Advertisement
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm)
  Sign Up | Contact Us | Email To A Friend | Blog  
Twitter RSS feed [?]













Breakfast Sirloin SteakKnow your beef cuts: A breakfast sirloin is a smaller sirloin steak, usually five ounces. Photo courtesy Niman Ranch.
MENU

   

 

 

 

Beef

Category Main Page
Articles & Reviews


Meat & Poultry

Category Main Page
Articles & Reviews

 

Main Nibbles

Main Page
Articles & Reviews Of Foods From A To Z

 

Product Reviews

Main Page
Foods, Beverages, Books,
News & More

 

 

Home Page

Visit Other Sections:
Newsletter Archives, Find Products, Food Fun, Marketplace,
Home Zone

 

 

   

   

 

June 2005
Last Updated February 2013

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beef

Beef Glossary & Beef Cuts Diagram


Where’s The Beef? Find Your Beef Cuts Here!

Page 1: Terms With A & B, Including Black Angus Beef

 

If you’re looking for the definition of a particular cut of beef, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s the lingo butchers and other industry professionals use as they cut beef. (If you’d like to suggest additional words, click here.)  On this page of the glossary, you’ll find terms such as aged beef, beef bacon, beef cheeks, beef jerky, beef stew meat, Black Angus beef and an answer to the question, What is beef? When looking up beef cuts, it’s helpful to refer to the beef cut diagram, courtesy of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. If you enjoy this Beef Glossary, we have a food glossary for almost every category of food—including a Lamb Glossary and a Pork Glossary.

Beef Cuts
Download your own beef cuts chart (pdf).

Click on a letter of the alphabet to go to the appropriate glossary section:

a  b  c  d  e  f  g  h  i  j  k  l  m  n  o  p  q  r  s  t  u  v  w  x  y  z

This glossary is protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in whole or part.
You are welcome to link to it.

AGING or AGED BEEF

Refers to wholesale beef cuts that are held at refrigerated temperatures for a specified period of time in order to optimize the tenderness and flavor of the product. See dry aging and wet aging.

ALL NATURAL

A misleading term. According to the USDA, “all natural” or “natural” means that the meat has been “minimally processed with no artificial ingredients.” However, it may still contain antibiotics and growth hormones. To avoid these additives with certainty, choose organic beef.

 

ANGUS BEEF CATTLE

Angus cattle comprises two breeds of hornless cattle from the original Scottish Aberdeen stock, Black Angus and Red Angus (the original name of the breed was Aberdeen Angus). Black is the predominant color; Black Angus is the most popular breed for beef in the U.S.  Four bulls were brought to America in 1873; at the time, Shorthorn and Longhorn cattle were the norm. The crossbred offspring impressed breeders, and purebred herds were imported. The American Aberdeen Angus Association was founded in 1883.

  Angus Cattle
Black and Red Angus cattle. Photo courtesy Wikimedia.

BABY BACK RIBS or BACK RIBS

While most people think of baby back ribs (or simply, back ribs) as pork, they are also available from a steer. Also called loin ribs, they come from the top back of the rib cage, where the bones are short (“baby”) but meaty. Spare ribs, which come from the front, or belly side, have more fat, but the meat is “spare.”

GET BARBECUE TIPS FROM A CHAMP
LEARN BARBECUE BASICS

BARBECUE or BARBEQUE or BBQ or BAR-B-QUE

A method of cooking food, often meat, over smoking wood or hot coals. Often, meats are marinated to tenderize tougher cuts, and rubbed with spices and/or basted with sauce. In the U.S., barbecue is a Southern tradition, with each state specializing in a different meat, seasoning and cooking technique. The term also refers to the food itself, and the apparatus used to cook the food.

 

BAVETTE STEAK or FLAP STEAK or FLAP MEAT

Bavette is the French name for the unflatteringly-sounding flap meat, center of the sirloin flap cut. It is short for bavette d'aloyau, “bib of the sirloin.” The term can be confusing: There are several types of bavette steaks in France, including the bavette de flanchet, or flank steak. In France, bavette can be used as a catch-all phrase for any thin steak. Many people think it is the most flavorful cut of steak. As with skirt steak or flank steak, the bavette benefits from marinating and high, dry heat: grilled, broiled, pan-fried or stir-fried, to no more than medium-rare. The meat should be very thinly across the grain.

BEEF: WHAT IS BEEF

Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle, although beef also refers to the meat from the other bovines: antelope, African buffalo, bison, water buffalo and yak. The muscle meat is cut into steak, roasts or short ribs or processed into corned beef, jerky and other processed meats. trimmings are ground (e.g. for hamburger), minced or used in sausages; organ meat is consumed; blood is used in some varieties of blood sausage. Other parts that are eaten include beef cheeks, bull or bison testicles, heart, kidney, liver, tail (“oxtail”), thymus gland (sweetbread) tongue, tripe; the brains, previously eaten, are no longer because of danger of Mad Cow Disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE). The intestines are used as sausage casings and the bones are used for making beef stock. The hide is used for leather.

BEEF BACON

Beef bacon is a product made from the steer’s belly meat, close to the flank area. It is smoked and flavored with spices to taste like bacon. It is generally made by producers of healthier, grass fed beef, who create a “leaner, healthier bacon” (beef bacon is up to 90% leaner than pork bacon). Beef bacon also contains the Omega 3’s and CLA of grass fed beef. It can be found at health food stores, special-ordered from butchers, and ordered online from producers such as GrasslandBeef.com.

  Beef Bacon
Beef bacon. Photo courtesy GrasslandBeef.com.

BEEF CHEEKS

The muscles on either side of the cheekbones, braised beef cheeks (and veal cheeks) are popular French bistro fare. They are an inexpensive cut with rich flavor. In Italy, pork cheeks (guancia) are used in dishes and sausage-making.

BEEF JERKY

Jerky is one of the oldest ways of preserving food; meat was cut into strips, smoked and dried in the sun. Today it is smoked and dried in smokers. Read more about the history of jerky and modern jerky.

  Beef Jerky
Beef jerky. Photo by Michael Steele | THE NIBBLE.

BEEF STEW MEAT

See stew meat.

BISON

Perhaps the most misunderstood beast in the animal kingdom is the bison. Native to North America, its own government calls it a buffalo, having yielded to folk pressure (“Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam...” and misnamed a piece of currency, that, in return, has misinformed an entire populace. From a zoological standpoint, there are no buffalo in the Americas (except for a few imported from Africa and Asia for zoos, and small herds of Asian water buffalo imported to make water buffalo milk cheese and yogurt). Our bison are not related to the African and Asian buffalo, and you can read the facts. Confusion notwithstanding, bison meat is superb: lean and healthy, tender and flavorful. Try it and you’ll be converted. Just as with beef, however, good bison meat comes from good ranchers. Our favorite is Blackwing Bison.

  Bison
Why does everyone think I’m a buffalo?
Because the U.S. Treasury Department erroneously coined the buffalo nickel. I’m a bison. There are no buffalo in America! Read the reality! Photo by Jack Dying, U.S. Agricultural Research Service.
LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
BISON AND BUFFALO

BISTRO STEAK

Another term for hanger steak.

 

BLACK ANGUS BEEF CATTLE

See Angus beef cattle.

 

BLADE STEAK

The blade steak is cut from the chuck. The cut is not popular because it has a line of tough connective tissue down its center, resulting in a tough steak best suited to braising. However, if the tissue is removed, it produces flatiron steaks, a most tasty, tender and value-priced cut.

  Blade Steak
Blade steak. Photo courtesy Ace Enters | Wikimedia.

BLOOM

Refers to the process of beef changing from a dark purple (as seen in vacuum-packaged meat) to bright cherry-red color when exposed to oxygen.

BONELESS ROAST

A general term covering eye of round roast, bottom round roast, and cross rib roasts.

BONELESS STRIP STEAK

See New York strip steak.

BOSTON CUT

A Boston cut originally referred to a flavorful roast cut from the center of the sirloin. Today, the term is being applied to steaks cut from the center of the sirloin—a very tender cut. Boston cut also refers to the way that the side of beef is cut in New England: When a side of beef is butchered, it is cut across at right angles to the backbone, dividing the side into hind quarters and fore quarters.

 


Above, Boston cut roast. Below, Boston cut sirloin steaks. Photos courtesy River Breeze Farm.

In the Boston system, three ribs are left on the hind quarter; in the New York or Philadelphia cut, all ribs are left on the fore quarter. This means that the first cut of the fore quarter in New York (the prime ribs) is the same piece of meat as the first cut on the hind quarter in Boston. The hind quarter cuts also differ. So, asking for a particular cut of meat may bring confusion is you move from or to New england. The U.S. Department of Agriculture refers to cuts by the New York system, as does the rest of the country except parts of New England. See also New York cut.

BOTTOM ROUND ROAST

A large roast, typically ranging in size from 2 to 3 pounds. This cut is ideal for the slow, moist crock pot style of cooking, or wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven at 250°F for four to six hours.

BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY

See BSE.

BREAKFAST STEAK

A smaller sirloin steak, generally five ounces in weight. See also sirloin steak.

 

  Breakfast Steak
Breakfast steak. Photo courtesy Niman Ranch.com

BRISKET

Brisket is a flavorful cut of meat from the breast or lower chest, directly behind the fore shank. It is best suited for long-cooking preparations like barbecue, braising, smoking, slow roasting, casseroles and stews. See also pot roast.

 

  Roast
Brisket. Photo courtesy Cyber-cucina.com.

BSE or MAD COW DISEASE

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, is a fatal brain disorder that occurs in cattle. The connection between BSE and humans was uncovered in Great Britain in the 1990s when several young people died of a rare brain disorder called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), which typically strikes elderly people. The British government concluded that BSE was probably the cause of CJD, and that the victims contracted the disease probably by eating meat from BSE-infected cows.

BULL TESTICLES

Also known as calf fries, cowboy caviar, prairie oysters, Rocky Mountain oysters and other terms, this dish originated among cattle ranchers, utilizing the castrated bull testicles. They are floured, deep-fried and served with a dipping sauce, generally as an appetizer.

BUTCHER’S STEAK

See hanger steak.

BUTT STEAK

See sirloin steak.

  Rocky Mountain Oysters
Rocky Mountain Oysters. Photo courtesy Vincent Dismantle | Wikimedia.

 

Go To Next Page, Terms C, D & E

Go To Glossary Alphabet Index Above

 

© Copyright 2005- 2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. Some definitions were provided by the Cattlemen's Beef Board  and are © Copyright 2005 Cattlemen’s Beef Board. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



About Us
Contact Us
Legal
Privacy Policy
Advertise
Media Center
Manufacturers & Retailers
Subscribe
Interact