After studying this chapter, you will be able to:
• Define meat inspection and meat grading.
• Discuss basic guidelines for selecting, receiving, and
• Identify the primal, subprimal, and fabricated cuts of
• Define and discuss grading, preparation options and
marketed forms of offal
• Describe safety guidelines in the handling and
fabrication of meats
Few people today know where the meat they are eating comes from anymore because they
buy meat that is vacuum packaged or neatly wrapped in the grocery store.
The way beef is sold and used in food service today is fundamentally different from the past. Changes
have been driven by industry consolidation and economics, as well as changing tastes of the
New demographics and social trends also play a part. Chefs with the flexibility should
consider locating a supplier of “boutique” meats—heritage pork breeds, specialty beef, and local
lamb and poultry. Let the guests know the stories behind what they are eating.
Most guests will appreciate the “farm-to-fork” experience as well as having the opportunity to
experience unique foods. Chefs, however, should know where a cut of meat is located on the animal
carcass so they can determine the best method of cooking it.
Beef is a complex protein with many factors affecting texture and flavor. Animal maturity, postmortem
aging, and marbling are variables beyond the control of chefs.
But the chef can control some variables; muscle selection, marination or mechanical tenderization,
cooking method, degree of doneness, and proper carving are all discretionary. Creating ordering
specifications based on controllable variables helps to ensure receipt outcomes of desired quality.
Learning which cuts respond best to which cooking technique gives you the flexibility to take
advantage of special seasonal offerings. Simple fabrication techniques, including trimming and
cutting steaks and chops, are important skills for a professional chef.
MEAT GRADING AND INSPECTION
Meats are among the costliest items on the menu, but they
are also one of the most potentially profitable. You must
understand how to receive, store, and prepare meats properly
if you are to get the most value out of them.
Before fabrication, live animals are slaughtered, eviscerated,
inspected, and graded.
Government inspection of all meats, including game and
poultry, is mandatory. Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act
and the Poultry Products Inspection Act, the Food Safety and
Inspection Service (FSIS), the public health agency in the
USDA, inspects all raw meat and poultry sold in interstate and
foreign commerce, including imported products.
The agency monitors meat and poultry products after they
leave federally inspected plants.
MEAT GRADING AND INSPECTION Cont:
• Detection and destruction of diseased meat
and/or contaminated meat
• Assurance of clean and sanitary handling and
• Minimization of microbiological contamination
• Prevention of adulteration (the addition of
harmful substances or products considered
in certain specified quantities) and the presence
of chemical or drug residues
• Prevention of false labeling
• Application of inspection insignia
The federal government has jurisdiction for meat
inspection if meat is to be sold in interstate or
foreign commerce. State governments have
jurisdiction if meat is to be sold only in intrastate
commerce. However, the FSIS monitors state
inspection programs; if states choose to end their
inspection program or cannot maintain this
standard, the FSIS must assume responsibility for
inspection within the state.
Inspections are performed at various times
during the life span of the animal and later
after butchering (both ante mortem and
postmortem). Ante mortem inspection is
inspection of animals before slaughter,
inspected in pens on the premises, on the day
of slaughter, in motion and at rest. If the
animal is acceptable, it is passed for slaughter.
Postmortem inspection is inspection after
slaughter of the head, viscera, and carcass.
Inspection proceeds simultaneously with
slaughter and dressing. Inspectors look for
several things. They want to be sure that
animals are disease-free; that farms are
operated safely, cleanly, and healthily; and
that the meat produced is wholesome and fit
The functions of meat inspection are as
MEAT GRADING AND INSPECTION
Grading refers to eating quality, and,
unlike inspection, beef grading is a completely
voluntary system in Canada and the United States.
Once beef has been inspected and meets safety
standards, it can be graded for its eating quality. The
Canadian Beef Grading System has been developed
to parallel the USDA grading system. There can be
great diversity among grading systems used in
different countries. Some countries are not
concerned about marbling, meat and fat color, or the
age of the animal. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA employs specific standards to
assign meat grades and the USDA trains
graders. Meat packagers absorb the costs associated
with meat grading. The packer does not have to hire
a USDA grader and instead may assign a grade based
on in-house standards.
But these standards must meet or exceed federal
standards. However, only a USDA grader
can use the USDA stamp. Meat grades are assessed
based on the overall shape of the carcass,
the ratio of fat to lean meat, the ratio of meat to bone,
and the color of the meat. For beef
only, the grader assesses the marbling of lean flesh.
After meat has been inspected for
wholesomeness, producers and processors may request
that the products graded for quality by a licensed Federal
grader. Grading of a carcass relies
on a standardized measurement system which supports
pricing decisions based on expectations
of meat quality and yield. The grade given to a particular
carcass is then applied to all the cuts from that animal.
Some meats, such as beef, lamb, and mutton, receive
yield grades, which are of greatest significance to
wholesalers (Figure 10-2). A yield grade is a measure of
the edible meat yielded from the animal. Butchers refer
to this as cutability. The yield grade is a measure related
to the amount of lean yield in the carcass. In the United
States, the yield grade of a beef carcass is determined by
placing the values of four variables into an equation
MEAT GRADING AND INSPECTION Cont:
1. Amount of external fat
2. Amount of kidney, pelvic, and
3. Area of the rib eye muscle
4. Carcass weight
The carcass is then assigned a yield
of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, with the highest-yielding
the 1 grade.
In Canada, three measurements are
used to determine yield:
1. Rib eye length
2. Rib eye width
3. Fat depth of the rib eye
• These values are then inserted
into a lean yield prediction
equation. A yield grade of 1, 2, or
3 is assigned in accordance with
the lean yield percentage
calculated. As a general rule, yield
grades 1 and 2 would be assigned
to similar types of animals in both
countries. Canada’s yield grade 3
contains animals that would
primarily receive the USDA yield
3, 4, and 5 grades.
Many meat packers have moved away from USDA
quality grading and gone to a packer’s branding
Branding programs are standards of quality that
are developed by independent packers for use
within their own organization. One packer may
have many different branding programs that
represent the different levels of quality of
products that they produce. Among the many
beef programs are
–Certified Angus Beef
Branding programs must register their standards
of quality with the USDA and pay the USDA to
monitor the programs, ensuring that the packers
are meeting their own specifications.
Many of these branded programs are based on
rigid, specified criteria of consistent quality
attributes such as grade, marbling score,
aging, size ranges, breed, and external trim
Because all products within the brand meet the
same quality attributes, there is much less
variance in the consistency of the product.
The term certified represents a set of quality
standards that have been verified by an
independent organization such as the USDA
or the Canadian Beef Grading Agency.
Certified beef programs can offer a higher
standard of eating quality based on specified
attributes associated with the individual
MARKET FORMS OF MEAT
In butchering a large animal, the first cuts divide it into sides, quarters, or saddles. A cut down the
length of the backbone produces a side of meat. Cutting a side into two pieces creates quarters. Saddle cuts are
made by cutting across the belly area at a specific point. The next step is to cut the animal into primal cuts,
which also have uniform standards according to animal. Some of these primals are also market forms, and they
will be shown throughout the chapter. The primal cuts of beef are the chuck, brisket and shank, rib, short plate,
short loin, sirloin, flank, and round.
The professional chef should have a fundamental understanding of the locations of bones when
cutting or working with meats. This makes meat fabrication and carving
smoother as well as increasing the processing yields. Primal cuts may be further broken down into subprimal
cuts. Subprimals may be made into smaller cuts and trimmed, and then
packed as food service or hotel, restaurant, and institution (HRI) cuts. Portion control (PC)
cuts are individual cuts ready to cook and serve; they include steaks, chops, roasts, and
ground meat). Portion control cuts require no further fabrication.
Various cuts of beef may differ in name between different countries and even in different regions
of the same country, so it can be confusing. For example, in the United States, the rear section of the carcass is
known as the round, but in Canada, the same section is called the hip.
Most operations buy boxed meat. Boxed meat is the industry term for primal and subprimal
cuts of beef that are vacuum sealed and packed into boxes, then shipped for sale to
restaurants, butchers, and supermarkets. Boxed meats typically require further processing
before they are ready for the table.
BOXED VS. HANGING MEAT
In years past, meat was slaughtered, inspected, and graded in
slaughterhouses before being loaded onto trucks using a system of overhead rails. The
meats were sent to regional wholesale markets, where the whole carcasses or sides
were broken down into primal, subprimal, and retail cuts.
These cuts of meat were not vacuum-packed, and larger cuts such as sides or primal
cuts hung on meat hooks during transportation and storage.
Today, much of the fabrication is done at the slaughter facility. Rather than ship large
cuts to an intermediary for further fabrication, the slaughterhouses now do nearly all
of the fabrication. They then vacuum-pack the fabricated cuts and ship the products in
boxes directly to distributors. Shipping nice square boxes is more efficient than odd-shaped
and odd sized pieces of meat.
One of the challenges to this practice is the inability to individually select
products. At one time, butchers or chefs could go to market and hand-select the
specific cuts they wanted for their establishments. Today the ability to choose is
limited because of the way items are packaged.
Many factors must be considered before a purchase decision can be
made. Factors such as limited skilled labor, food safety concerns, and the
ability of the operator to use all products produced from each cut of meat
must be carefully analyzed.
The menu should identify the equipment requirements, cooking
methods, and pricing. These decisions will impact product purchasing
decisions. For example, if grilled and sautéed items dominate the menu, then
more tender cuts of meat should be purchased. Menu pricing dictates the
type of cut and quality an operation should use for product specifications.
Product specifications should also determine the forms in which the
product will be purchased. Meats are purchased in a variety of forms: an
entire carcass that must be completely fabricated, primal cuts, subprimal
cuts, fabricated cuts, or portion control cuts.
The USDA publishes the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications
(IMPS), describing products customarily purchased in the food service
MPS identifications are illustrated and described in The Meat Buyers
Guide, published by the National Association of Meat Purveyors
The IMPS/NAMP system is widely accepted and aids in preventing
miscommunication between purchasers and purveyors.
Meats are indexed by a numerical system: Beef cuts are designated by
the 100 series, lamb by the 200 series, veal by the 300 series, pork by
the 400 series, and portion control cuts by the 1000 series.
RECEIVING AND STORAGE
Meats are perishable. When you receive meats, check the
temperature by inserting a thermometer between packages, but do not
puncture the packaging. Meats should be received at or below 41°F (5°C). Any
temperature fluctuations to which the meat has been subjected can result in
drying or discoloration of the meat, Be sure to look for clean, intact packaging
and evidence of leakage. You may even want to check the temperature of the
delivery truck as well.
Under the best conditions and proper temperature, meat will keep
for 3 to 5 days without noticeable loss of quality. However, variety meats,
ground beef, and stew meat are highly perishable and should be used within 1
or 2 days.
Fresh meats can be kept longer when held at 32°F (0°C). For longer storage, you
can freeze meat. Meat freezes at 29°F (–2°C).
Store it at 0°F (–18°C) or below in moisture- and vapor-resistant wrapping. To
keep meats properly chilled and prevent cross-contamination, see the box
titled “Guidelines for Refrigerating and Freezing Meat
Cattle thrive throughout the world; there are
approximately 250 recognized breeds and several
hundred breeds that are not currently recognized.
More than 80 recognized breeds of beef cattle are
available to producers in the United States. Among
them, the Angus, Charolais, and Hereford are the
most popular and best known for their high muscle-to-
Other specialty breeds, such as Kobe beef from
Japan and Simmental and Limousin cattle from
Europe, are becoming more readily available.
Essentially four types of beef are produced by
America’s beef producers–
–certified organic, and
There is a growing interest in animals that are
certified organic, hormone free, humanely
raised, and grass fed, fueled by consumer
demand. The amount of exercise the
muscle receives, the type of feed, and the
breed of the animal influence the flavor,
color, and texture of the meat. In the beef
industry, the cattle that are typically used
are steers (castrated males) more than a
year old and non breeding heifers (female
cows). Older animals, classified as bullocks
or bulls, are used more for institutional
and processed meats than for hotel and
restaurant industry cuts. Beef cattle are
raised for meat production, as
distinguished from dairy cattle (cows),
which are raised for milk production
A carcass is made up of four major tissues:
muscle, fat, bone, and connective tissue.
The chemical composition of beef muscle is 71
percent water, 22 percent protein, and 7percent
The proportion of fat increases and water
decreases as the animal gets older. The bundles
of muscle fiber that allow the animal to move and
give the animal its shape are the major economic
components of the beef carcass. Lean meat is
composed of long, thin muscle fibers bound
together in bundles These determine the texture
or grain of a piece of meat. Fine-grained meat is
composed of small fibers bound in small bundles.
Coarse-textured meat has larger fibers. The
younger animal will have finer strands of muscle
fiber and is described as having a finer grain.
It is necessary to understand the natural structure
of the beef carcass and the muscles from
which the beef cuts are produced to
maximize profitability and eating quality.
Each section of the beef carcass represents a
unique muscle composition.
The carcass can be broken into two basic muscle
• locomotion muscles, consisting of the front
shoulders, neck, forelegs, hind legs, and hips,
which control all the movements and are the
working muscles of the animal
• support muscles, which support the skeleton
of the animal and are used less frequently.
These sections would be from the sirloin,
loin, and rib sections of the carcass.
• The bottom sirloin butt tri-tip on the left
shows the dehydration and discoloration
characteristic of freezer burn; the one on the
right is fresh.
Elastin, also part of the
connective tissue, is yellowish in color
and becomes thicker and more
predominant in older beef, as well as in
muscles that are used frequently for
locomotion. Its popular name is gristle.
Elastin will not break down under
normal cooking conditions. Elastin
needs to be removed by cutting it away
or by mechanically breaking up the
fibers, as in pounding and cubing,
grinding (ground meat), or slicing the
cooked meat very thin against the
grain. Fortunately, there are relatively
few elastic fibers in muscle; otherwise,
cooking would do little to reduce meat
toughness. The meat of locomotion
muscle and in older animals tends to
be tougher, but more flavorful.
There are three different types of muscles: skeletal,
cardiac, and smooth. The skeletal muscles
constitute about 40 percent of carcass weight
and are the main tissues used as meat.
Skeletal muscle fibers are thin and long. These long
muscle fibers are held in bundles by connective
tissue . Most connective tissue consists of
either collagen or elastin.
Collagen is a protein and appears white, thin, and
semitransparent. Collagen breaks down into
gelatin and water when cooked using long,
slow, moist heat.
Acid also helps dissolve collagen. As an animal ages,
the collagen present within the muscles
becomes more resistant to breaking down
through moist-heat cooking. Marinating meat
in an acid mixture or adding an acid such as
tomato or wine to the cooking liquid helps
Plus, meat has naturally present enzymes that help
break down some connective tissue and other
proteins as meat ages.
The slaughtered beef carcass is split down
the backbone to divide it into two sides.
The sides are then divided between the 12th
and 13th rib to separate the carcass into the
forequarter and the hindquarter before being
cut into primals.
A cut between the 5th and 6th ribs separates
the primal chuck from the primal rib.
A cut where the pelvic bone meets the top of
the femur bone separates the primal loin
from the primal round.
The foreshank, brisket, and plate are by-products
of the fabrication of quarters into
Primal cuts may be sold as is, but more
often today they are broken down into
subprimal or smaller cuts for the food
service industry. You will also find ground
and stewing beef and the parts such as
the oxtail, liver, heart, tongue, and other
organ meats. Some cuts are further
processed into corned beef, pastrami,
dried beef, and other items.
• The term aging simply means the
length of time that beef is stored
under controlled conditions of
temperature and humidity before
being processed into food service
cuts. Aging allows naturally occurring
enzymes within the meat to slowly
break down some of the connective
tissues that contribute to toughness.
Aging has been proven to
significantly increase tenderness.
Beef is typically aged from 3 to 28
days from the date of production.
Most of the enzyme action occurs in
the first 10 to 14 days of aging. Dry-aged
beef requires a minimum of 7 to
14 days or longer to age properly.
Wet-aged beef can mature in as few
as 7 days. After 28 days most of the
natural enzyme action is complete.
Two Types of Aged Beef
Beef can be wet aged or dry aged (Figure 10-7).
Wet-aged beef is aged in vacuum packaging at 32°F to 36°F (0°C to
2°C), whereas dry aging involves aging the beef carcass in a controlled
environment of humidity and temperature at 34°F to 38°F (1°C to 3°C)
with an ambient humidity level adjusted between 50 and 75 percent.
At one time dry-aging beef was the norm, but the advent of vacuum
packaging along with increased efficiencies in beef processing and
transportation has moved the industry more toward wet aging. Both
methods have the same effect on tenderness. Greater moisture losses
occur with dry aging, resulting in higher yield losses (shrinkage). Dry-aged
beef typically shrinks 10 to 15 percent. Moisture evaporation
from the muscle creates a greater concentration of beef flavor and
taste. Wet aging improves tenderness, but the beef does not have the
characteristic dry-aged flavor.
Before cutting or trimming, a dry-aged product normally
has a firm, hard surface. Because refrigerated storage is expensive,
only the high-priced loin and rib cuts are aged (wet or dry). Dry-aged
beef usually costs about 25 percent more than wet-aged beef.
However, many chefs believe the cost is worth it.
Marbling. As the carcass cools, intramuscular fat (fat
between muscle fibers) becomes visible as white
flecks. The size and distribution of marbling
deposits has a significant impact on eating quality.
Maturity. As a general rule, meat from older animals
becomes tougher. Canada restricts grading to cattle
verified to be 30 months or younger by dentition for
export. In the United States, animals older than 30
months may be placed into the USDA Prime,
Choice, and Standard grades. However, older
carcasses–usually from cows and bulls–receive
commercial, utility, and cutter grades.
Meat color. A bright red color is desirable from a
consumer acceptance point of view. In some cases,
because of stress depletion of sugars in the muscle,
the meat from an animal may become dark and
produce what is known as a dark cutter. Dark
cutters are not permitted n Canada’s top four grades
but are accepted in USDA Choice, Select, and
Standard in some circumstances
The grading of beef carcasses relies
on a standardized measurement
system to segregate products into
classes with uniform
characteristics and to support
pricing decisions based on
expectations of meat quality and
yield. The quality grade is
primarily intended to measure
parameters related to eating
quality and consumer
acceptance. Factors that are
considered when determining
both the U.S. and Canadian
quality grade are as follows :
• Fat color. Consumers prefer fat that is white rather than a
shade of yellow. Yellow fat is not considered a defect in the
U.S. grading system.
• Meat texture. Optimal eating quality is associated with a
firm muscle texture, and this is the minimum standard for the
top four Canadian grades. The present USDA grading system
has a minimum standard of moderately firm for the Prime
grade and permits soft meat texture for carcasses graded as
• Muscling. Caresses that are graded Canada Prime, AAA, AA,
or A must have a minimum standard of muscling measured as
good to excellent with some deficiencies. There is no muscling
requirement for the top four USDA grades.
Less than 2 percent of all graded beef receives a Prime grade.
Prime beef is typically reserved for the finest restaurants and
butcher shops, whereas Choice and Select grades are more
often used in the average restaurant. Grades lower than
Select tend to be used in processed meat and are not practical
for consideration in the restaurant or retail industry. USDA
Choice meat is the most commonly used grade in quality food
service operations and retail markets. Choice meat produces a
juicy, tender product but is not as well marbled as Prime.
Beef that has not been grade stamped (rolled) by a USDA
inspector is referred to as no roll. A large amount of the
beef sold in the United States, especially at retail, is no
roll. No roll is normally at the USDA Select standard.
USDA Select or USDA Standard beef, and lamb and veal
graded USDA Good, are all used in food service
operations and retail.
Meat labeled as kosher indicates an
additional inspection by a specially trained rabbi. Kosher
meats are processed according to rabbinical law, and the
term kosher means “correct” or “proper.” A kosher stamp
certifies cleanliness (standards), not quality.
Halal meat is processed by butchers who
follow strict Islamic guidelines. A respectable authority
must guarantee that the beef was processed and
prepared according to the accepted guidelines in order
for Muslim consumers to use the products
PRIMAL CUTS OF BEEF
The primal cuts of beef are the
chuck, brisket and shank, rib,
short plate, short loin, sirloin,
flank, and round.
The primal chuck is the animal’s front shoulder; it accounts for approximately 28 percent of the carcass weight. Primal chuck has
35 different muscles; it also contains a portion of the backbone, five rib bones, and portions of the blade and arm bones. The
shoulder muscles are constantly used, so some of the cuts are more tender than others. The chuck contains a high percentage of
connective tissue, and most of the muscles are tough. Because the meat is less tender, the fabricated cuts usually are cooked by
stewing, simmering, braising, and other moist-heat methods. The meat from the chuck primal is sold as roasts (bone-in or
boneless) or cut into steaks. Ground beef is often made from chuck.
Beef Cuts from the Primal Chuck
The blade portion includes blade roasts and steaks, chuck eye meat, crosscuts such as the seven-bone roast and steak, mock
tender, and neck. The arm half, located below the blade and neck portion, includes the arm roast and steak, cross-rib roast,
boneless shoulder roast, and short ribs. New products developed from underused cuts of meat include the following:
• Flatiron steak, also called boneless top blade, is cut from the chuck and sold as steak (see Figure 10-6). Flatiron is remarkably
tender and full-flavored. It is called the flatiron steak because when the top blade roast is cut horizontally into two pieces, the
resulting shapes resemble an old-fashioned flatiron. This top blade steak is cut in a way that eliminates the connective tissue that
runs through the center. This cut has a strong beef flavor due to the location in the chuck. It is recommended that the cut be
purchased from the purveyor in a portioned format.
• Chuck tail flat is well suited for any sauté or stir-fry application, especially quick wok dishes, because of the strong beef flavor
from the chuck as well as the high degree of marbling found in this cut. Correct stir-fry technique is critical to ensure the quality of
the finished dish. It can also be thinly sliced and grilled or roasted.
• Clod tender is part of the shoulder clod located in the chuck and is also known as a petit tender. It requires little additional cutting
or yield loss, has an intense flavor, comes in a convenient size, and is easy to prepare. The cut is not highly marbled, so care must
be taken to avoid overcooking. The size of this cut makes it a good candidate for a number of applications, such as the protein
component in a dinner salad or small grilled medallions. The small circumference and the rich flavor of the chuck, along with the
tenderness, makes this cut ideal for carpaccio.
BRISKET AND SHANK
The brisket and shank lie beneath the primal chuck and
encompass the breast and foreleg of the animal.
The brisket is tough and fatty but flavorful, so it is mainly
braised, smoked in Texas barbeque or used for corned beef. It
is sold boneless, and because of its size [usually 10 pounds
(4.5 kg) or more] it is cut into two pieces—
–the back half, which is also known as the flat half or thin cut
–front half, which has more fat than the back half and is known as
the point cut, thick cut, or deckle.
The shank is a flavorful cut, full of collagen, which turns to
gelatin when cooked. Shank is an excellent choice for broth
and soup. Brisket and shank cuts include whole brisket, flat-cut
brisket, corned beef, and shank crosscut
RIB & Rib Primal
A beef carcass has 13 pairs of ribs, but not all of the ribs are included in the
rib primal cut. The first 5 ribs are part of the chuck cut in the front of the
animal. The 13thrib is part of the loin.
The rib primal contains ribs 6 through 12. The cuts of beef
from the rib primal include bone-in prime rib, boneless rib eye steak, back
ribs, boneless rib eye roast, and bone-in rib steak.
The rib section, located just behind the shoulder or chuck, is not a well-exercised
part of the animal. That means it is tender and well marbled.
The rib section produces rib roast, rib eye roast, rib steaks, rib eye steaks,
and back ribs. The primal beef rib accounts for approximately 10 percent of
carcass weight. It consists of ribs 6 through 12 as well as a portion of the
This primal cut is best known for yielding roast prime rib of beef. For prime
rib, the word prime does not refer to a grade of meat as but means, rather,
that the roast itself constitutes most of the primal cut.
Primal rib produces rich, full-flavored roasts and steaks. With the exception
of rib bones, which are meaty and flavorful, the most common methods
used to cook cuts from the primal rib include roasting, grilling, broiling, and
The ends of the rib bones that are trimmed off the rib roast are known as
beef short ribs, which are commonly simmered, used to make broths,
braised, or barbecued.
The rib is sold whole, in smaller roasts (bone-in and boneless), or cut into
steaks such as rib eye steak, Delmonico, château cut, or shell steaks. Bones
can be used to make stock.
RIB & Rib Primal cont:
Some terminology associated with ribs follows:
• Beef back ribs (finger bones)—the seven rib bones that are pulled from a rib to create a boneless rib
• Kernel fat—a pocket of fat found between the cap and the rib eye. The size of the kernel flat varies
with the size of cut, time of year, and grade of product.
• Fat cap—A layer of fat that is placed on top of the rib and netted or tied on. Fat caps are trimmed to
an average of 20 percent of the finished roast weight.
• Finger meat—the meat located between the ribs or that remains on the roast once the ribs are
• Tail—the portion of meat and fat that extends from the eye of to the end of the rib. Tail lengths vary
based on the specification.
Beef has changed a great deal from when product specifications were originally developed.
Years ago, beef did not have the degree of marbling it has today. Chefs felt it necessary to place fat caps
over the meat to maintain juiciness and flavor. Today fat caps are not necessary, given increased
marbling and modern oven technology. Some chefs believe that having the bone in adds additional
flavor. Some like to have the bones to use for specials .However, bone-in rib decreases the yield and
increases the price per serving. Beef rib bones can be purchased separately at substantial savings for
other applications. Finally, cooking beef rib roasts at a lower temperature saves money and results in a
juicier product, as losses are lower for all cuts when cooked at a lower temperature
SHORT PLATE HINDQUARTER
The short plate, located on the underside of the rib cage,
produces meat that tends to be tough and fatty. Cuts
include outside and inside skirt steak (see Figure 10-6)
and short ribs.
Skirt steak is the diaphragm muscle. It is a
long, flat piece of meat, with a tendency toward
toughness, but it has good flavor. All membrane should
be removed and the lean surface should be fat free. Its
coarse grain makes it ideal for marinating. It can be
grilled or pan-fried quickly with good results. Another
traditional method is to stuff it, roll it, and braise it. In
many areas of the country (Texas, for example), skirt
steak is the only cut to be used when making “real”
Short rib plate is separated from the
carcass during the creation of the rib subprimal and may
include ribs 6 through 12. Trimming involves removing
the first layer of lean and fat from the short rib. Slicing
the short rib into thin strips results in the Korean-style
short rib cut. Short ribs are highly marbled, extremely
tender, and rich in flavor when braised. Hanger steak is
the thick strip of meat that hangs between the last rib
and the loin. It is actually part of the diaphragm. Pastrami
is usually made from meat obtained from the plate.
Primal Short Loin
The short loin is located just behind the ribs and
becomes the first primal cut of the hindquarter when the
side of beef is divided into a forequarter and
hindquarter. This area boasts extremely tender cuts and
can be prepared without the aid of moist heat or long
cooking times. Cuts from the short loin may be sautéed,
pan-fried, broiled, pan-broiled, or grilled.
The short loin contains a single rib, the
13th, and a portion of the backbone. The loin eye
muscle, a continuation of the rib eye muscle, runs along
the top of the T-shaped bones that form the backbone.
Beneath the loin eye muscle on the other side of the
backbone is the tenderloin, the tenderest cut of the
carcass. The top loin steak is the first type of steak cut
from the loin; it is cut from the end of the loin, which
contains the last or 13th rib. This steak is also called a
club steak or Delmonico steak. The steak is identified by
the large eye muscle, the rib bone, and part of the
The T-bone steak has the characteristic T-shaped vertebra and the large eye muscle. The smaller muscle
located below the T-bone is the tenderloin. The porterhouse steak is similar to the T-bone steak. However,
the tenderloin muscle is much larger, and extra muscle is located in the center of the porterhouse steak on
the upper side.
Most of the cuts benefit from dry cooking methods. The tenderloin is the inside muscle of the short loin
and is the most expensive cut of beef. It is a long tapered muscle extending from the 13th rib to the pelvis.
The whole tenderloin can also be removed and portion-cut into tournedos, châteaubriand, and filet
mignon. Tournedos are cut from the small end of the tenderloin. Châteaubriand is obtained from the center
of the tenderloin. Filet mignon is located next to the châteaubriand near the large end of the tenderloin.
Although the tenderloin is considered the tenderest cut of beef, the beef flavor is proportionately
lessened, so it responds well to sauces, because the meat does not overpower the flavor of the sauce.
Part of the tenderloin is located in the sirloin portion of the loin. When the entire beef loin is divided into
the primal short loin and primal sirloin, the large end of the tenderloin (the butt tenderloin) is separated
from the remainder of the tenderloin and remains in the sirloin. If the tenderloin is to be kept whole, it
must be removed before the short loin and sirloin are separated. The loin eye meat can be removed from
the bones, producing a boneless strip loin.
The primal flank is located in the
rear underbelly of the carcass.
The flank produces flavorful but
tough meat that contains plenty
of connective tissue. This primal
cut contains no bones; trimming
is required only to remove some
silver skin and thin membrane on
the outside. Grilling is a natural
option for this cut; however,
because it is very lean, care must
be taken not to overcook it. The
flank can also be braised or slow-roasted
for a tender, flavorful
Sirloin cuts are naturally lean with bold, beefy flavor,
but tend to be chewy. This primal section is located in
the hindquarter, between the short loin and the
round. It contains part of the backbone as well as a
portion of the hip bone. The sirloin contains several
different cuts, including bone-in or boneless roasts
and steaks. These steaks include sirloin, boneless top
sirloin (or top butt), and top sirloin cap steak (or
coulotte steak). Sirloin bone-in steaks are crosscuts
from the front section of the hip and are named
according to the shape of the piece of the hip bone
remaining in them. They vary in their degree of
tenderness. The pin bone is the tenderest because of
its proximity to the short loin, and the wedge bone is
the least tender because it is closest to the rump.
The bottom butt is one of the two main
muscles of the sirloin. The cuts from the bottom butt
are tender if cooked properly, and they are not too
expensive. Cuts from the bottom sirloin include the
ball tip, tri-tip, and flap steaks. The top butt is a bit
better in quality than the bottom butt, and the cuts
from it are tender and affordable. Generally, cuts from
the sirloin are cooked using dry-heat methods. The tri-tip
is a triangular cut at the tip of the sirloin and is
surrounded by the remainder of the sirloin and the
round and flank primal. It can be used as a roast or cut
The primal round is very large, accounting for
approximately 24 percent of the carcass weight. It
is the hind leg of the animal. Steaks cut from the
round are less tender, and the hindshank is
prepared in the same manner as the foreshank.
The major cuts of beef from the primal include
• Top round
• Eye round
• Bottom round
Cuts from the round are most commonly
prepared with moist heat. Additionally, cuts
from the round are often cubed for stew or
kebabs, or ground. The knuckle and the top
round may be prepared with dry heat if done
Inside round or top round is
composed of three muscles with the grain
running in various directions, so consistently
cutting across the grain needs to be monitored.
This cut is medium tender and more tender than
the outside round or bottom round. It has good
fat coverage; if roasted, it maintains maximum
juiciness and presents well. As with all hip cuts,
yield and juiciness remain high when roasted
under optimal low-temperature conditions. This
cut does not have major connective seams or
large fat pockets, so it has a high yield. A few
classic cuts from the top round are top round
roast, top round steak, top round marinating
strips, and top round diced beef.
Outside or bottom round flat is
known for high yield and easy handling. This cut
has an even thickness, resulting in even roasting
and doneness from end to end. The consistent
grain allows for ease of carving without major
shifts in direction of grain. Bottom round flat is
the perfect cut for a high-yield roast or cut thin
for stir-fry beef strips.
Veal comes from a young dairy calf, usually male, generally between 16 and 18 weeks of age and weighing up to 450 pounds
204.5 kg). Adult female cows used in dairy herds must be “freshened” in order to continue milk production, which means they
must give birth to acalf each year. Female calves are raised to replenish the milking herd. Only a few male calves are needed for
breeding stock, with the surplus males being sold for meat.
Holstein and other dairy cattle have very low muscle-to-bone ratio, and although they are good milk producers,
they do not produce as good quality meat. As the dairy cattle get older, their meat gets much tougher and more strongly flavored
than beef cattle at similar ages. This is why calves for veal production are slaughtered at young ages.
Veal has delicate, tender flesh that is creamy white with a hint of pink or pinkish-gray. Milk-fed veal, also known as
special-fed veal, comes from calves that are fed a milk supplement. Formula-fed calves may be up to 4 months old at the time of
slaughter, but their diet contains no grass or feed. Most veal calves are special-fed. Grain-fed or free-range veal initially receives
milk and later is fed a diet of grain and hay. The meat from grain-fed veal calves tends to be darker in color and fattier.
Bob veal is veal calves marketed up to 3 weeks of age or at a weight of 150 pounds(68.2 kg): they constitute up to
15 percent of veal calves. Farmers often limit the space in which special-fed veal is raised. These living conditions are often the
focus of animal rights activists in the controversy that surrounds veal farming. However, today’s modern, environmentally
controlled veal barns provide for animal health and safety. A combination of social, political, and religious factors worked against
veal becoming a popular meat in the West. However, in the sophisticated climate of Renaissance Italy, particularly Tuscany, veal
became very popular. Veal has very little fat content and has been praised as having the subtlest flavor of all meats.
Veal may be split in two sides, or it may be cut into a
fore saddle (front portion) and a hind saddle (rear
portion) by splitting the carcass at a point between
the 11th and 12th ribs.
The rack and shoulder are separated between the 4th
and 5th rib. The loin and leg are separated at the tip
of the hip bone.
The primal cuts of veal are the shoulder, the
foreshank and breast, the rib from the foresaddle,
and the loin and leg from the hindsaddle .
The veal shoulder, rib, and loin primal contain both
Primal cuts are the most labor-intensive option.
Subprimal cuts, which are smaller, fabricated cuts
from the primal cuts, are often boneless or
semiboneless and are usually further trimmed of fat.
Organ meats (offal) from veal, particularly the
sweetbreads, liver, calf ’s head, and brains, are highly
GRADES OF VEAL
Veal and calf carcasses may only be quality graded. Because there is relatively little
fat cover on veal and calf carcasses, there has been no demonstrated need for the
use of yield grades. Relatively small numbers of veal and calf carcasses are graded.
As with beef and lamb, the use of the system is entirely voluntary. As with the
other species, quality grades identify the eating characteristics.
There are five quality grades for veal and calf. The grades, in order from the highest
to the lowest quality, are
•U.S. Standard, and
Most of the carcasses graded are Choice grade, with a small number of Prime.
CUTS OF VEAL
The choice meat of the veal leg is flavorful, tender, and lean.
The primal leg is normally fabricated into major muscles:
–the top round
– bottom round
These muscles are trimmed of all fat and visible connective tissue. The boneless cuts from the top round,
knuckle, bottom, eye round, sirloin, and butt tenderloin can be prepared using dry-heat methods such as
roasting, sautéing, and pan-frying.
They can also be used to make stews such as blanquettes and fricassées. The boneless cuts may also be
prepared as the menu cuts scaloppini, schnitzel, émincé, escalope, and kebabs.
The hindshank is meatier than the foreshank, but
both can be used to prepare osso bucco. A
common veal cut is the sirloin chop, a lean steak
cut from the sirloin. Most often the sirloin is sold
as part of the whole leg and sliced into cutlets .
Veal steak is either sirloin steak or round steak
cut from the top or bottom round muscles in the
leg. The knuckle is a moderately tender, lean cut
from the upper portion of the leg adjoining the
sirloin. The single largest leg muscle is the top
round, sought after for scaloppini and roasting.
The bottom round contains the regularly shaped,
boneless eye of round, which is lean and can be
tough; the moderately tender flat; and the
tougher, smaller muscles of the heel. Veal is often
cut into cutlets called scaloppini or medallions.
Though scaloppini may come from the loin and
other parts of the calf, those cut from the leg will
be largest in diameter and least expensive. They
are pounded thin before cooking to tenderize and
The veal loin is one of the expensive
middle cuts along the adjoining rib. Veal
T-bone, porterhouse steak, and strip loin
steak are cut from the veal loin. Loin cuts
are tender and can be prepared using
dry-heat techniques such as roasting,
grilling, broiling, and sautéing. Whole
roasts (bone-in or boneless), chops and
other portion cuts are available. Boneless
veal loin eye can be cut into tender
portions that are easy to pound into thin
paillards or scaloppini. Veal loin is tender
and delicate in flavor, with buttery
texture and fine grain.
The cuts of veal from hotel rack primal include the following:
• Veal rack, split
• Chop-ready rack
• Frenched Veal rack
Just as with cuts from the loin, cuts from the rack are tender, succulent, and
juicy. Veal racks or chops are often the most expensive item on a restaurant
menu. They are best cooked by roasting, broiling, grilling, or sautéing. The
cuts are sold as roasts or chops (bone-in or boneless).
The bones on a veal rack can be removed, yielding a veal rib eye and a small
piece of tenderloin known as the short tenderloin. Tying a rib roast into a
crown shape will result in a crown roast. Bones for the roasts or chops are
often frenched. To “french” bones means to cut the meat away from the end
of a rib or chop, so that the bone is clean and exposed.
The cuts of veal from the square-cut shoulder primal include
• Square-cut shoulder
• Shoulder clod
Shoulder cuts are similar to the beef shoulder or chuck and
tend to be somewhat tough, so it is best to use moist-heat
methods such as braising, stewing, or simmering. However,
the veal shoulder contains only four rib bones, compared to
the five in the beef chuck. The backbone, blade, and arm
bones are often removed and the meat stuffed. The shoulder
can be fabricated into chops and steaks, but they are not of
the same quality as the loin or rib. Often the meat from the
shoulder is ground or cubed for stew.
Foreshank and Breast Primal
Located beneath the shoulder and rib sections on the front
half of the carcass, the foreshank and breast are considered
one primal cut. This area contains rib bones, breast bones,
shank bones, and rib cartilage. Veal breast or brisket is an
economical cut that allows chefs to be innovative.
Traditional preparations of veal breast call for a pocket to be
cut into the breast, filled with stuffing, and braised. Veal
breast can also be cubed for stews or ground.
The foreshank is flavorful but tough. Osso bucco can be cut
from the foreshank, or the whole foreshank can be braised.
In the entire history of civilization, no animal has provided us with more sustenance than the pig. In
spite of the many cultural taboos against pork, it is the number one consumed meat on the planet.
Perhaps the oldest known written recipe for pork, spit-roasted stuffed suckling pig, dates to 500 BCE in
The pig is bred primarily for its meat. Pig breeds in the United States are classified as lard,
meat, or bacon hogs. Lard pigs, fed on a diet consisting mainly of corn, have a high proportion of back
fat. Lard pigs have basically disappeared from the market because of changing diets. Bacon pigs are bred
to have long bodies with quite a bit of belly meat and little back fat. Meat pigs, developed for the
American market in the 1930s, have large muscles, long loins, big hams, and a moderate ratio of fat to
lean. The loin contains the highest quality meat and is the most expensive cut of pork. Pork is unique in
that the ribs and loin are considered a single primal. They are not separated into two different primal.
Pigs are commonly slaughtered when they are less than 12 months old, because that is
when the meat will be most tender with a delicate flavor. More than two-thirds of the pork marketed in
the United States is cured to produce products such as smoked bacon or ham. Once it has been split
into two halves along the backbone, the hog carcass is divided into bilateral halves. It is further
fabricated into the primal cuts: shoulder, Boston butt, belly, loin, and fresh ham, as shown in Figure 10-
13. The whole shoulder is re-moved at the first rib; the top of the shoulder is called the Boston butt,
pork butt, or Boston shoulder roast. The foreleg section of the shoulder is called picnic or picnic shoulder.
The feet from the front leg are sold separately as pig’s feet, or trotters.
The midsection of the pig contains two primal cuts. The back portion is
the pork loin, which is usually divided into the center-cut loin, which
contains the rib section and the area with the T-bone chop.
The shoulder end of the loin is called the blade end; it is often
butterflied and sold as country spareribs.
The hip end of the loin is called the sirloin end and contains a portion
of the hipbone. The primal belly, or side, is also from the midsection.
This area provides rib bones for spareribs, and the remaining boned
belly is usually made into bacon.
Uncured, unsmoked raw belly is gaining in popularity as an item to be
cooked and enjoyed. Pork belly may be slow roasted or braised for
best results. The ham area contains the leg and the meat surrounding
Quality grades for pork may be assigned by the meat packer rather than by
federal regulators. However, the grading system used by an individual packer
must be clearly defined, and it must meet or exceed federal standards.
Quality grade and yield are combined in the pork grading system and
expressed primarily in numerical terms.
The USDA grades for pork are U.S. No. 1, U.S. No. 2, U.S. No. 3, U.S. No. 4, and
U.S. Utility for barrows and gilts.
A barrow is a young castrated male hog; a gilt is a young female hog that has
Sows are graded U.S. No. 1, 2, and 3; U.S. Medium; and U.S. Cull.
Boars and stags are not graded. A boar is a male that has not been castrated.
A stag is a male that was castrated after reaching maturity.
CUTS OF PORK
CUTS OF PORK
The primal pork belly, or side, is located below the loin,
which is the underside of the pig. Pork belly is very fatty
with streaks of lean meat, tough but flavorful. The
spareribs must be separated from the rest of the belly.
Pork belly is a rustic, flavorful cut that is popular in Italian,
French, and Chinese cuisines. Bacon and salt pork are
prepared from the belly. Belly typically is cooked using
long, slow, moist heat. Spareribs are sold fresh or
smoked. They are usually simmered and then grilled or
The large ham, or rear leg of the pig, contains the aitch, leg, and hindshank bones. It contains a small
amount of connective tissue compared to the amount of muscle. The leg can be broken into the three
major muscles called TBS (top, bottom, and side, also known as inside round, outside round, and
Pork tip, or knuckle, is a lean boneless cut from the tip portion, the front part of the leg
above the kneecap, also called the forecushion. This cut has darker meat and should be cooked using
long, slow, moist heat. The pork inside round is a boneless cut from the inside of the leg. It has attractive
pale graypink color and is very versatile. It makes for easy-to-carve roasts, cutlets, kebabs, satay, stews,
and ragouts, and can be ground in a terrine.
The pork outside round is the outer or bottom muscle of the pork leg, trimmed until it is
practically free of fat. It is an economical boneless cut, but it is tough and needs slow roasting. Rear leg
shanks are the lower portion of the leg, below the knee joint (hock); they can be simmered, stewed,
braised, or smoked and cured.
A ham can be fresh, cured, canned, or smoked. Boiled ham is wet-cured and cooked to 145°F
(63°C). Hams can be purchased bone-in, shankless, or boneless, and partially or fully cooked.
The pork loin is a meaty, relatively tender cut with a large center eye, dense texture,
and fullbodied flavor. It can be prepared with dry-heat cooking methods.
Because the pork loin has a small fat covering, it is important to not overcook. Pork
loin is quite versatile and adapts well to many flavors. This cut comes from directly
behind the Boston butt and includes the entire rib section as well as the loin and a
portion of the sirloin area. The loin is the only primal cut not typically smoked or
The economical blade end loin roast, also known as the five- or seven-rib
roast, is retail cut from the loin end nearest the shoulder and will be fatty and juicy,
but the bones make it difficult to carve. The loin also contains the pork tenderloin,
located on the inside of the rib bones on the sirloin end of the loin. Of course the most
popular cut from the loin is the pork chop, which can be cut from the entire loin. The
loin can be purchased boneless, bonein, or boned and tied. A smoked boneless pork
loin is called Canadian bacon. Country-style ribs are from this section; and are the rib
bones, trimmed from the loin. Baby back ribs–also called loin ribs, back ribs, or
Canadian back ribs–come from the top of the rib cage between the spine and the
spare ribs, below the loin muscle.
BOSTON BUTT PRIMAL
Despite what its name may indicate, the Boston butt comes from the
upper shoulder of the hog. Consisting of parts of the neck, shoulder
blade, and upper arm, the Boston butt is a moderately tough cut of
meat with a good deal of connective tissue.
This primal cut is located just above the primal pork shoulder. It is
meaty with a high percentage of fat to lean meat. It can be roasted or
cut into steaks, but it is also well suited for moist-heat methods or
making ground pork.
Just above the Boston butt is a section of fat called the clear plate or
fatback, which can be used for making lard or salt pork or added to
sausage or ground pork.
SHOULDER OR PICNIC PRIMAL
The primal shoulder includes the front leg and sections at the top of the leg. These cuts contain a
higher level of fat than other cuts of pork, which provides flavor and tenderness. T
he fat content in the shoulder makes this cut desirable for sausage making, and when well
trimmed, it is used for lean ground pork. The shoulder is one of the most flavorful and
economical cuts of the pig.
The shoulder is tender enough to be cooked by any method The shoulder butt sub-primal is a
better cut than the picnic because it has enough fat for braising or roasting.
The picnic shoulder is meaty and relatively lean. The blade is the upper portion of the shoulder
and is tender and full of flavor. The roasts from this cut are available bone-in or boneless and are
best cooked using a moist-heat method such as braising or stewing, but they can also be roasted.
The steaks, which are cut from the blade Boston roasts, are best broiled, grilled, or braised. The
foreshank is called the shoulder hock and is almost always smoked. Smoked ham hocks are
simmered in soups, stews, and braised dishes to add flavor and richness. The shoulder hock may
be smoked, cured, and sold as picnic ham or a smokedshoulder. The picnic primal cut is also used
to prepare a specialty ham called tasso.
LAMB AND MUTTON
Lamb is the tender meat that comes from young domesticated sheep of both sexes. The taste of lamb
varies with environmental and genetic factors. Grain-fed meat tends to have a more mellow flavor;
grass-fed meat can have a more pungent flavor. Milk-fed lamb is considered to have the most delicate
color and flavor; grass-fed lamb has a more pronounced flavor and texture. Baby lamb and spring lamb
are both milk fed. Baby lamb is customarily slaughtered between ages six and eight weeks, spring lamb
between three and five months. Most lamb produced in the United States is finished on a grain diet and
butchered at age six to seven months.
The age at which the change from lamb to yearling mutton takes place is approximately
between 12 and 14 months; the bones become harder and whiter. Lamb that comes from a sheep older
than 16 months or more is sold as mutton. Lamb becomes tougher as it ages and develops a strong,
gamy taste. The color of mutton flesh ranges from light to dark red, compared with medium pink to light
red in yearling mutton and light to dark pink in lamb.
Because lambs can be raised under agricultural conditions that prevent beef cattle from
thriving, lamb has been for countless centuries the staple meat for most of the Middle East, North
Africa, and the Mediterranean basin. Lamb is particularly responsive to subtle seasoning and spices.
Compared to American-raised lamb, Australian and New Zealand leg of lamb is much smaller and is
shipped with the aitch bone removed.
The primary cuts of lamb are the shoulder, rack, rib, and leg. Subprimal cuts are the neck,
foreshank, breast (brisket), and flank. Like some veal primals, lamb primals are crosscut sections and
contain both bilateral halves. Figure 10-15 shows the skeletal structure of a lamb. Figure 10-16 shows
the primal cuts of lamb and how to cook them.
GRADES OF LAMB
There are four quality grades for lamb and yearling mutton. Quality grades indicate the expected
eating satisfaction of lamb. USDA Lamb Quality Grades are based upon palatability indicating
characteristics of the lean and carcass conformation.
The factors used in quality grading lamb carcasses are: (1) maturity, (2) lean quality, and (3)
The grades, from highest to lowest quality, are U.S. Prime, U.S. Choice, U.S. Good, and U.S. Utility.
Mutton may only be graded U.S. Choice, U.S. Good, U.S. Utility, or U.S. Cull.
The distinction between lamb, yearling mutton, and mutton is based primarily on the absence or
presence of the spool at the break joint on the foreleg trotter. The break joint is a cartilaginous
area of the cannon bone that is not bony. This joint becomes bonier as the animal ages and
becomes what is called a spool joint. Lamb will not display this spool. A mutton carcass has two
spool joints. A yearling carcass usually has at least one spool joint.
Yield grades of lamb, yearling mutton, and mutton carcasses are calculated based on the external
fat with 1 having the least external fat and 5 having the most external fat. Generally, only Prime
and Choice quality grade lamb is offered for grading. covering of the carcass. Yield grades are
identified by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, with 1 having the least external fat and 5 having the
most external fat. Generally, only Prime and Choice quality grade lamb is offered for grading.
CUTS OF LAMB
Leg of lamb is very versatile; it can be roasted whole, boned and
stuffed, or rolled and tied. However, the leg is often cut into two
pieces; the shank (lower) end is less meaty and tougher than the
sirloin (upper) half, which is usually more expensive and bonier.
A lamb center roast contains the leg bone (femur), the inside (top)
round, the bottom round, and the knuckle with the shank and the
A lamb bottom roast is a boneless roast taken from the shank end of
the lamb leg. A frenched leg of lamb has been cut to expose the end of
the shank bone. If the bone at the end is simply chopped off, it’s called
an American leg. Steaks can also be cut from the bone-in leg, with the
sirloin end producing the better quality. Leg meat makes for tender
cuts that sauté well. The shank can be diced, ground, or braised.
The loin is located between the primal rib and leg. It contains portions of the
backbone, the loin eye muscle, the tenderloin, the flank, and rib number 13.
Except for the flank, loin meats are tender; quick-cooking methods achieve
the best flavor and texture.
Roasting is a good method for whole cuts (bone-in or boneless); sautéing,
grilling, or broiling works well for chop. Saddle of lamb is a regal bone-in cut
that consists of both sides of the loin and includes the loin eye muscle and the
English chops are bone-in and may be a single or a double bone cut. Saratoga
chops are boneless; they may also be single or double cut.
Most commonly, the loin is cut into small lamb T-bone steaks. Boneless cuts
may be used for cutlets, émincé, medallions, or noisettes.
LAMB/HOTEL RACK PRIMAL
The cuts of lamb from the hotel rack primal include the
• Rack (split, chine removed)
• Frenched rack (cap meat removed and rib bones cleaned)
The hotel rack primal is located between the primal shoulder
and loin. Containing eight ribs and portions of the backbone, a
standing rib of lamb is also known as rack of lamb. The rib eye
muscle is exceptionally tender and valued.
The rack can be roasted, either as a rack or as a crown roast or
bone-in roast However, the rack is usually split in half and cut
into chops. When the ends of the rib bones are exposed, it is
called a frenched rib or rack. The chops may be sautéed,
broiled, or grilled.
The primal lamb breast contains the breast and foreshank
portions and is the lower part of the front half of the
It tends to be quite fatty, but very flavorful. The lamb
foreshank is the front lamb leg from the knee to the
The primal breast is located beneath the primal rack and
contains the rib tips. These rib tips, when separated from
the breast, are called Denver ribs.
The breast can be roasted or braised. Riblets are treated
like pork ribs. Lamb foreshanks are very meaty and are
used to flavor broths, braised, or ground
SHOULDER SQUARE PRIMAL
The lamb shoulder is the primal cut that includes the upper front leg, the
shoulder blade, ribs 1 through 5, and the neck. The shoulder is one of the
larger cuts of lamb. Because these muscles get a lot of exercise, shoulder
meat is tougher and more flavorful than the lamb loin or hind leg.
Lamb shoulder cuts are usually cooked using moist heat, although meat from
young animals can be successfully roasted at low temperatures. Bone-in lamb
shoulder roast can be used in a variety of recipes and is a more economical
cut than lamb leg roast.
Although many cooks believe that a bone-in lamb roast produces better
flavor, the complex bone structure of the lamb shoulder makes it difficult to
carve. The bone-in lamb shoulder is also known as the square-cut lamb
shoulder. The shoulder may be cut into chops, or boned and stuffed. Shoulder
meat is often diced for stew or ground for patties. The shoulder can also be
divided into three subprimals: neck, blade, and arm.
VENISON AND FURRED GAME
Game meats that are sold in restaurants originate in animals that
were commercially raised for food. Inspection of game meats is voluntary.
The meat from most game animals tends to be dark red, very lean, and free
of intramuscular fat. Because their diets and activity levels are not the same
as that of domestic animals and poultry, the meat of farm-raised game
animals has a different flavor—stronger than domesticated species and
milder than wild game.
The factors that determine the meat’s quality include the age of the animal
(younger animals are more tender), the animal’s diet, and the time of year
the animal was harvested. (The best is in the fall, after a plentiful spring and
summer feeding.) Large native game animals living in America include
antelope, buffalo, bear, caribou, deer, elk, moose, reindeer, and wild boar. In
general, wild game is less tender than meat from domestic animals because
the wild animals get more exercise and have less fat. Any fat is generally bad
tasting and should be removed.
VENISON AND FURRED GAME Cont:
Venison is a popular game animal that is widely farm raised. In
current usage, the term venison is used to describe the meat of a deer or
antelope. Venison comes from animals such as North American native
whitetail deer, reindeer, moose, elk, and several nonnative animals such as
axis deer, fallow deer, sika deer, blackbuck antelope, and Nilgai antelope.
Venison meat is typically dark red with a mild aroma. It is leaner than other
meats, having no intramuscular fat or marbling. The most popular commercial
venison cuts are the loin, leg, and rack.
Large game animals are rarely sold whole or in primal portions. A
chef is more likely to find the meat available in precut portions or subprimals,
with the exception of rabbit.
Depending on the cut of meat, wild game meat should be cooked in
one of two ways: a little or a lot. Tender cuts (such as loins and filets) should
not be cooked past medium rare, or the meat will become tough and dry.
Working cuts (such as those from the shoulder or leg) should be cooked at
low temperature for several hours.
Buffalo and wild boar are other popular large game animals. The
same general rules that determine how to cook a red meat cut will work for
the following meats:
VENISON AND FURRED GAME Cont:
• Cuts from less exercised portions (the loin and the rib) may
be prepared with any technique; frequently, they are
prepared with dry-heat methods such as grilling or roasting.
• The areas of the animal that were well exercised, such as
the leg (or haunch), shank, and shoulder, are best when
cooked using moist-heat or combination methods. These cuts
are also used for preparing pâtés and other charcuterie items.
The most common small game animal is rabbit. Rabbit
meat is fine-textured, lean, mildly flavored, and tender. Hares
weigh between 6 (2.7 kg) and 12 (5.5 kg) pounds. Mature
rabbits weigh between 3 and 5 (1/4 and 2.3 kg) pounds. Young
rabbits weigh approximately 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg). Rabbit meat
works will with most cooking methods. Hare is extremely lean
and should be cooked similar to other lean game meat.
Nilgai antelope originate in India and
Nepal. They were originally
introduced to southern Texas in the
1930s. The meat has a mild flavor
with a good texture, much like veal.
It is extremely low in fat, averaging
well under 1 percent for most cuts.
They are large animals, weighing an
average of 280 pounds (127.3 kg) on
Blackbuck antelope, which
are significantly smaller than the
Nilgai antelope, are ranch-raised in
North America. The meat is
extremely lean but retains a high
amount of moisture. Its flavor is
slightly stronger than deer(venison)
with a fine grain.
The deer family includes elk,
moose, reindeer, redtail and
whitetail deer, and mule deer.
Collectively they are all known
as venison. Farm-raised
venison is commercially
available all year.
The butchering procedures for
venison are similar to those for
lamb. As a rule of thumb,
venison may be substituted in
almost any beef, lamb, or pork
Considered by many to be the
finest venison in the world, the
axis deer, a native of India, was
introduced to ranches in the
Texas hill country in the 1930s.
Like cattle, axis deer graze on
grass, so their meat is finely
textured and tender.
BISON (AMERICAN BUFFALO)
Research has demonstrated
that bison is a highly
because of the proportion
of protein, fat, minerals,
and fatty acids compared to
It tastes similar to beef, but
because it is extremely lean,
it is easy to overcook. The
meat is flavorful and maybe
handled in the same
manner as lean beef.
Elk meat is a form of venison. It is
one of the larger deer species,
exceeded only in size by the
North American moose.
Elk meat is always farm-raised
and usually given a diet abundant
in grass and alfalfa, with
occasional grain supplement.
Elk meat is known for tastiness
and a lack of gameness. Rare
cooking is key to elk meat taste
and tenderness. Because the
meat is so lean, it will dry out
quickly if overcooked.
Ranch-raised rabbit is available all
year, whole or cut, fresh or
The average weight of a whole
dressed rabbit is around 2.5
pounds (1.1 kg).
Rabbit meat is lean and tender
with a flavor and texture
similar to chicken. Rabbit can
be processed and cooked just
Wild boar is becoming even more popular because it is
leaner and more flavorful than its cousin the
domesticated hog. Wild boar meat is darker in color
than domestic pork (Figure 10-19). It has a distinctive
flavor with a hint of its wild heritage. Mature animals,
1 to 2 years old, have the best flavor. Wild boar can be
used in any pork recipe.
Like many types of game meat, wild boar should be
cooked to medium rare or medium, allowing the meat
to retain its moisture and distinguishable flavor.
Offal is the edible entrails (such as the
heart, kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, and tongue) and
extremities(such as oxtail and pig’s feet) of an
animal. The quality of variety meats varies; however,
they are best if eaten when very fresh, within 1 or 2
days. Often these items are frozen, which tends to
destroy their delicate flavor. Sweetbreads and brains
should not be frozen; freezing tends to spoil their
delicate flavor and texture. When cooked correctly,
variety meats offer rich and unusual dishes.
Unfortunately, with the exception of fish, few foods
are more maltreated, and as a result, they have
acquired a poor reputation.
Calf ’s, pig’s, or sheep’s head is normally
sold skinned, whole, or slit in half. They should be
soaked overnight before cooking. Calf ’s head meat is
tender and gelatinous; it may be boiled or braised.
Pig’s head is traditionally used for head cheese or
other jellied meat dishes. European corned pig’s
cheeks are known as bath chaps and are boiled and
eaten cold. Sheep’s
head is the least commonly available; it is usually
roasted whole, boiled, or stewed.
Hearts are nutritious with a very high yield but tend
to be tasteless. Lamb hearts are considered the most
flavorful, pork hearts are larger and slightly coarser,
and beef hearts are the least tender. All require long,
slow, moist-heat cooking. Buffalo steak.
Tongues are sold fresh, smoked, or
corned for cooking. A beef tongue can weigh from 2
to 5 pounds (0.9 to 2.3 kg), but smaller tongues are
considered the best. Calves’ tongues lack flavor,
although they are tender. Lambs’ tongues weigh
about 1/4 pound (0.1 kg) and are often sold fresh or
pickled; most pigs’ tongues are used commercially.
To cook tongue, blanch it starting in cold water,
drain, and then simmer until tender. Skin the tongue
while still hot or warm. The skin is hard to remove
when the tongue is completely cold. It is essential
that a tongue be thoroughly cooked and tender; it is
almost impossible to overcook.
Sweetbreads from young animals are
prized for their delicate flavor and a smooth
creamy texture. There are two kinds of
sweetbreads: stomach sweetbreads (also known
as heart or belly sweetbreads), which are an
animal’s pancreas, and neck (throat or gullet)
sweetbreads, which are an animal’s thymus
gland. The thymus sweetbreads are more
irregular in shape than pancreas sweetbreads and
are considered less flavorful.
Sweetbreads from milk-fed veal or
young calves are the most desirable because of
their firm texture and delicate flavor; they should
be compact and white with no traces of pink
(pinkness indicates that the animal was not milk
fed). Lambs’ sweetbreads are smaller than calves’
sweetbreads and are white and tender. Baby beef
sweetbreads are redder in color than those of
calves and lambs, but they also can be tough. The
thymus gland shrinks as the animal ages, so it is
not found in older cattle or sheep.
Raw sweetbreads often have a layer of fat and a
sinewy outer membrane, which must be
removed. To prepare sweetbreads, soak them for 3
to 5 hours in a cold-water acidic bath, changing the
water several times. The soaking process makes the
membrane easier to remove and removes any
remaining enzymes and blood. Once the
sweetbreads are peeled, deveined, and washed, they
can be blanched and pressed.
Brains must be very fresh and firm with a bright
color. Calves’ and sheeps’ brains are considered the
best, and pigs’ brains are also available. To prepare
brains, soak them for 2 to 3 hours in salted water,
changing the water every hour. Wash thoroughly in
warm water to remove all traces of blood, then
blanch and drain. Rinse the blanched brains and trim
away any skin or membrane. Traditionally brains are
poached in a court bouillon until just firm
before the final cooking method.
Liver is probably the most popular
variety meat. Liver is usually fried or sautéed, but it
can also be braised as one piece. Calves’ liver has the
most delicate flavor when sautéed. Pigs’ liver has a
very pronounced flavor and is best added to stuffing,
pâtés, and terrines.
Kidneys typically used for cooking come from beef,
veal, lamb, and pork. Veal and lamb
kidneys are a delicacy; they are usually
broiled or sautéed. The shape of the kidney depends
on its source. Beef and veal kidneys are multilobed
and elongated. Lamb and pork kidneys are single-lobed
and bean shaped. Kidneys from young animals
have a more delicate flavor and a tender texture.
Young animals’ kidneys are usually pale; those from
mature animals are a deep reddish brown.
Select kidneys that are firm and have a
glossy, even color without dry spots. To prepare
kidneys, remove the white membrane around the
kidney by using a pair of scissors to snip the
membrane from the core. Then peel the membrane
back with your fingers and remove any excess fat.
Kidneys may be soaked in vinegar or lemon water to
reduce the strong odor. Pork and large beef kidneys
should be soaked in milk or cold salted water for 2
hours to minimize
their strong taste.
Veal kidneys are often cut into slices and sautéed.
Lamb kidneys are usually cut in half to complete
cleaning. Pigs’ kidneys may be broiled or sautéed like
lamb and veal kidneys, but they are best treated like
beef kidneys because they have a strong flavor. Beef
kidneys are typically braised or stewed.
Tripe is the stomach lining of a
number of animals, but usually comes from
oxen, cows, or sheep. Beef tripe is normally
what is found in a professional food service
environment. Each of the stomach chambers
renders a different type of tripe. Cuts from the
second chamber are considered the best; they
are tender and have a subtle flavor.
The popular honeycomb type of tripe, the most
expensive and prized, comes from the second
chamber. Tripe should be white or pale in color.
All tripe is sold cleaned, washed, and blanched.
Tripe needs long, slow cooking. Tripe can be
found in most cuisines, not only in Europe and
Latin America, but also in Asia;.
Chitterlings, or chitlins, are the small
intestines of a young pig. They are typically
stewed or braised until tender, then sautéed or
Pigs’ trotters and calves’ feet are
bought whole or split in half and are used for
making strong, gelatinous stock; consommés;
Many cuts of meat and poultry have some fat that you want to cut
away before cooking. Visible, or surface, fat is usually trimmed.
Sometimes, you will want to leave a thin layer of fat to provide natural
basting, especially during long, slow cooking methods such as roasting
or braising. For quick-cooking methods such as sautéing, you may need
to remove the fat completely.
Another portion of the meat or poultry that you may need to remove before cooking
is any gristle, sinew, or silverskin, because they do not cook at the same speed as the
lean meat tissue. Silverskin is a tough membrane that surrounds some cuts of meat. It
gets its name from its somewhat silvery color. Silverskin is likely to shrink when
exposed to heat. When it shrinks, it can cause meats to buckle and cook unevenly. As
you trim meats and poultry, work carefully to be sure that you do not cut away edible
SHAPING A MEDALLION
Boneless cuts from the loin or tenderloin of beef, veal, lamb, or pork may be called medallions,
noisettes (so named because they are like little nuts of meat), or grenadins (large cuts from the
loin). The terms noisette and medallion are often used interchangeably to refer to a small,
boneless, tender cut of meat. Tournedos and châteaubriand are special terms generally used only
for beef tenderloin cuts. Medallions—small, round pieces of meat—are cut from the tenderloin.
After the medallions are cut, they are then wrapped in cheesecloth and molded to give them a
compact, uniform shape. Not only does this give the meat a more pleasing appearance, it also
helps the medallion cook evenly.
CUTTING AND POUNDING CUTLETS
A meat cutlet or scallop is a thin, boneless cut of meat, which may
come from the loin, the tenderloin, or any other sufficiently tender cut
of meat, such as the top round. Cutlet, scaloppini in Italian, and
escalope in French are different words for the same cut and are used
as fitting in a menu’s particular style.
CUBING AND MINCING MEATS
Meats for stewing and grinding are usually tougher and fattier than
other meats. To be sure that your stews are tender and flavorful,
remove gristle or silverskin that may not soften beforethe meat is
overcooked. To cut meats for grinding, be sure that your cuts are small
enough to slide easily through the feed tube of the grinder
MINCING MEATS FOR SAUTÉS
The French word for this cut is émincé, or cut into slivers.
Because the meat is generally
sautéed, choose a tender cut.
TYING A ROAST
Tying a roast with secure knots that have the right tension is
one of the simplest and most frequently required types of
meat fabrication. It ensures that the roast will be evenly
cooked and that it will retain its shape after roasting.
Although simple, the technique is often one of the most
frustrating to learn. For one thing, knot tying is not always
easy. As long as the string is taut enough to give the roast a
compact shape without being too tight, however, the result
will be fine.
Grinding meat calls for scrupulous attention to safe food-handling
practices. See the box titled “Guidelines for
Grinding Meats” for guidelines to obtain best results.
Many meat fabrication techniques are the same
for different species. Understanding the
characteristics of the species and the specific
cuts will give you the knowledge to determine
how the item is best prepared, including what
fabrication method and cooking technique to
1. What is the difference between inspection and grading of animals?
2. What is the difference between quality grading and yield grading?
3. What is a packer’s grade?
4. What breeds of cattle are typically used for beef production?
5. What breeds of cattle are used for dairy and veal production? Why
are they not the same as for beef production?
6. What are the grades of beef?
7. What are the four primal cuts of beef?
8. What are the grades of veal?
9. How is pork fabricated differently from other animals?
10. What is silverskin? What effect does silverskin have on meat
when it is exposed to heat?
Offenbar haben Sie einen Ad-Blocker installiert. Wenn Sie SlideShare auf die Whitelist für Ihren Werbeblocker setzen, helfen Sie unserer Gemeinschaft von Inhaltserstellern.
Sie hassen Werbung?
Wir haben unsere Datenschutzbestimmungen aktualisiert.
Wir haben unsere Datenschutzbestimmungen aktualisiert, um den neuen globalen Regeln zum Thema Datenschutzbestimmungen gerecht zu werden und dir einen Einblick in die begrenzten Möglichkeiten zu geben, wie wir deine Daten nutzen.
Die Einzelheiten findest du unten. Indem du sie akzeptierst, erklärst du dich mit den aktualisierten Datenschutzbestimmungen einverstanden.