A couple of days ago, an Italian friend asked what is the difference between American Roast Beef and English Roast Beef. Actually, in all that I have been able to find out, it seems to be the way the beef is cut up. Maybe the following will help. I hope so. Cheers! Various sources including, but not limited to: http://www.chacha.com, http://en.wiktionary.org, http://www.ehow.com

American primal cuts

American cuts of beef.
The following is a list of the American primal cuts. Beef carcasses are split along the axis of symmetry into “halves”, then across into front and back “quarters” (forequarters and hindquarters).
Forequarter cuts
The chuck is the source of bone-in chuck steaks and roasts (arm or blade), and boneless clod steaks and roasts, most commonly. The trimmings and some whole boneless chucks are ground for hamburgers.
The rib contains part of the short ribs, rib eye steaks, prime rib, and standing rib roasts.
The brisket is used for barbecue, corned beef and pastrami.
The foreshank or shank is used primarily for stews and soups; it is not usually served any other way due to it being the toughest of the cuts.
The plate is the other source of short ribs, used for pot roasting, and the outside skirt steak, which is used for fajitas. The remainder is usually ground, as it is typically a cheap, tough, and fatty meat.
Hindquarter cuts
The loin has two subprimals, or three if boneless:
the short loin, from which club, T-bone, and Porterhouse steaks are cut if bone-in, or strip steak (New York strip) and filet mignon if boneless,
the sirloin, which is less tender than short loin, but more flavorful, can be further divided into top sirloin and bottom sirloin (including tri-tip), and
the tenderloin, which is the most tender. It can be removed as a separate subprimal, and cut into fillets, tournedos or tenderloin steaks or roasts (such as for beef Wellington), or can be left on wedge or flat-bone sirloin and T-bone and Porterhouse loin steaks.
The round contains lean, moderately tough, lower fat (less marbling) cuts, which require moist cooking or lesser degrees of doneness. Some representative cuts are round steak, eye of round, top round and bottom round steaks and roasts.
The flank is used mostly for grinding, except for the long and flat flank steak, best known for use in London broil, and the inside skirt steak, also used for fajitas. Flank steaks were once one of the most affordable steaks, because they are substantially tougher than the more desirable loin and rib steaks. Many recipes for flank steak use marinades or moist cooking methods, such as braising, to improve the tenderness and flavor. This, in turn, increased the steaks’ popularity; when combined with natural leanness, increased prices have resulted.

UK primal cuts
Necks and clod
Chuck and blades
Silver loin
Thick rib
Thin rib
Thick flank

Dutch primal cuts
Tenderloin – Considered to be the premium cut, highly prized. It is called ‘ossenhaas’ in Dutch, meaning ‘oxen hare’, it tends to be slightly smaller than its American counterpart.
Top sirloin
Round – Mainly used for kogelbiefstuk (‘hip joint steak’) considered to be the basic form of steak in Dutch and Belgian cuisine.
Chuck – Best cuts are used for stoofvlees, lesser bits are used in hachee.

What is the difference between beef chuck roast and beef English roast?
The chuck section comes from the shoulder and neck of the beef, and it yields some of the most flavorful and economical cuts of meat. English cut is boneless cut located right behind the arm roast on the carcass.

I certainly hope this helps in your quest for some information on American and English – with a little Dutch thrown in for Good Luck! – Gian. It was fun searching for this information. Cheers!


I just heard from a piedi nudi sul divano, another food blogger, and he suggested I look at http://www.ricetteecooking.com, an Italian cooking site. The information and graphic used here is from that site. Here is the update.

Due to their composition and organoleptic characteristics, cuts cattle are sometimes divided into groups of first, second and third quality, and the classification based on the thickness of the muscles and the amount of fat and other connective tissue present:

Fillet, Sirloin, topside, silverside, rump, Walnut, topside.

Fesone shoulder, bobbin cover shoulder, shoulder or embryo pulp, coasts of the Cross, Royal Biancostato, Fish.

Tip, brisket, neck (most ‘close to the head), Geretti, Coda.

1 Loin – 2 fillet – 3 Rump – 4 walker – 5 Topside external – 6 Walnut – 7 internal Topside – 8 fish – 9 Shank Back – 10 Chest – 11 Fesone shoulder – 12 Cover – 13 silverside shoulder – 14 real-Cutting – 15 underarm – 16 Front Shank – 17 chops – 18 Chest – 19 Neck.

Sirloin (or loin):
first class, and ‘cuts a more’ classic, tasty and fine, sirloin, and when the ‘whole T-bone overthrown and since the thread where it meets opposition, it has the classic Florentine steak, sirloin, and if’ boned, you can ‘bake in all the sauces (wine, mushrooms, onions, herbs), and’ the classic roast beef cooked the British and the Italians prefer, instead, to the blood.

and ‘the most’ noble and valuable animal, which is below the chine, consisting of muscles, for their position, they work very little, and cut the flesh of this’ very tender and juicy; the front of the thread and ‘especially suitable for steaks, the central medallions, and the final fillet mignon and morsels; cattle can be obtained from the two threads from which you derive maximum 5-6 kg.meat.

Rump (or patch):
denomination of the first category, consisting of large muscle located near the hip, and ‘very high quality and suitable for the preparation of stews, casseroles and roast beef, the best parts are also suitable for making roasts and steaks.

Cutting the second category, conical, is part of the semitendinosus muscle of the thigh, and ‘generally thin and very suitable for the preparation of roasts, could be confused with the thread, if well matured and cut, but it is distinguished by the less tender and juicy.

Topside external (or controgirello):
and ‘cut first-class, highly prized, especially suited to roasts, roast beef, stews, steaks and slices.

Walnut (or tracoscio):
and ‘cut first-class, very precious, oval-shaped, located at the hip, is suitable to be used for various cooking in a casserole (pot roast, stew, to cacciatore) and well done steaks and chops.

Topside internal (or rump):
and ‘cuts a more’ fine, first class, consisting of the large muscles of the upper thigh, thin enough, and slightly flattened in shape, the inner topside lends itself to various uses, from traditional steaks and chops to chops, if purchased whole, with the outer part is preparing the stew and the central part there are rare steak.

Fish (or bell):
and ‘a small cut of the second category, much appreciated, consisting of the muscles around the leg, he can do steaks with external parties, to be cooked on the grill, and lends itself to a lot of preparations like stews, pot roasts and stews, and all the cooking in a casserole with the addition of wine, tomato, vegetables, and also ‘a good piece to be eaten boiled.

Shank back (or flea):
Cut the third category, also known as muscle, and ‘the upper leg; anatomically and’ the organ of transmission of the animal, consisting of that group of muscles that, upon receipt of the pulse, they do move, and ‘ particularly suitable for the preparation of marrowbones stew and stews, pot roasts and boiled for soup, ’cause the other between a muscle and there is’ a light layer of connective tissue that makes this part attractive and tasty.

Belly (or trimming of loin):
and ‘a cut of the third category, very fat and furrowed with cartilage and requires some care in preparing cuisine, with the less valuable it can’ do to prepare ground beef meatballs, hamburgers, meat sauce ‘, and meatloaf.

Fesone shoulder:
in general, although falling in the second category of beef, it must be said that this cut has nothing to envy to the backs, once cleaned and cut width-wise, it lends itself perfectly to make steaks, cutlets, steaks, pizza and, when well beaten, even chops, trim parts can be ground to prepare meatballs, fillings, burgers and meat sauce ‘.

Cover (or shoulder meat):
and more ‘specifically
– Cover or Palotta shoulder: this cut front lends wonderfully to prepare and are well cooked goulash or stew;
– Muscle of the shoulder and ‘similar characteristics such as food, cutting previous nutritional value and’ the same as the corresponding backs, but the cost ‘significantly more’ low, and ‘suitable for the preparation of various stews.

Walker shoulder (or Sbordone):
Walkers shoulder meat you can ‘be confused with the parts of the walker leg, so much so’ similar in quality ‘, with this cut can be done steaks, roasts as well as’ boiled or overcooked.

Cutting real (or ribs):
cutting the second category, and ‘consists of the intercostal muscles and the latissimus dorsi; more’ specifically, and ‘derived from the muscles that cover the first five dorsal vertebrae.

Underarm (or fracosta):
and ‘cut second-class, very suitable for boiled.

Shank anterior (front or muscle):
and ‘cut a third category as rear, and’ consists of a bundle of thirteen groups of muscle fibers, commonly called osso buco.

Chops (or costs):
fall in second-class cuts, you can ‘use to prepare compounds of baked meat, wrapping the cut in an aluminum foil and placing it under fire.

and more ‘specifically
– Brisket: second-class and cheap, and ‘the best cut to prepare the stew, can’ be used for roasts and they can ‘get a good broth;
– Staple: and ‘a cut made muscles crossed by abundant veins of fat, and’ particularly suitable for boiled.

and ‘a cut of the third category, but its meat and’ tasty, and ‘consists of a large muscle mass divided into two parts: the upper one more’ lean and lower most ‘marbled with fat,’ not suitable for making steaks or cost, but is good for stews or boiled, and to prepare meatballs and sauce good ‘.

I think this has been an interesting sojourn. Thanks to Gian and others who have requested this information and who have helped to locate the information. Cheers!