When it comes to beef, France has a naming convention of its own. From tender fillets to flavorful briskets, the names of beef cuts in France can be quite different from their English counterparts. So, if you’re a meat lover looking to explore the culinary world of French beef, here’s a guide to help you navigate through the unique names and flavors of French beef cuts.
Fillet: If you’re in the mood for a tender and juicy steak, look no further than the Filet, or fillet, in French. Known for its tenderness, this cut is often considered one of the most desirable, and hence, expensive cuts of beef. Whether you’re enjoying it grilled, pan-seared, or roasted, the Filet is a true indulgence for meat connoisseurs.
Sirloin steak with a different name in each English-speaking country: The Faux-Filet, or sirloin steak, is a cut that has a different name in each English-speaking country. Despite the varying names, this cut is typically known for its rich flavor and moderate tenderness. In France, you might find it labeled as Faux-Filet, and it’s often used for grilling or pan-searing to bring out its delicious flavors.
Fore rib steak: One of the favorites among meat lovers in France, the Entrecôte, or fore rib steak, is a cut that’s often used for making fore rib roasts. This cut is known for its marbling and tenderness, making it a true delight when cooked to perfection. Whether you’re enjoying it as a steak or a roast, the Entrecôte is sure to please your taste buds.
Chuck steak: Similar to the Entrecôte, the Basses-côtes, or chuck steak, is a cut that’s located further forward on the fore rib. It’s known for its rich flavor and can be used in various culinary preparations, such as stews or braises. In the UK, you might find it labeled differently, but in France, the Basses-côtes is a popular choice for a hearty and flavorful meal.
Rump roast, likely Silverside: If you’re looking for a cut that’s perfect for roasting, the Rosbeef, or rump roast, might be just what you need. Known for its lean and tender meat, this cut is often used for making classic roast beef. While it may be called Silverside in English, the Rosbeef is a popular choice in France for a Sunday roast or a special occasion meal.
Rump steak: While the Rosbeef is commonly used for roasts, the Rumsteak, or rump steak, is often enjoyed in its steak form. This cut is known for its bold flavor and can be cooked to various levels of doneness, making it a versatile option for grilling or pan-searing. Whether you’re enjoying it with a simple sauce or marinating it for added flavor, the Rumsteak is a popular choice for steak lovers in France.
Gite/Noix and Rond de Gite
The Gite/Noix and Rond de Gite are cuts that can be a bit tricky to decipher. The Rond de Gite is a part of the topside and thick flank, while the Gite à la Noix is the thick flank. In the US, these cuts are simply referred to as “round.” These cuts are known for their leanness and can be used in various preparations, such as roasting, grilling, or stir-frying. They are often used in traditional French dishes like beef bourguignon or beef stroganoff, where their lean meat can absorb the flavors of the dish and create a deliciously satisfying meal.
Tende de Tranche
Rump steak: Another cut from the rump, the Tende de Tranche is a lean and tender steak that’s often used for grilling or pan-searing. It’s known for its rich flavor and can be cooked to different levels of doneness, depending on your preference. Whether you’re enjoying it with some garlic butter or a peppercorn sauce, the Tende de Tranche is a popular choice for a delicious and satisfying steak meal.
A hard-to-find rump steak: The Tranche Grasse, or “fat slice,” is a rump steak that can be a bit hard to track down. It comes from a specific part of the rump, which has six distinct muscles with different names in French. This cut is known for its unique texture and flavor, and it’s often used in traditional French dishes like pot-au-feu or beef stew. If you’re lucky enough to find the Tranche Grasse, it’s definitely worth trying for a unique and flavorful dining experience.
Flank steak: The Bavette, or flank steak, is a popular cut in France known for its intense flavor and distinct texture. It’s a relatively lean cut with long muscle fibers, which gives it a unique chewiness and juiciness when cooked to perfection. The Bavette is often marinated to enhance its flavors and can be grilled, pan-seared, or broiled for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Osseline and Onglet
Hanger steak: The Osseline and Onglet are cuts that are collectively known as the hanger steak in English. These cuts are known for their unique shape and tender meat, which hangs between the rib and the loin of the animal. They have a rich and beefy flavor and are often used in traditional French dishes like steak frites or tartare. If you’re looking for a cut with a distinct texture and flavor, the Osseline and Onglet are definitely worth trying.
Beef cubes for braising: If you’re in the mood for a hearty and flavorful braise, the Bourguignon, or beef cubes for braising, is the perfect cut. This cut is typically used in classic French dishes like beef bourguignon, where the slow cooking process helps to tenderize the meat and develop rich flavors. The Bourguignon is often marbled with fat, which adds to its deliciousness and makes it perfect for slow-cooking preparations.
Paleron and Macreuse
Thick rib or brisket: The Paleron and Macreuse are cuts that come from the thick rib or brisket of the animal. These cuts are known for their rich flavor and tenderness, and they are often used in braises, stews, and pot-au-feu. They require longer cooking times to fully develop their flavors and become fork-tender, making them perfect for slow-cooking preparations where the meat can absorb the flavors of the dish.
More thick rib or brisket: Pot-au-feu is a classic French dish that traditionally uses cuts from the thick rib or brisket. This dish involves simmering the meat with vegetables and herbs to create a flavorful broth. The meat becomes incredibly tender and flavorful, making it a popular comfort food in France. The Pot-au-feu cut is perfect for slow-cooking preparations and is often used to create a delicious and comforting meal during the colder months.
Plat de Côte
More thick rib or brisket: The Plat de Côte, which translates to “plate of ribs,” is another cut that comes from the thick rib or brisket of the animal. It’s known for its rich, beefy flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stews, braises, and pot-au-feu. The Plat de Côte requires slow cooking to fully develop its flavors and become tender, making it a popular choice for hearty and flavorful meals.
Oxtail: Last but not least, the Queue, or oxtail, is a unique and flavorful cut that’s often used in French cuisine. It’s a bony and gelatinous cut that requires long, slow cooking to soften the meat and release its rich flavors. Oxtail is commonly used in soups, stews, and braises, and it adds a depth of flavor and richness to dishes. It’s a true delicacy in and a must-try for those looking for unique and delicious French cuts of beef.