Quote of the moment

"I have to tell it again and again: I have no doctrine. I only point out something. I point out reality, I point out something in reality which has not or too little been seen. I take him who listens to me at his hand and lead him to the window. I push open the window and point outside. I have no doctrine, I carry on a dialogue." Martin Buber

Monday, April 1, 2013

Meat cuts

Click here to view Chilean cuts 
(Note: this article has been recently updated)
Beef is not cut and packaged in the same fashion as in the United States, Europe, or Australia or even Argentina. Flavors of the World/Sabors del Mundo, a wonderful cookbook published by the American Association of Chile (now known as the International Association of Chile) includes charts for comparison of meat cuts between USA cuts of meat and Chile  for beef, pork and lamb. By searching for each country's world trade agreement you may find charts and translations of the various cuts in comparison to the USA.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe published the UNECE Standard Bovine Meat Carcases and Cuts in 2004 (pdf). The text outlines the various specifics for meat standards for European cuts. Click on the countries to see specific USA -Country charts
Colombia page 2

Below are the following lists:
  • Chilean cuts and their English translation (alphabetical and listed by type of cuts)
  • A listing of Chilean meat cuts and its Argentinian translation.
  • Click here for a listing of Cuban beef cuts

Chilean meat/USA meat:

Aguja - Chuck, Chuck Roast from immediately in back of neck (cogote)
Asado / Asado de Tira - Rib Roast, Short Rib Roast
Azotillo - a Shoulder cut
Bife Ancho - Rib Eye Steaks, Prime Rib, Rib Eye Roast
Bife Angosto - Strip SteakPorterhouse Steak
Bife a la Rueda - Round Steak
Bife de Alcatra - Sirloin Steak
Bife de Costilla - T-Bone Steaks
Bife de Chorizo - like a Strip Steak
Bife de Lomo - Tenderloin / "filet mignon"
Bofe - Lungs
Bola de Lomo - Sirloin Tip Roast
Cazuela de pollo/cerdo/vacuno - cuts used for stews
Carne molida- ground beef
Chinchulín - upper segment of the Small Intestine
Chorizo - Spicy Sausage
Cogote - Neck
Colita de vacuno - beef tail
Colita de Cuadril - Rump Steak
Corazón - Heart
Costilla - Rib
Criadilla - Testicle of young beef
Cuadrada - Bottom Round-Stewing or Strogonoff Beef
Cuadril - Rump Roast, Rump Steaks
Entraña - Skirt Steak
Falda - Skirt Steak (diaphragm)
Falda con hueso - Skirt steak with bone
Lengua - Tongue
Lomo - Tenderloin
Marucha - Short Ribs
Matambre - Flank Steak
Milanesa - Minute Steak
Mollejas - Sweetbreads
Mondongo - one of the stomachs
Nalga - Round Stewing Beef, standing rump
Ojo de Bife - Ribeye
Ossobuco - Shin
Paleta - Shoulder Roast, blade steak
Palomita - Butterfly Cut near Shoulder Roast
Peceto - Round Steaks, Roast Eye of Round
Pecho - Brisket
Planita de vacuno - beef liver
Prieta - blood sausage
Rabo - Oxtail
Riñones - Kidneys
"Ros Bif" - Roast Beef (you'll sometimes see on menus)
Sesos - Brains
Solomillo - Hanger Steak
Tapa de Asado - Rib Cap Roast
Tapa de Nalga - Cap of Round Roast
Tapa de Cuadríl - Cap of Rump Roast
Tortuguita - a portion of the Rump
Tripa Gorda - Large Intestine
Ubre - Udder
Vacío - Flank Steak
Cabrito - Goat
Cerdo - Pork
Cordero - Lamb
Lechón or Lechoncito - Suckling Pig
Pato - Duck
Pollo - Chicken
Ternera - Veal

From: Foreign Trade Information System  See chart appendices in Chile-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

Appendix 3.17-A(pdf) Comparative Beef Cut Nomenclature Table / Equivalencia De Cortes 


Cuarto Delantero (Paleta) Forequarter 
Cortes sin Hueso Boneless Cuts 

1 Malaya   -  Subcutaneous muscle
2 Plateada - Cup of cube roll
3 Sobrecostilla -  Chuck (pony)
4 Tapapecho -  Brisket
5 Cogote  -  Clod and sticking
6 Huachalomo -Neck
7 Choclillo - Chuck tender
8 Punta de paleta -  Blade clod
9 Asado del carnicero -  Chuck cover
10 Posta de paleta - Shoulder clod
11 Lagarto -  Shank meat
12 Lomo vetado -  Cube roll
13 Entraña -  Skirt (diaphragm)

Cortes con Hueso - Cuts with bone

1 Asado de tira 1 Short ribs
2 Costillas arqueadas 2 Back ribs
3 Aletillas 3 Sternum ribs
4 Osobuco de mano -  Foreshank

Cuarto Trasero (pierna) - Hindquarter 
Cortes sin Hueso - Boneless Cuts 

1 Lomo liso - Striploin
2 Filete - Tenderloin
3 Punta de ganso -  Outside round
4 Ganso - Silverside
5 Pollo ganso -  Cup of rump
6 Posta negra - Top, inside, or topside round
7 Posta rosada -  Knuckle or sirloin tip
8 Asiento -  Sirloin butt
9 Punta de picana - Tri – tip
10 Tapabarriga -  Thin flank
11 Palanca -  Flank steak
12 Pollo barriga -Thick skirt
13 Abastero -  Heel (gastrocnemius)

Cortes con Hueso - Cuts with bone 

1 Coluda -  Ribs steak
2 Osobuco de pierna - Shank
3 Cola - Tail

From: Foreign Trade Information System  See chart appendices in Chile-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

Appendix 3.17-B: Comparison of Chilean Beef Norms and USDA Beef Quality Grades

Chilean Beef Norm

USDA Beef Quality Grade 

  • Young bulls with milk teeth (10-24 months); Fat Score 1, 2, and 3.
  • Steers, heifers, and young  cows with 4 permanent teeth (10-34 months); Fat Score 1, 2, and 3.
USDA Prime, USDA Choice, andUSDA Select.
  • Young beef (steers and heifers) less than 42 months. Slight and above marbling.
  • Steers and cows with 6 permanent teeth (35-42 months); Fat Score 1, 2, and 3
USDA Standard.
  • Young beef (steers and heifers) less than 42 months. Practically devoid to small marbling.
  • Adult and old cows with 8 or leveled permanent teeth (over 43 months); Fat Score 1, 2, and 3.
  • Bulls and bullocks with 4 permanent teeth and over; Fat Score 1, 2, and 3.
  • Oxen with 8 permanent teeth (43-58 months); Fat Score 1, 2, and 3.
USDA Commercial, USDA Utility,
USDA Cutter, and USDA Canner.
  • Mature cows over 42 months. Practically devoid to small marbling.

  • All classes but calves, no teeth requirements; Fat Score 0.
Third degree bruised carcasses of any class; Fat Score 1, 2, and 3.
USDA has separate classification and grade system for bullocks (young bulls under 24 months of age) from USDA Utility to USDA Prime. Mature bulls are not eligible for USDA quality grades (eligible for yield grades only
  • Male and female calves with milk teeth (up to 9 months); no Fat Score requirements.

United States Standards for Grades of
Veal and Calf Carcasses.
  • There are five official USDAgrades for veal and calf carcasses:USDA Prime, USDA Choice, USDA Good, USDA Standard,and USDA Utility. These grades are based on conformation, maturity (under 9 months determined mostly by lean color) and feathering and flank fat streaking (quality)

Click here for: Glosario de los principales cortes de carne -y despojos- de ternera, cordero, y cerdo y sus equivalentes en España, Brasil, Chile, Portugal, Estados Unidos, Reino Unido, Francia, Alemania, Suiza e Italia. [PDF]
Click here for Glossary of principal cuts of meat- and locations of beef, lamb, pork and their equivalent names in Spain, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, United States of America/United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. [PDF]

A great interactive chart by AASA about Beef Cuts in English and in Spanish. They also have an interactive chart about pork cuts 

Cortes de Carne: Chile y Argentina
Glosario chileno-argentino de cortes de carnes
Revista Lobby/www.lobby.cl, 8.2006

Somos vecinos, pero casi todos los cortes de carne de vacuno tienen distintos nombres en Chile y en Argentina. Para lograr que los establecimientos gastronómicos tengan una mayor facilidad de comunicar a los turistas los cortes nacionales, entregamos un pequeño glosario de cortes de vacuno:

Chile Argentina
Filete     Lomo
Lomo Liso Bife angosto
Lomo Vetado     Bife ancho
Asiento de picana Corazón de cuadril
Posta Negra Nalga de adentro
Punta de Picana     Colita de cuadril
Posta rosada  Bola de lomo
Pollo ganso Peceto
Punta de ganso Tapa de cuadril
Ganso     Carnaza cuadrada
Abastero (lagarto) Tortuguita
Palanca     Bife de vacío
Tapabarriga Vacío
Posta paleta Carnaza paleta
Sobrecostilla Asado
Asado del carnicero Bife de paleta
Tapapecho Carne de quijada
Choclillo Chingolo
Punta paleta Marucha
Charcha Carne de quijada
Huachalomo Tapa de bife
Osobuco (pierna) Garrón
Osobuco (mano) Brazuelo
Asado de tira Asado
Coluda-estomaguillo Falda
Malaya Matambre
Pollo barriga Centro de entraña
Entraña Entraña fina
Sesos Sesos
Corazón Corazón
Lengua Lengua
Riñón Riñón
Mollejas Mollejas
Hígado Hígado
Cola Rabo
Callos Mondongo
Librillo Librillo

Below are some links to beef charts for a variety of Latin/South American countries:

A asic cross country comparison chart - http://gauchogarcia.com/beef-comparison-chart/

A comparison chart of USA, European, South American Cuts
Click here to see full set of charts 


  1. I am in Argentina and they have "punta de pierna". What is the American equivalent? Thanks DR

    1. Since my response below I have received this from a friend
      http://gastronomia.elcomercio.es/index.php/component/content/article/67-carnes/1008-churrasco-de-punta-de-pierna-?directory=226 punta de pierna is the same as cuadril o cadera.
      cuadril = Rump Roast, Rump Steaks

    2. Here is a shortened link - http://tinyurl.com/d83k47x - which also leads you to a recipe using it (written in Spanish)

    3. Another friend informs me:
      Living in Honduras, I purchased a cut of beef they called "punto de pierna ... This time, I found the answer: "punta de pierna" is "sirloin butt roast

      We don't have such a thing(en Chile), but as the meat is generally butchered so differently here, I have almost given up trying to equate the cuts. After the last meeting I found that Jumbo on AV Francisco Bilboa with Padre Hurtado has stated labelling some of its cuts in Englsih/American

  2. I checked a couple other resources and punta de pierna seems to remain one of those lovely "mystery meat" cuts. It is most likely found within the hindquarter (piearna). I will be sure to ask my butcher at Gourmeat.cl

    1. It seems it's a rump roast. http://tinyurl.com/d83k47x
      Punta de pierna is the same as cuadril o cadera.
      cuadril = Rump Roast, Rump Steaks

  3. Please, I'm form brazil and I would like to know how is the american equivalent of "alcatra" and "Coxão duro"!

  4. Dear Donna,
    where can I buy the book Flavors of the World??, is available in Santiago?, thanks

  5. Angela, thank you for your question. The Flavors of the World is a collection of recipes that were spiral bound by the American Association of Chile. The organization was enveloped along with the Canadian, and British associations into the International Association (http://www.iachile.com) about 3 years ago. The cookbook has not been republished under the the IAC. There may be a few books still available but I am not certain. You may wish to contact them directly. The IAC house is generally open Thursdays for member gatherings, where we share in lunches and have an opportunity to meet and chat about what is new in our lives as well as survival tips.

    The IAC house located at 7579 Chesterton, Las Condes, is open Thursdays from 11 am to 2 pm (not including Chilean holidays).

    For more information, please phone the house on 022 894 8795 or email at website.iac@gmail.com.