Beef

Beef
Fresh beef has cream-colored fat and bright red meat. The best beef is marbled with fine strands of fat, which bastes the meat as it cooks and makes it tender and juicy. Lower grades of beef have thicker marbling or no marbling, so the meat's tougher after you cook it. Choice breeds include Angus, Kobe, Chianina, and lean but tender Piedmontese.
beef 7-bone pot roast
This is a tough cut of meat, so it's usually braised or cooked in liquid to tenderize it. A steak from this roast is called a 7-bone steak.
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beef 7-bone steak, 7-bone steak, center chuck steak
beef 7-bone steak
This is an economical steak cut from a 7-bone pot roast. It's rather tough, so your best bet is to braise it. If you insist on grilling or broiling it, be sure to marinate it overnight to make it as tender as possible.
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beef arm roast, arm chuck roast, arm pot roast, arm roast, chuck arm roast
beef arm roast
This is just a butcher's blade away from the shoulder roast, and the main difference between the two is that the arm roast has a round bone in it and is slightly more tender. You can use this for a pot roast, or cut it up for stew meat, but it's too tough to cook with dry heat. A steak cut from this roast is called an arm steak.
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beef arm steak, arm chuck steak, arm steak, arm Swiss steak, round bone steak
beef arm steak
This is a steak cut from an arm roast. It's too tough to grill or broil, but it's very tasty if you braise it.
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beef back ribs, back ribs, barbecue beef ribs, rib bones, Texas ribs
beef back ribs
These aren't very meaty, but the ribs are long and fun to eat. They come in slabs containing several ribs. Grill the whole slab, then cut them into individual ribs when you serve them. Allow 1/2 to 1 pound per person.
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beef blade roast, blade chuck roast, blade pot roast, blade roast
beef blade roast
This makes a good pot roast, but it's too tough to cook using dry heat
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beef bones, beef bones, beef soup bones
beef bones
These are usually boiled with other ingredients to make a flavorful soup base. The meatier the better.
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beef bottom round, bottom round
beef bottom round
The bottom round is usually divided into two smaller cuts: the bottom round roast and the rump roast.
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beef bottom round roast, bottom round roast
beef bottom round roast
These roasts are cut from the bottom round. Some people roast them in the oven, but they're a bit tough and work better as pot roasts.
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beef brisket, brisket, first cut, flat cut, flat half, front cut, point cut
beef brisket
Northerners like to use the brisket to make corned beef, but Southerners often prefer to barbecue it because they like the way the meat pulls apart into tender, juicy strands. Briskets are usually sold boneless, and often cut into two parts: the flat cut = flat half = first cut = thin cut and the fattier and cheaper point cut = point half = front cut = thick cut.
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beef chuck eye, chuck eye, chuck filet, chuck fillet, chuck tender
beef chuck eye
This is one of the more tender cuts from the chuck section, so you can cook it in liquid or roast it in the oven. A steak cut from this roast is called a chuck eye steak.
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beef chuck eye steak, beauty steak, chuck eye steak, chuck filet steak
beef chuck eye steak
This steak isn't bad, considering it's a chuck steak. In fact, it's tender enough to grill or broil, provided that you marinate it overnight first.
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beef chuck steak, chuck steak
beef chuck steak
Chuck steaks comes from the neck and shoulder of the beef, and they tend to be chewy but flavorful and inexpensive. Most of them are too tough to grill, broil, or pan-fry--it's better to braise them or cut them up as stew meat. If you must grill one, make sure you marinate it overnight first.
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beef club steak, club steak, Delmonico steaks
beef club steak
Think of this as a T-bone steak without any of the choice tenderloin muscle in it. These steaks are sometimes also called Delmonico steaks, though that name is more often used for rib-eye steaks. To add to the confusion, rib steaks are sometimes called club steaks.
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beef coulotte steak, coulotte steak, culotte steak, culottes steak
beef coulotte steak
This is a small, boneless steak cut from the sirloin. It's got good flavor, but it's a bit tougher than other steaks so you might want to marinate before cooking it.
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beef cross rib roast, beef chuck cross rib pot roast, Boston cut
beef cross rib roast
If boneless, this is sometimes called an English roll. This makes a fine pot roast, but it's too tough to roast with dry heat.
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beef cube steak, cube steak
beef cube steak
This is a relatively tough cut of meat that the butcher tenderizes by turning it almost into hamburger. In some parts of the country, a minute steak is a small, thin sirloin steak.
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beef eye round roast, eye of the round, eye round roast
beef eye round roast
This boneless roast looks like a choice tenderloin, but it's much tougher. It's best to cook it very slowly using moist heat. A steak cut from this roast is an eye round steak.
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beef eye round steak, breakfast steak, eye of round steak, eye round steak
beef eye round steak
This is a small, boneless steak cut from an eye round roast. It's tough, so it's sometimes cut into stew meat or processed into cube steak. It's also good braised, but it will require the tenderizing effects of a marinade if you want to grill or broil it. If cut thinly, this steak is sometimes called a breakfast steak = wafer steak = sandwich steak = minute steak.
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beef filet mignon, bifteck, châteaubriand, filet mignon, filet steak
beef filet mignon
These are cut from the tenderloin, and they're the most tender steaks you can buy, though not the most flavorful. American butchers usually call all tenderloin steaks filets mignons, but the French reserve the name for just the cuts at the small end of the tenderloin, which is the best part. As they move away from the filet mignon, the French call their cuts tournedos, filet steak, châteaubriand, and bifteck. American butchers confuse matters even more by sometimes calling top sirloin steaks châteaubriands. Don't marinate these steaks and don't cook them beyond medium rare.
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beef flank steak, flank steak
beef flank steak
This is a lean, flat cut that's fairly tender and extremely flavorful. Properly marinated, it's a wonderful steak to grill or broil, but don't overcook it or it will become very tough. Before serving, cut the steak into thin slices at a slant against the grain.
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beef hanger steak, butcher's steak, butcher's tenderloin, hanger steak
beef hanger steak
This is the part of the diaphragm that hangs between the last rib and the loin. It's often ground in hamburger (or butchers just take it home), but some people claim that its grainy texture and intense flavor make it a first-rate steak (if marinated first). It's better known in France than in the United States, so you'll probably have to ask your butcher to set one aside for you.
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beef London broil, London broil
beef London broil
This is the name of a finished dish, not a cut of meat, but butchers sometimes assign the name "London broil" to the following cuts: flank steak, top round steak, or top blade steak. Each would work well in a London broil recipe.
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beef minute steak, minute steak
beef minute steak
In some parts of the country, a minute steak is a small, thinly sliced, boneless sirloin steak. In others, it's a thinly sliced eye of round steak. In still others, it's a cube steak.
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beef oxtail, oxtail
beef oxtail
Cooks use these to make oxtail soup. Each oxtail weighs about 2 pounds.
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beef Porterhouse steak, Porterhouse steak
beef Porterhouse steak
Many believe these to be the best of all steaks. They include parts of two muscles: the flavorful top loin and the buttery soft tenderloin. It's best to grill or broil them without marinating.
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beef pot roast, pot roast
beef pot roast
These are economical roasts that are too tough to be oven roasted, but they become tender if cooked in a liquid for several hours. Several cuts work well as pot roasts, particularly the 7-bone pot roast, arm roast, blade roast, chuck eye, cross rib roast, shoulder roast, top blade pot roast, under blade pot roast, bottom round roast, eye round roast, and rump roast.
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beef rib roast, half standing rib roast, large end rib roast, rib roast
beef rib roast
The entire rib section includes seven ribs, but it's usually cut into smaller chunks. Each rib will feed about two people, so if you're feeding, say, six people, you should get a three-rib roast. You can buy this cut as a standing rib roast, with the bones left in, or as a rolled rib roast, which is boned, then rolled and tied. The nice thing about a standing rib roast is that it can stand by itself in the oven pan without a rack, plus the bones provide added flavor. A large end rib roast is cut from the part of the rib section nearest the chuck, so the steaks are bigger but tougher. The small end rib roast = sirloin tip roast includes the ribs next to the choice loin section, so the meat's more tender and lean. If the short ribs are lopped off of a rib roast, you get a half standing rib roast. A steak cut from a rib roast is called a rib steak.
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beef rib steak, entrecote, rib steak
beef rib steak
Rib steaks are cut from rib roast, and shouldn't be confused with rib-eye steaks, which have less fat and bone. Rib steaks are sometimes called club steaks, though that name is usually reserved for a different cut from the loin.
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beef rib-eye roast, Delmonico roast, rib-eye roast
beef rib-eye roast
The juicy rib-eye comes from the same muscle that gives us those exquisite top loin and top sirloin cuts. This cut can be roasted to make a boneless version of a rib roast, or cut into individual steaks, called rib-eye steaks. Rib-eye roasts are very tender, well marbled with fat, and fairly expensive.
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beef rib-eye steak, beauty steak, Delmonico steak, fillet steak, market steak
beef rib-eye steak
Rib-eye steaks are very tender, well marbled with fat, and fairly expensive. They're usually boneless, but you can sometimes find bone-in rib-eye steaks. Note that club steaks are also sometimes called Delmonico steaks.
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beef roast beef, roast beef
beef roast beef
Several cuts are well suited to oven roasting. The most elegant choice is a tenderloin roast, which is lean and tender, but very expensive. A rib roast (sometimes called a prime rib roast) isn't as lean and tender, but it's juicier and more flavorful. A good compromise between the two would be a rib-eye roast, which is basically a boneless, low-fat rib roast. Other candidates for roast beef are a top loin roast, top sirloin butt roast, tri-tip roast, round tip roast, and rump roast. Don't assume that anything with "roast" in its name will work as roast beef. Some roasts are intended for pot roast recipes, for it takes hours of cooking in a liquid to make them tender enough for civilized consumption.
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beef round steak, round steak
beef round steak
Round steaks are very lean, but they're not as tender and juicy as other cuts. They're usually broiled, braised, or cooked in a liquid.
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beef round tip roast, ball tip roast, round tip roast, sirloin tip roast
beef round tip roast
This roast is just a cut away from the sirloin, so it's tender enough to be oven roasted or cut up into kabobs. If the roast is trimmed of some fat and muscle, it's called a trimmed tip roast = ball tip roast.
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beef round tip steak, ball tip steak, round tip steak, trimmed tip steak
beef round tip steak
This is a steak cut from an untrimmed round tip roast. If the steak is cut from a trimmed roast, it's called a trimmed tip steak = ball tip steak. If you first marinate them overnight, you can grill, broil, or pan-fry these steaks. If not, your best bet is to braise them or cut them into stew meat.
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beef rump roast, rump roast, standing rump roast
beef rump roast
This is cut from the bottom round. A rump roast with the bone left in is called a standing rump roast. Some people roast these in the oven, but they're a bit tough and work better as pot roasts.
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beef shank, beef shank
beef shank
This isn't a tender cut, but it's rich in flavor and great for making soups.
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beef short loin, short loin
beef short loin
The loin is divided into two main parts: the short loin, which includes the choice tenderloin and top loin, and the sirloin, which lies closer to the rump. Since the muscles in the short loin don't get much of a workout, the meat there is very tender.
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beef short ribs, barbecue ribs, braising ribs, brust flanken, chuck short ribs
beef short ribs
These are rectangular sandwiches of fat, meat, and bone that are often cut into three-inch sections. They're very flavorful, but tough and fatty, so they're best if slowly braised. You can also grill them over low heat, but the dripping fat tends to cause flare-ups. To prevent this, either braise the ribs first or put a drip pan under them. Short ribs are sold either boneless or bone-in. If the cut is made across the ribs instead of between the ribs, the result is called flanken style ribs = kosher ribs = brust flanken = flanken short ribs. Chuck short ribs are tougher but less fatty than the short ribs taken from the underside of the carcass.
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beef shoulder roast, English roast, shoulder pot roast, shoulder roast
beef shoulder roast
This boneless cut is located right behind the arm roast on the carcass. It's rather tough, so it's usually cooked in a liquid.
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beef shoulder steak, clod steak, English steak, shoulder steak
beef shoulder steak
This makes for a fairly tough steak, but you can grill or broil it provided that you first marinate it overnight. It's even better braised.
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beef sirloin steak, butt steak, flat bone sirloin, pin bone sirloin
beef sirloin steak
The sirloin is near the rump, so the meat's a bit tougher than cuts from the loin or the rib. There are several different sirloin steak cuts, named for shape of the hip bone that's left in them. Going from fore to aft, there's the tender but bony pin bone sirloin, which is right next to the Porterhouse on the carcass, the flat bone sirloin, the round bone sirloin, and finally the wedge bone sirloin, which is closest to the rump and therefore least tender. A boneless sirloin steak is sometimes called a rump steak = butt steak. Sirloin steaks are usually grilled or broiled. Don't overcook them or they'll lose much of their flavor.
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beef skirt steak, beef plate skirt steak, fajita meat, Philadelphia steak
beef skirt steak
These look like thick-grained flank steaks, and they're the cut of choice for making fajitas. Since they're marbled with fat, they also make for very juicy steaks. It's best to pound them flat, marinate briefly, then cook them over high heat
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beef T-bone steak, T-bone steak
beef T-bone steak
Named for its distinguishing T-shaped bone, this choice cut is almost identical to a Porterhouse steak, only it doesn't have as much of the tenderloin muscle in it. It's usually grilled or broiled.
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beef tenderloin roast, filet mignon roast, tenderloin roast
beef tenderloin roast
This is the most tender portion of the entire carcass, and you'll pay dearly for it. You can cut it into steaks, or make a heavenly roast beef out of it. Take care not to overcook it, because it dries out easily.
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beef top blade pot roast
This is both literally and figuratively a cut above the tougher under blade pot roast. Meat from the top blade often is made into a pot roast, or cut up, marinated, and used for fajitas. A steak cut from the top blade pot roast is called a top blade steak.
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beef top blade steak, book steak, butler steak, flat iron steak, lifter steak
beef top blade steak
Though a lowly chuck steak, this cut is tender enough to grill, broil, or pan-fry, as long as you marinate it first. If you don't mind cutting around some gristle, this is an economical and flavorful steak. It's also great for making fajitas.
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beef top loin
These are usually cut into top loin steaks, but a whole or half top loin is also a good candidate for roast beef.
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beef top loin steak
Think of these as Porterhouse or T-bone steaks that have been stripped of the choice tenderloin portion. They're flavorful and fairly expensive cuts. A boneless top loin steak is called a shell steak, and a very thick shell steak is sometimes called a shell roast.
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beef top round roast, top round roast
beef top round roast
This is a fairly tender piece of meat compared to other cuts from the round section. It's also one of the leanest. A thick steak cut from a top round roast is called a top round steak, while a thinner steak is simply called a round steak.
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