Meats

meat-tri-top-roast

tri-tip roast = tri tip roast = triangle-tip roast = beef loin tri-tip roast = sirloin tri-tip roast

This is a very flavorful cut that’s great for barbecuing as long as you take pains to keep the meat from getting too tough. The trick is to not trim the fat until the roast is cooked so that the juices can tenderize the meat. When it’s done, slice it thinly against the grain. This cut is popular in California, but you might have trouble finding it elsewhere. A steak cut from this roast is called a tri-tip steak.

Substitutes: shell roast

meat-top-sirloin

top sirloin steak

Some top sirloin steaks are wonderfully juicy and flavorful but others are mediocre, so this is a risky steak to buy. Don’t confuse this with an ordinary sirloin steak, which includes a bone. American butchers call a thick top sirloin steak a chateaubriand, although the French reserve that term for a much better cut from the tenderloin.

Substitutes: flank steak OR tri-tip toast

topsirloinbutt

top sirloin butt roast

This is a good cut for making roast beef.

Substitutes: rib-eye roast OR tenderloin roast (the very best cut for roast beef, but very expensive) OR rib roast OR top loin

meat-t-bone

T-bone steak

Named for its distinguishing T-shaped bone, this choice cut is almost identical to a Porterhouse steak, only it doesn’t have as much of the tenderloin muscle in it. It’s usually grilled or broiled.

Substitutes: Porterhouse steak (a bit more tender) OR club steak (a bit less tender) OR sirloin steak OR strip steak OR rib eye steak

meat-sirloin

sirloin steak

The sirloin is near the rump, so the meat’s a bit tougher than cuts from the loin or the rib. There are several different sirloin steak cuts, named for shape of the hip bone that’s left in them. Going from fore to aft, there’s the tender but bony pin bone sirloin, which is right next to the Porterhouse on the carcass, the flat bone sirloin, the round bone sirloin, and finally the wedge bone sirloin, which is closest to the rump and therefore least tender. A boneless sirloin steak is sometimes called a rump steak = butt steak. Sirloin steaks are usually grilled or broiled. Don’t overcook them or they’ll lose much of their flavor.

Substitutes: round steak OR top sirloin steak OR flank steak OR T-bone steak OR strip steak OR Porterhouse steak

meat-porterhouse

Porterhouse steak

Many believe these to be the best of all steaks. They include parts of two muscles: the flavorful top loin and the buttery soft tenderloin. It’s best to grill or broil them without marinating.

Substitutes: T-bone steak (Very similar, but not quite as tender) OR club steak OR rib steak OR strip steak

meat-filet-mignon

filet mignon = tenderloin steak = fillet steak = fillet de boeuf = tender steak

Pronunciation: fee-lay mee-NYOH Plural: filets mignons

These are cut from the tenderloin, and they’re the most tender steaks you can buy, though not the most flavorful. American butchers usually call all tenderloin steaks filets mignons, but the French reserve the name for just the cuts at the small end of the tenderloin, which is the best part. As they move away from the filet mignon, the French call their cuts tournedos, filet steak, châteaubriand, and bifteck. American butchers confuse matters even more by sometimes calling top sirloin steaks châteaubriands. Don’t marinate these steaks and don’t cook them beyond medium rare.

Substitutes: top sirloin steaks (larger) OR Porterhouse steaks

meat-chuck-eye

chuck eye = mock tender = chuck fillet = chuck filet = chuck tender = Scotch tender

This is one of the more tender cuts from the chuck section, so you can cook it in liquid or roast it in the oven. A steak cut from this roast is called a chuck eye steak.

Substitutes: top blade roast

meat-rib-eye

rib-eye steak = Delmonico steak = Spencer steak = market

Rib-eye steaks are very tender, well marbled with fat, and fairly expensive. They’re usually boneless, but you can sometimes find bone-in rib-eye steaks. Note that club steaks are also sometimes called Delmonico steaks.

Substitutes: club steak OR Porterhouse steak OR T-bone steak OR strip steak