牛里脊,菲力牛排【日文:ヒレ(Hire),ヘレ(Here),フィレ(Filet)】
    特点:牛肉部位中运动最少的肌肉部分,因此肉质柔嫩脂肪含量少,非常受欢迎。
  • 牛尾里脊【日文:リブロース(Rib roast)】
    特点:牛尾里脊是牛里脊中最厚最有风味部分,也是牛里脊肉里脂肪分别最均匀的部位。与普通的霜降肥牛不同,牛尾里脊肥而不腻,浓缩了牛肉中的美味精华。
  • 牛嫩腰排,沙朗牛排【日文:サーロイン(Sirloin)】
    特点:牛腰排是牛肉中公认的极品,价格最高也最美味好吃的部位。牛腰排脂肪含量比牛尾里脊含量更高,更肥更嫩。
  • 牛腿内侧牛排【日文:ウチモモ(UchiMomo)】
    特点:脂肪含量少,健康美味。如果是熟成牛肉的话口感更柔嫩,风味更加浓郁。
  • 牛肩里脊【日文:カタロース(KataRoast)】
    特点:牛肩里脊是各种牛肉部位中公认的人气逸品,肥瘦适中既嫩又风味浓郁,集成了牛肉美味的精华。
  • 裙子牛排【日文:ハラミ(Harami),サガリ(Sagari)】
    特点:牛横膈膜周边靠近牛背部中间的牛肉,准确的说应该算作牛内脏的一部分。裙子牛排脂质适中口感好,人气不亚于牛五花肉。ハラミ和サガリ都是裙子肉,ハラミ靠近背部油脂稍多,サガリ靠近肋骨相对清淡一些。
  • 牛后臀尖肉【日文:イチボ(Yichibo)】
    特点:牛后臀尖肉是牛肉中比较稀少的部位,融合了霜降肥牛的鲜和里脊肉的嫩,因此是牛肉达人们必点的逸品。(量少且价格不菲,能否吃到要看运气)
  • 牛后臀肉排【日文:ランプ(Ranpu)】
    特点: 牛肉中的精品,牛后腿臀部部分的里脊肉,牛肉中油脂少且特别柔嫩的部分。生拌牛肉通常使用的就是牛后腿肉。
  • 三筋【日文:ミスジ(Misuji)、ハゴイタ(Hagoita)】
    特点:牛肩部带筋的赤肉部分。
  • 竹叶牛腩【日文:笹の葉(Sesenoha)】
    特点:牛腹部外侧的牛腩五花肉,因为形似竹叶而得名。
  • 贝身牛腩【日文:カイノミ(Kashinomi)、ボトムフラップ(BotomuFuratto)】
    特点:牛腩中最靠近里脊的部分,结合牛腩与里脊的优点,脂质均匀且细嫩。
  • 中落牛五花肉【日文:中落ちカルビ(NakaochiKarubi)】
    特点:牛肋骨间的五花肉。
  • 牛腿芯肉【日文:マルシン(Marushin)】
    特点:牛腿中靠近中心肉质鲜嫩的部位。
  • 牛肩三角肉【日文:クリ(Kuri)、しゃくし(Shyakushi)、ウデ三角(UdeSankaku)】
    特点:牛肩到牛前腿上部,与裙子肉相接的部分。脂肪含量少,蛋白质高,风味独特。
  • 牛肩里脊肉【日文:座布団(ザブトン,Zabuton)、ハネシタ(Haneshita)、チャクフラップ(ChyakuFurappu)】
    特点:牛肩里脊的一部分,因为形似日本的座布团而得名。脂质丰富的霜降部位且口感好。
  • 牛肩五花肉【日文:ブリスケ(Burisuke)】
    特点:牛肩五花肉中靠近前腿和胸部的赤肉。

Cuts of beef – China

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Cuts of beef (CN)

Cuts of beef – Teochew

No, there’s no special cuts here. But recently Teochew beef hotpot has gone viral. So I thought it would be appropriate to introduce the cuts used for Teochew beef hotpot.

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Cuts of beef – Teochew

As you can see, there’s little complication here, but the main difference between Teochew cuts and the rest is that the cuts are made on warm meat, i.e. the cow was not frozen and beef is sliced after slaughtering. Surprisingly, it resulted in beef that is really moist and tender, while it is surprising less bloody.

Table of Comparison

As the cutting methods are all different in different countries due to the cooking techniques, it is almost impossible to put a side-by-side comparison between the top beef eating countries. Feel free to comment and point out any mistakes that I have made (particularly with the Japanese parts). And UN has a standard for beef cuts linked here.

Parts US UK FR ES JP CN
Head Langue ギュータン
(Gyutan)
牛舌
Plat de joue Carrillada 牛下巴
Chuck Chuck Neck Collier Pescuezo ミスジ
(Misuji)

ハゴイタ
(Hagoita)

辣椒條
Clod Jumeau a bifteck Pez カタロース(KataRoast) 肩肉
Paleron Espaldilla クリ
(Kuri)

しゃくし
(Shyakushi)

ウデ三角
(UdeSankaku)

Macreuse a bifteck
Jumeau a pot-au-feu Llana 金錢腱
Macreuse a pot-au-feu
Chuck Basses cotes Morcillo カタ
(Kata)
上腦
Blade Aguja
Thick Rib Cotes Entrecotes Lomo Alto クリ
(Kuri)

しゃくし
(Shyakushi)

ウデ三角
(Ude Sankaku)

Rib Rib Fore Rib リブロース
(Rib roast)
眼肉
Thin Rib カルビ
(Calvi)

ショートリブ
(Short ribs)

牛仔骨
Sirloin Faux-Filet Solomillo サーロイン(Sirloin) 西冷
Filet Lomo Bajo 牛柳
Loin Short Loin Onglet Badilla 大黃瓜條
Hampe
Bavette de flachet
Rump Sirloin Rump Rumsteck Cadera ランプ(Ranpu) 臀肉
Tenderloin Tapilla
Top Sirloin Tende de tranche Poire, Merlan Tapa イチボ(Yichibo) 牛霖
Bottom Sirloin Bavette d’aloyau Rabillo de badera
Round Round Topside Ronde de Gite Redondo ウチモモ(UchiMomo) 米龍
Silverside
Thick Flank Gite a la noix Culata de contra 座布団
(
Zabuton)

ハネシタ(Haneshita)

チャクフラップ
(Chyaku Furappu)

Araignee
Plat de tranche
Round de tranche
Flank Flank Flank Bavette de Flanchet Falda 中落ちカルビ
(Nakaochi Karubi)
牛腹
Flanchet ハラミ
(Harami)

サガリ
(Sagari)

Plat de cotes Costillar 笹の葉
(Sesenoha)
Plate Plate Tendron Milieu de poitrine Aleta カイノミ
(Kashinomi)

ボトムフラップ
(Botomu Furatto)

牛腩
Brisket Brisket Brisket Gros bout de poitrine Pecho ブリスケ(Burisuke) 牛胸
Brazueio
Fore Shank Shank Shin Gite Morcillo Anterior マルシン(Marushin) 前腱
Hind Shank Hind Shank Leg Gite Morcillo Posterior 後腱
Tail Oxtail Queue Rabo 牛尾

 

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