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French cuts of beef

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#1 baruch

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 07:32 PM

can anyone explain:

a) what exact cut does one expect to receive when one orders an entrecôte in France?
IF the answer IS a rib steak, then it is "usually" bone-in or bone-less?
b) IF an entrecôte is a rib steak, & is with bone-in, then what is the difference bet an entrecôte vs a côte de
boeuf?

on the other hand, if a entrecôte is NOT a rib steak, than what...?

b) when ordering steak frites, in France, what cut of beef is "usually" served?

c) what exactly is a faux-filet, i .e., what is it's comparable american cut?

d) what exactly is a contre-filet, i.e., what is it's comparable american cut?

Edited by baruch, 20 May 2003 - 09:44 PM.


#2 mogsob

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 04:34 AM

I will go out on a limb here and attempt to answer these questions:

a. Entrecote is what is generally referred to in the States as a ribeye steak (i.e., no bone). It has nothing to do with a proper rib steak.

b. Cote de boeuf is a rib steak, and generally cooked as roast beef in the English style. I had a fab cote de boeuf at D'Chez Eau a few weeks ago -- they brought the entire roast to the table and sliced off as much as you wanted of the most superb roast beef I have had in a very, very long time. :smile: No Yorkshire pud though. :sad:

c. Faux fillet is a sirloin steak cut to approximate what is called a filet mignon in the States.

d. A contra fillet is a sirlion strip (I think), although the name would appear to suggest something along the lines of a shell steak.

#3 baruch

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 08:00 AM

thx VERY much mogsob, working together, just MAYBE these will be clarified. my knowledge, which obviously is limited, hence the questions, is as follows:

a) entrecôte is supposedly considered to be a rib steak; whether it is bone-in or bone-less, depends on
personal preference, i think.
not sure if there is a "strict"definition in France or not, as to when ordering or seeing an entrecôte on the
menu, whether it will be served with or without bone.

an entrecôte cannot be a ribeye, which is a cut much more similar to our strip (loin) - de-boned & trimmed,
the "eye" of the rib steak so-to-speak, & i believe known as a faux filet (i think???!!!). ALTHOUGH, your
definition of a faux filet being a sirloin cut to the size of a filet mignon ALSO seems to make sense!!????

b) a ribeye in the US, i thought, equalled a faux (i.e. "wrong" ) filet; however, your definition makes perfect
sense also. oddly, there are those who believe a faux filet = a contre-filet = a strip (a bone-less shell).

quite frankly it is very difficult to find anyone who can tell you exactly what a faux filet or contre-filet actually
is. each butcher, chef or foodie seems to have a different interpretation, hence the confusion!!!!

c) assuming an entrecôte = a rib steak, then i have also been led to believe the côte de boeuf comprised
of 3-ribs/bone, & as u state, it is normally roasted due to its size.
however, at l'ami louis, it is served as a steak would be, i,e. grilled.

my above description does strike "me" as logical so therefore, by deduction:
an entrecôte, by definition, would then = a rib steak BONE-IN

p.s. sirloin strip apparently does = a ny strip which is simply a shell steak bone-less. although, there are many who refer to a shell steak in the context of bone-in, or bone-less. spark's steakhouse here in nyc serves what they call a sirloin strip, which is actually a strip, i.e., a shell bone-less. i know this is confusing, & i don't know why the meat industry won't adopt terms that everyone will understand.
assume it has to do with tradition, different regions, etc, etc. for my purposes, i utilize the following:
a shell = bone-in loin cut a strip = a bone-less shell

Edited by baruch, 21 May 2003 - 08:10 AM.


#4 theakston

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 09:11 AM

My understanding is that entrecôte and côte de boeuf come from the same piece, The muscle between 5th and the 11th rib. Entrecote is deboned, cote de boeuf is not.
Faux fillet and Contre Fillet are interchangeable terms for the piece of meat on the lower spine below the ribs - the piece of the beef that is up against the fillet. This is the Sirloin although I've seen many restaurants in the USA serving both Entrecote and Ribeye as Sirloin. (Tbone is a slice of both Sirloin and Fillet).

Edited by theakston, 21 May 2003 - 09:12 AM.


#5 baruch

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 10:09 AM

THX

definitely makes sense; however, it was/is my understanding an entrecôte can be either bone-in OR bone-less, but refers to only a 1 rib cut; whereas a côte de boeuf, from same section, BUT is larger, i.e., 2-3 ribbed/boned. but, then again, that is why i am asking for help :biggrin:

a ribeye is actually a rib steak/entrecôte that has been trimmed & de-boned; therefore, leaving just the "eye", which is the rib section's equivalent to the loin section's filet mignon.

re: faux/contre filet - it does appear these terms may be interchangeable, odd as that may seem & not very descriptive; however, it does also appear that these do refer to cuts from either the rib section &/or the loin/sirloin section, not from the section BELOW the ribs. as i said above, for my purposes, i like to think of a faux-filet as a ribeye (from the rib section), & a contre-filet as a strip steak from the loin section. although, with all due credit to mogsob, it also makes sense that a faux-filet could also be from the sirloin section & is simply cut/trimmed to resemble a filet mignon in size. however, if, in fact, one subscribes to the French definition that the sirloin section encompasses BOTH the loin & sirloin areas, then a faux-filet would be interchangeable with the term contre-filet.
EUREKA! now its getting clearer!!! i guess logically:
a) 1st accept the French definition of the sirloin (surlonge) SECTION as the loin & the sirloin AREAS;
b) therefore, the faux-filet is in fact from the sirloin, just from the posterior end;
c) & therefore, the faux-filet is, as mogsob so elequently stated, a sirloin cut to the size of a filet
d) therefore, a contre-filet, is ALSO accurate in that it IS from the Sirloin, just from the loin AREA of the Sirloin section!!!

so bottom line: BOTH the faux-filet & the contre-filet are from the sirloin, just from different areas, & with the contre-filet being the better cut since it is from the loin area. as to my definition of a faux-filet being a ribeye, well, that theory now seems disproved!!!

WHEW!!

the sirloin, or surlonge in french, is, as u know, located posterior to the loin, according to American cuts, & is referred to as 2 distinct sections; however, i believe 1 of the confusing factors bet French & American cuts IS the term "sirloin" which i believe, in France, refers to BOTH the loin & sirloin sections as 1 vs. as we know them separately in US; therefore, the confusion.

but, i do know that the American cut, the "T-Bone" is similar to a porterhse, but it is from the center section of the short loin, but w/less of a tenderloin & usually cut thinner than a porterhouse, & has a beefier flavor than the porterhse, & is also known as the "cowboy" steak.

Edited by baruch, 21 May 2003 - 10:34 AM.


#6 theakston

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 12:53 PM

refer to cuts from either the rib section &/or the loin/sirloin section, not from the section BELOW the ribs

Actually that is exactly where I meant. I don't know 'bout you but I keep my loins to the south of my ribs. It is the continuation of the muscle that the rib cuts are made of but after the ribs diminish so that you only really have the spine.

That's why I gave the TBone as an example. What you are looking at in a Tbone is a piece of Sirloin connected to a piece of Fillet it is a cut across the spine so that includes a bit of each. That's how it makes sense to be contre filet (against the fillet).

Porterhouse as I've seen it served in the USA is usually just a f'ing thick piece of sirloin. However translate this into French and it is Chateau briande which is the fat end of the fillet. Go figure.

#7 baruch

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 01:25 PM

sorry to be confusing & verbose, but this is a confusing subject with many different terms referring to the same &/or overlapping areas.

the rib section is just that. the loin is a separate section & where our clubs, t-bones, porterhouses, & filet mignons come from. you may be referring to the backbone/spine itself, but the rib section is not part of the loin, & is considered to be anterior to the loin, whereas, the sirloin section in american cuts is posterior to the LOIN.

that being said, a t-bone is, no question about it, is from the center section of the short loin, but with less of a tenderloin, i.e., a filet,
than a porterhouse, which is fr the rear (lg end of the tenderloin) section of the short loin, parts of 2 muscles : includes meat from the flavorful top loin muscle, the t-shaped portion of the backbone & the tenderloin, i.e., the filet. the "t-bone" separates the soft buttery tenderloin from the juicy top loin strip.

your statement, & i only mean this to be helpful, is incorrect:
"Porterhouse as I've seen it served in the USA is usually just a f'ing thick piece of sirloin. However translate this into French and it is Chateau briande which is the fat end of the fillet. "

a porterhouse is NOT "just a thick piece of sirloin", a chateaubriand is 100% from the tenderloin.

a chateaubriand is cut from the whole tenderloin, after the whole tenderloin has been removed from the short loin.


in american terms, the t-bone is not from the sirloin, but only from the loin section, & specifically from a cross section that includes both the top loin & the tenderloin which both comprise the short loin which is 1 part of the LOIN; when include the sirloin = voila > the total LOIN.

apparently, & reading-bet-the-lines, the French cut is somewhat different, i.e. the SURLONGE (sirloin) encompasses both the sirloin & the loin as one, vs an american chart which shows a distinct separation; therefore our sirloin is from the sirloin section, & our shell steak is from the top loin. whereas, a contre filet is the same as our strip, but a faux-filet is a small sirloin to us, but very similar to a strip to the French. however, as u know, sirloin here goes for $10/lb, & a strip is ~$17-20/lb. so a distinction is necessary both for economic reasons as well as quality reasons.

same example re: a T-bone: you are correct, IF u are using the French usage, but incorrect, with regards to a T-bone, if u are using the American usage. sounds to me that the French cuts are a little more general than the more precise American cuts as to where they come from on the carcass.

we may, in fact, be totally in agreement, but mixing & matching the US vs the French definitions of beef cuts.

& yes, i also prefer my loins to be SOUTH of my ribs :biggrin:

Edited by baruch, 21 May 2003 - 01:37 PM.


#8 theakston

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 02:19 PM

I think I'm getting you even more confused as I'm an ex brit and that is where I did some butchery in a French restaurant ( A long time ago I may add).
Tenderloin? It seems to be that in the USA this means the same as the fillet - in other words the strip that goes inside the sirloin and has the Chateau briande at the top tapering down through Filet mignon to the tips - onglet?

I agree the loin is not a part of the ribs, but I don't think there is a difference between the loin outside of the fillet (tenderloin) and what I know as sirloin (other than the knighthood). So therefore I agree that Chateaubriande is all fillet (tenderloin) but I have seen porterhouse here that was not and did not have the t-bone nor a bit of fillet (tenderloin). From my definition there is absolutely no reason why sirloin costs more than a strip. Is this rump? I have seen stuff labeled as sirloin that is way too big to be a loin meat so I suspect the term, like many here, is open to a wider interpretation than would be allowed in Europe.

Given all that I think I'll leave us both confused and hope that a US butcher can help us out. Anyone out there from Les Halles?

#9 baruch

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 08:07 PM

i can see you really didn't read my quite detailed several emails THAT I KNOW ARE FACTUALLY CORRECT. thats ok, most readers here are the same, sort of like talking without listening.

i'm too tired & have wasted to much time to continue, so i will leave u with 1 last factoid which is indisputable, but since u have either declined to acknowledge the above facts, i can only assume, you will ignore the following:
A PORTERHOUSE BY ANYONE'S DEFINITION IS THE SHELL + THE FILET!!! so if u had or saw something that did not have a t-bone nor the filet then IT WAS NOT A PORTERHOUSE - PERIOD!!!!

not worth going any further into any other discrepancies, i now realize it was a waste of time going into so much detail.

1 last word of advice: don't buy any bridges, don't play cards with a blind man, don't try to figure out who the patsy is, if u don't know - u are; & don't order a porterhouse if u don't know what it is :raz:

p.s. i'm not confused, only sorry for such a waste OF MY TIME thinking i was trading info with someone "in the know" :blink:

Edited by baruch, 21 May 2003 - 08:15 PM.


#10 mogsob

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 03:51 AM

OK -- some organization here.

US CUTS
Porterhouse -- as Baruch says, a shell plus a filet with the large T shaped bone down the middle. NEVER EVER A SIRLOIN.

T-Bone -- the next cut down from the porterhouse

Bone-in Shell -- the next cut down from the T-Bone

Shell/Delmonico -- without the bone

Rib Steak -- a bone-in steak cut from the six rib section used to make traditional roast beef -- a large circular steak with a huge curving bone.

Ribeye -- rib steak without the bone. Sometimes shaped confusingly like a shell or sirloin. Sometimes called a NY Strip steak.

Sirloin -- from the sirloin section. Can take many varied forms. Sopmetime called a strip steak.

French Cuts

Onglet -- hangar steak

Entrecote -- generally, a ribeye steak

Cote de boeuf -- should be roast beef (3 rib steaks together roasted), but perhaps could also be a rib steak

Faux filet -- sirloin steak cut to resemble a proper filet (small and squarish)

Contra filet -- a sirloin strip steak (rectangular)

Chateaubriand -- a long section of the filet, generally roasted for two

#11 pirate

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 03:57 AM

A chateaubriand is not just any cut from the filet. It is a thick center cut.

#12 theakston

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 05:48 AM

Well Baruch I'm sorry you had to get personal and insult me. I was only trying to help. And I think if you actually read what I wrote you would realize that our only difference was that the sirloin in english terms is not the same as in the USA. It is the loin minus the tenderloin. In the USA it is apparently the top rump.

There are differences between English and American terms and I apologise for throwing a third set of terms into the mix. No reason to be a wanker though.

mogsob thanks for putting us both right and proving it is possible to do so without taking cheap shots at other members.

Edited by theakston, 22 May 2003 - 05:48 AM.


#13 mogsob

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 07:24 AM

A chateaubriand is not just any cut from the filet. It is a thick center cut.

Yes.

#14 baruch

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 08:26 AM

thx mogsob, several of your descriptions incorrect, but too exhausted to correct. it is very clear, that different terms mean different things to different people & then throw in differences bet French & American = more confusion. anyway, i concede - all of u are correct.

have a safe & happy grilling memorial day w/e :biggrin:

#15 guajolote

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 08:39 AM

Good work mogsob, but be careful with what you call a Delmonico (Edit: these people did come to the same conclusion as you, but a Delmonico means many different things to different people).


Many authorities on steak make different claims about the identity of the authentic Delmonico Steak.  The name Delmonico Steak is used for many different cuts.  In fact, various authoritative sources assert that at least eight different cuts are the real Delmonico Steak! 


Make sure you check out the webpage. It's quite interesting and thorough.

Edited by guajolote, 22 May 2003 - 08:44 AM.



#16 Bux

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 10:27 AM

mogsob thanks for putting us both right and proving it is possible to do so without taking cheap shots at other members.

My thanks as well, for reintroducing civility into this thread. Anytime a member feels he is too tired to be civil to another, may I suggest he take two aspirins and log on again in the morning.
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#17 baruch

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Posted 23 May 2003 - 05:13 PM

My thanks as well, for reintroducing civility into this thread. Anytime a member feels he is too tired to be civil to another, may I suggest he take two aspirins and log on again in the morning.

:biggrin: it never ceases to amaze me one's need to add their necessary "holier than thou" attitude comments that one feels they must add "as if" their observation is required; but when the proverbial shoe is on-the-other-foot, its the old "horse-of-a-different-color byline.

to set the record straight & hopefully end the matter, if one would take the time to re-read & comprehend the string, then the intent should be obvious, i.e., the statement "thx mogsob, several of your descriptions are incorrect. but too exhausted to correct" translates into "ACTUALLY THANKING mogsob & informing him that several definitions are, in fact, incorrect! but due to the time spent on a long explanations above, it just did not seem worth going back-&-forth ad infinitum.

i would humbly suggest that if one would like to sermonize, do it fairly across-the-board, then one's advice would be taken seriously, n'est-ce pas?

#18 Bux

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Posted 23 May 2003 - 08:57 PM

Baruch, I have trouble following some of your posts. In any event I thought mogsob reintroduced civility in this thread by offering information without needing to make personal comments and for that I thanked him.
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#19 baruch

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 08:31 PM

what's the use - if u would like the "last word" that's fine with me, but only 1 warning, the info provided above has many discrepancies.

#20 jgould

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 06:52 PM

curious about French cuts of beef which is very confusing vis-à-vis US cuts.

a. what is the difference between a faux-filet & a contre-filet; & what is its
(their) US equivalent??
b. an onglet = our hangar steak (from a steer's plate section, also referred to as
la bavette, correct or incorrect??
c. a hampe = our skirt steak? (also from the plate section)?? is this the correct
French term??
d. a bavette de flanchet = our flank steak? (from the flank section) is this the
correct French term?

at numerous places, so many of the above terms are used interchangeably that it becomes difficult to determine exactly what cut is being referred to. e.g., an entrecote can be either a rib steak, a rib eye, or a ny strip, depending what restaurant you are in or what the chef determines his definition to be. generally i see references to either an onglet or a bavette which "seems" it could be either a skirt or a flank steak. as u know, in order of price, expensive-to-cheapest cut, the onglet is the most expensive/lb, followed by a skirt steak, with the flank the cheapest cut of the 3. it is the onglet that appears to be served most often in bistros/restaurants in the US; however, it seems that most cannot distinguish between the 3 cuts; therefore, allowing restaurants to serve a flank (bavette de flanchet?) steak when the menu states a hangar (onglet).
same is somewhat true re: "steak frites" which can be an onglet, skirt, ny strip, ribeye depending on the restaurant!!

#21 robert brown

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 09:06 PM

jgould, there was discussion in this forum about this last year, I believe. Perhaps you can find it. One fellow know a lot, but I couldn't tell if he was cribbing from La Varenne Cookbook (out of print?) that discusses US vs. French cuts of beef.

#22 bleudauvergne

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 12:40 AM

Here's the link to the dicsussion on, (um I think), French Cuts of Beef.
It might confuse things a bit though.

Here's the amazon link to La Varenne Pratique. It's less than 50 bucks, and, well, read the reviews. It might be a worthwhile purchase.

Julia Child also has a segment in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol 1 on the differences, and she covers the popular French cuts, although I don't think she goes into a whole lot of detail.

#23 Busboy

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 04:56 AM

My trusty LaRousse Gastronomique has three versions of the classic drawing of the subdivided cow carcasse showing the origin of each cut, one each for British, American and French butchers. It's not entirely illuminating but:

1) Contre filet and faux filet are the same thing, according to LaRousse. It appears that they are the fat side of the T-Bone which, as we all know are opposite (contre) the filet, or small side of the T-Bone. Sliced, the contre filet becomes a New York strip, or, according to LaRousse, entrecote.

2) Although I once had a French butcher (in the US) try to tell me that bavette and onglet are the same, my experience and LaRousse say no, bavette is a flank steak.

3) Hamp and Flachette are both drawn from the same section of the cow marked "flank" on the American cow. The maps are a little murky on this point, but my guess is that they are both more or less skirt steaks (which are not marked on the LaRousse chart).

One thing that the diagrams drive home is that not only do French and American butchers give different sections different names, but they cut the beast up differently to begin with, so a lot of times there are no exact translations.

Steak frites is not traditionally made with what Americans think of as a "steak cut," but with, I believe, a round or rump steak. (someone with the new Bourdaine cookbook can probably clarify this, I believe he comments on it.)

Edited by Busboy, 22 October 2004 - 05:30 AM.

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#24 jgould

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 10:42 PM

thanks so much for those who took the time to respond. did go back & read mr. baruch's string which was also helpful, also thanks for the link. as for what i have learned, again thanks to everyone, is the following:
faux-filet same as a contre-filet, aka, our ny strip, but with the difference as to shape of the cut.
onglet, aka la bavette, as per a. bourdain's new book, is a hangar steak.
la hampe is a skirt steak. both the hangar & skirt from the steer's plate section.
bavette de flanchet is a flank steak, from the steer's flank section.
entrecote generally considered a deboned OR a 1-bone rib steak - vs - our ribeye cut which is the "eye" of the deboned & trimmed rib steak cut similar to a ny strip.
cote de boeuf is a 2-3 boned rib steak either cooked like a roast beef or grilled depending on thickness.
steak frites "seems" to suggest a round or rump steak, but in better restaurants could be a ny strip, ribeye, etc...

Edited by jgould, 24 October 2004 - 10:45 PM.


#25 jgould

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 02:24 PM

hopefully, not beating a dead "cheval", oops i mean boeuf, after rumaging through a couple of books, it appears the French via Patricia Wells, Tony Bourdain, & others make no allowance for a skirt steak in France. Wells lumps a flank & a hangar together without distinguishing between the two. as per Boudain, he refers to an onglet being the same as a bavette, but neither mention a skirt steak. as per my previous comments, & according to USA beef cuts, a flank steak is from the flank section, & a skirt (the diaphragm) & the hangar (supporting muscles to the diaphragm) are both from the plate section; therefore, these are 3 distinct cuts. in France, the hangar is the onglet, the flank is the bavette de flanchet & by deduction, the skirt "must be" la hampe(??). OR, in France a hangar steak is both an onglet AND la bavette a la the flank??? in Larousse, the french beef cuts diagram shows a hamp, flanchet, but no onglet!!!! :)

1 correction: a cote de boeuf is a large 1-ribbed rib steak; a 2-3 ribbed rib steak is a rib roast. an entrecote is a boneless rib steak or with a relatively thin 1-rib depending on the chef's definition.

sorry for the error & confusion.

#26 Ptipois

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 02:41 AM

You may find a Canadian PDF document on cuts of meat here, though it doesn't necessarily reflect the equivalence between French and USAn cuts of beef. However, maybe you'd be interested to read it.

Please note, anyway, that "bavette" and "onglet" are different cuts.

#27 jgould

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:47 AM

You may find a Canadian PDF document on cuts of meat here, though it doesn't necessarily reflect the equivalence between  French and USAn cuts of beef. However, maybe you'd be interested to read it.

Please note, anyway, that "bavette" and "onglet" are different cuts.

View Post


merci beaucoup!!! added site to my favorites for future reference.

fyi: did not see any reference to "bavette"? Tony Bourdain in his most recent book, refers to a bavette as the french word for onglet!!??
which doesn't make any sense in that an onglet IS the french word for hangar steak!! so much for his "expertise"?
the "surloigne" of a French steer encompasses the tenderloin, the contre/faux-filet, the romsteck, & the BAVETTE, aka our boneless top sirloin - vs. - a US steer's loin section (short loin=tenderloin & top loin + the sirloin), & rump section

funny, in this country, a skirt (hampe) steak is the more expensive/lb, followed by the hangar (onglet), with a flank (bifteck de flanchet) steak being the least expensive of the 3 "comparable" cuts. skirt is more associated with fajitas & philly steaks, flank with london broils, & hangar with steak frites (whereas in france, steak frites is more likely to be a rump steak). i wonder if skirt is actually the cut served in restaurants serving fajitas, or is it from the cheaper flank section???

another observation: i also "used" to believe a "faux (wrong) filet" referred to a ribeye as per your above meat chart link; however, in numerous french cookbooks, a faux-filet is catagorized as the same as a "contre (against/opposite) filet", which does seem odd that 2 terms would describe the same cut - supposedly, the difference is in the shape of the cut: the faux-filet being in the shape of a filet mignon - vs. - the contre-filet which has a more rectangular shape as has its equal, the ny strip. i think the ribeye definition better re: the term "faux"-filet, but i assume they know more than i.

there doesn't appear to be a comparable french cut for our ribeye, which is why the "faux-filet" term would be a good fit for being the proper french term. the closest would be a very trimmed, boneless entrecote from the middle of the rib section.

in that this string is about french terms for beef/boeuf cuts, don't want to even think about touching upon the definition of a "delmonico" vs. a "club steak"!!!

Edited by jgould, 28 October 2004 - 01:08 PM.


#28 Ptipois

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 01:20 PM

fyi: did not see any reference to "bavette"?

Maybe because "bavette" is not a term used in Canada. Please take a look at this other document, it is interesting because the French cuts of beef are clearly named and pointed at. Thus you can see there are two "bavettes", both in a zone located on the animal's side. The top bavette (plain "bavette") may be what I've heard described as "bavette d'aloyau", the bottom one is "bavette à bifteck". The muscles from this lateral zone of the animal are characterized by their long fibres, hence a similarity between the cuts. Hampe, aiguillette baronne, onglet, bavette, etc.

However bavette is bavette, hampe is hampe and onglet is onglet. None should be confused with the other. Furthermore bavette could not be the French word for onglet, both being French words. :raz: I wouldn't trust the expertise of anyone getting confused between those cuts. Anyway, a professional butcher would help you on this topic more than I could. I believe flank steak is flanchet, however I've never been able to find out what French cut was equivalent to the brisket.

funny, in this country, a skirt steak is the more expensive/lb, followed by the hangar, with a flank steak being the least expensive of the 3 comparable cuts. skirt seem to be more associated with fajitas, flank with london broils, & hangar with steak frites (whereas in france, steak frites is more likely to be a rump steak).

Steak-frites in France is a generic term. But traditionally, to deserve this name, the steak should be chosen amongst the not-too-costly cuts, the long-fibred ones, like bavette, aiguillette, the more mysterious - and quite delicious - poire or araignée (I don't know where these are cut) or, in the worst case, tranche à bifteck. Onglet has become, rather recently, quite fancy and somewhat hard to find. It used to be almost impossible to find in butcher shops because all the available onglet went to restaurants. Also, butchers used not to carry onglet, but tripiers (organ meat vendors) did, as they sold veal onglet too. Now that most tripiers have disappeared, a reliable butcher is the only place where you can hope to find onglet, even if you have to order it in advance.
Anyway, at a restaurant, when you order a piece of steak with frites, most of the time the cut of beef will be mentioned: onglet-frites, entrecôte-frites, faux-filet-frites, pavé de rumsteak-frites.
As for fajitas and skirt steak, I believe that skirt steak is a much sought-after cut in Latin America in general, for it is large and flat and may be rolled up and stuffed. That is the basis for the Argentinian matambre for instance. Also, Venezuela and, I think, Brazil have some skirt steak specialties.

another observation: oddly, i "used" to believe a "faux (wrong) filet" referred to a ribeye as per this chart link; however, in numerous french cookbooks, a faux-filet is catagorized as the same as a "contre (against/opposite) filet". it does seem odd 2 terms describe the same cut, but i assume they know more than i.

I don't know about this but I think faux-filet is very likely to be the larger part of the t-bone. It is a flattish, regular-shaped, very tender muscle lined with a layer of fat. The muscle on the other side of the t-bone is, I believe, tenderloin (filet).

faux translates into "wrong" which would lead one to think of it as the "wrong filet" giving credence to thinking of a filet-like cut, but from the rib section,

Faux-filet is considered "faux" (false) because it sort of resembles tenderloin, being very tender and tasty, but is not actually tenderloin.

which would logically be the ribeye, which is "somewhat comparable" to a ny strip cut from the top loin.

I think the ribeye is the "noix d'entrecôte. If what you call "top loin" is the front part of it, there it is.

contre translates into "opposite", as in opposite the filet, which, in fact, it is; therefore, giving credence to be the correct term, aka, our "ny strip".

Yes, the faux-filet seems to be opposite the filet, and given the shape of a slice of faux-filet, it does deserve the name "strip", so that must be it.

there doesn't appear to be a comparable french cut for our ribeye. the closest would be a very trimmed, boneless entrecote from the middle of the rib section.

That's why I do believe that it's the noix d'entrecôte.

in that this string is about french terms for beef/boeuf cuts, don't want to even think about touching upon the definition of a "delmonico" vs. a "club steak"!!!

Well, you know, things are even more complicated than this. If most cuts of beef are the object of a relative consensus amongst French butchers from North to South and from East to West, you have to take into account the innumerable vernacular and provincial terms describing some of them. Including some that are not mentioned on the maps and diagrams but that butchers seem to keep lovingly to themselves and their beloved clients... For instance how easily can you get a piece of poire or araignée if you're not in excellent terms with your neighborhood butcher? Not easily. You probably won't even hear of it. And if I go to a Parisian butcher and ask for a couple of galinettes (a very gelatinous part of the shin, oblong-shaped with a sinew at each end), he may not understand what I'm talking about if he's not from the region of Auvergne or Limousin. If he doesn't understand I may use the term "carotte" and that will do. But some cuts of beef bear different names in some regions and the whole thing is pretty confusing.

#29 jgould

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:42 AM

MERCI, again! hopefulli i am adding my comments correctly so it is easier for you to follow. also, thx very much for the chart, it is what i have been searching for, but could never find, till you kindly provided!!

fyi: did not see any reference to "bavette"?

Maybe because "bavette" is not a term used in Canada. Please take a look at this other document, it is interesting because the French cuts of beef are clearly named and pointed at. Thus you can see there are two "bavettes", both in a zone located on the animal's side. The top bavette (plain "bavette") may be what I've heard described as "bavette d'aloyau", the bottom one is "bavette à bifteck". The muscles from this lateral zone of the animal are characterized by their long fibres, hence a similarity between the cuts. Hampe, aiguillette baronne, onglet, bavette, etc.

yes there are 2 bavettes, 1 for stews, the other for grilling. from the chart i saw, it appears the top bavette is the cut for grilling, contrary to your statement above, but then again, i could be misinterpreting the "top from the bottom". 1 clarification:
a bavette is the undercut of the sirloin, whereas aloyau = sirloin; therefore, i believe a "bavette d'aloyau" is saying the same thing TWICE. & clearly, a bavette is a different cut than the onglet.


However bavette is bavette, hampe is hampe and onglet is onglet. None should be confused with the other. Furthermore bavette could not be the French word for onglet, both being French words. :raz: I wouldn't trust the expertise of anyone getting confused between those cuts. Anyway, a professional butcher would help you on this topic more than I could. I believe flank steak is flanchet, however I've never been able to find out what French cut was equivalent to the brisket.

voila - now at least i can help u a little - brisket (beef) = la poitrine de boeuf.

funny, in this country, a skirt steak is the more expensive/lb, followed by the hangar, with a flank steak being the least expensive of the 3 comparable cuts. skirt seem to be more associated with fajitas, flank with london broils, & hangar with steak frites (whereas in france, steak frites is more likely to be a rump steak).

Steak-frites in France is a generic term. But traditionally, to deserve this name, the steak should be chosen amongst the not-too-costly cuts, the long-fibred ones, like bavette, aiguillette, the more mysterious - and quite delicious - poire or araignée (I don't know where these are cut) or, in the worst case, tranche à bifteck. Onglet has become, rather recently, quite fancy and somewhat hard to find. It used to be almost impossible to find in butcher shops because all the available onglet went to restaurants. Also, butchers used not to carry onglet, but tripiers (organ meat vendors) did, as they sold veal onglet too. Now that most tripiers have disappeared, a reliable butcher is the only place where you can hope to find onglet, even if you have to order it in advance.
Anyway, at a restaurant, when you order a piece of steak with frites, most of the time the cut of beef will be mentioned: onglet-frites, entrecôte-frites, faux-filet-frites, pavé de rumsteak-frites.

interesting, sounds like you live in Paris? here in US, normally steak frites is not as detailed, although many restaurants do interpret the french underneath, but usually refer to steak frites as a sirloin, which here can mean a sirloin strip = ny strip. unnecessarily confusing because here these ARE 2 different cuts; whereas in France, it seems a sirloin is a more all-encompassing term referring to the sirloin AND the top loin cuts!!!

As for fajitas and skirt steak, I believe that skirt steak is a much sought-after cut in Latin America in general, for it is large and flat and may be rolled up and stuffed. That is the basis for the Argentinian matambre for instance. Also, Venezuela and, I think, Brazil have some skirt steak specialties.

another observation: oddly, i "used" to believe a "faux (wrong) filet" referred to a ribeye as per this chart link; however, in numerous french cookbooks, a faux-filet is catagorized as the same as a "contre (against/opposite) filet". it does seem odd 2 terms describe the same cut, but i assume they know more than i.

I don't know about this but I think faux-filet is very likely to be the larger part of the t-bone. It is a flattish, regular-shaped, very tender muscle lined with a layer of fat. The muscle on the other side of the t-bone is, I believe, tenderloin (filet).

faux translates into "wrong" which would lead one to think of it as the "wrong filet" giving credence to thinking of a filet-like cut, but from the rib section,

Faux-filet is considered "faux" (false) because it sort of resembles tenderloin, being very tender and tasty, but is not actually tenderloin.

thanks, your explanation clears up the "faux" issue & now the term makes more sense. as well as faux-filet possibly being the filet cut from the T-bone - vs. - the contre-filet being the filet cut from the porterhouse (???)

which would logically be the ribeye, which is "somewhat comparable" to a ny strip cut from the top loin.

I think the ribeye is the "noix d'entrecôte. If what you call "top loin" is the front part of it, there it is.

the string works like this: Loin = Short Loin (tenderloin aka the "filet" + the top loin aka the strip aka ny strip, etc...) + the Sirloin - vs. - the French string:
Surloigne aka sirloin = filet + contre/faux-filet + romsteck + bavette.


contre translates into "opposite", as in opposite the filet, which, in fact, it is; therefore, giving credence to be the correct term, aka, our "ny strip".

Yes, the faux-filet seems to be opposite the filet, and given the shape of a slice of faux-filet, it does deserve the name "strip", so that must be it.

actually given your excellent explanation of a faux-filet; i would add that a faux-filet is cut (i think) similarly to a filet mignon in size, small & squarish, hence the name reference: faux/false, i.e. a "false" filet mignon (vs. your stating it is the shape of a strip).

whereas, a contre-filet cut is similar to a strip, aka ny strip, rectangularish in size. using all this & the above, the faux & the contre terms now appear to make sense. however, i wonder if restaurants or chefs would agree with this???


there doesn't appear to be a comparable french cut for our ribeye. the closest would be a very trimmed, boneless entrecote from the middle of the rib section.

That's why I do believe that it's the noix d'entrecôte.

makes sense to me (assume noix =eye in French)

in that this string is about french terms for beef/boeuf cuts, don't want to even think about touching upon the definition of a "delmonico" vs. a "club steak"!!!

Well, you know, things are even more complicated than this. If most cuts of beef are the object of a relative consensus amongst French butchers from North to South and from East to West, you have to take into account the innumerable vernacular and provincial terms describing some of them. Including some that are not mentioned on the maps and diagrams but that butchers seem to keep lovingly to themselves and their beloved clients... For instance how easily can you get a piece of poire or araignée if you're not in excellent terms with your neighborhood butcher? Not easily. You probably won't even hear of it. And if I go to a Parisian butcher and ask for a couple of galinettes (a very gelatinous part of the shin, oblong-shaped with a sinew at each end), he may not understand what I'm talking about if he's not from the region of Auvergne or Limousin. If he doesn't understand I may use the term "carotte" and that will do. But some cuts of beef bear different names in some regions and the whole thing is pretty confusing.

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thanks very much!!! i very much enjoy this interchange.

Edited by jgould, 29 October 2004 - 12:25 PM.


#30 Ptipois

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 08:24 AM

yes there are 2 bavettes, 1 for stews, the other for grilling. from the chart i saw, it appears the top bavette is the cut for grilling, contrary to your statement above, but then again, i could be misinterpreting the "top from the bottom". 1 clarification:
a bavette is the undercut of the sirloin, whereas aloyau = sirloin; therefore, i believe a "bavette d'aloyau" is saying the same thing TWICE. & clearly, a bavette is a different cut than the onglet.

Oui, mais. In France, nobody ever uses bavette for stews. It's all grilling stuff. As for "bavette d'aloyau", the term does make sense and doesn't sound pleonastic to me, because bavette is part of the sirloin (aloyau) so "d'" is understood as a partitive (bavette d'aloyau being part of a larger cut). (Phew, butchery is SO subtle!)

voila - now at least i can help u a little - brisket (beef) = la poitrine de boeuf.

Aha, thank you very much! I reckon brisket (poitrine) is a much underused cut in French butchery. I fondly remember some brisket breakfasts from New York City, long ago.

interesting, sounds like you live in Paris? here in US, normally steak frites is not as detailed, although many restaurants do interpret the french underneath, but usually refer to steak frites as a sirloin, which here can mean a sirloin strip = ny strip. unnecessarily confusing because here these ARE 2 different cuts; whereas in France, it seems a sirloin is a more all-encompassing term referring to the sirloin AND the top loin cuts!!!

Yes, I do live in Paris, supposedly the home of the steak-frites (there used to be postcards of this local specialty, with the recipe printed on them and the Eiffel Tower in the background. Maybe I can still find one.) I didn't know there was anything in the US actually called "steak frites". Anyway it does make sense that the American version should be prepared with the most convenient cuts of beef, i.e. the NY strip (faux-filet-frites is quite delicious here too). I like steak-frites but I believe the best combination with frites is not steak but roast chicken (yum!).

thanks, your explanation clears up the "faux" issue & now the term makes more sense. as well as faux-filet possibly being the filet cut from the T-bone - vs. - the contre-filet being the filet cut from the porterhouse (???)

Do not get confused with the French term "filet". It only means "tenderloin". In a T-bone, the "filet" part is the tenderloin part (i.e. the smaller one) whereas the "contrefilet" part is the same as the "faux-filet" part, i.e. the larger part,, i.e. the porterhouse. Does this sound correct to you?

the string works like this: Loin = Short Loin (tenderloin aka the "filet" + the top loin aka the strip aka ny strip, etc...) + the Sirloin - vs. - the French string:
Surloigne aka sirloin = filet + contre/faux-filet + romsteck + bavette.

OK, I think I can visualize this. "Surlonge" sounds like a plausible origin for the word "sirloin" too.

actually given your excellent explanation of a faux-filet; i would add that a faux-filet is cut (i think) similarly to a filet mignon in size, small & squarish, hence the name reference: faux/false, i.e. a "false" filet mignon (vs. your stating it is the shape of a strip). whereas, a contre-filet cut is similar to a strip, aka ny strip, rectangularish in size. using all this & the above, the faux & the contre terms now appear to make sense. however, i wonder if restaurants or chefs would agree with this???

Faux-filet is indeed a squarish cut, that's a good way to describe it. I don't know exactly what a "filet mignon" is in a beef context. In France, the term is used to describe a very small and tender cut, and is more frequently heard concerning pork tenderloin (sold whole). I think I vaguely remember that filet mignon de bœuf is another name for filet (tenderloin), but I'm not cure. If it is so, then in a T-bone you have filet (mignon) on one side and faux-filet (NY strip) on the other side.

thanks very much!!! i very much enjoy this interchange.

Oh, so do I! But I wish I knew more about butchery. That's one fascinating subject!





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