Do you browse foreign grocery stores and markets when you are traveling? Are you the intrepid type who books a pied-à-terre in Paris or a studio apartment in Rome, just so you’ll have a kitchen to cook the wondrous ingredients you find? What you need is a handy guide to help you navigate the world of international beef cuts. You need help speaking beef!
I’ve often said that traveling and especially living in other countries is an education in itself. All of a sudden things that seemed so simple at home become an exercise in finding out just how ignorant we are. And how much we have to learn. Case in point: beef cuts. Growing up I didn’t really have to think much about cuts of beef. We ate a lot of hamburger and round steak, with the occasional pot roast. My grandmother swore by cooking two pot roasts together – one pork, one beef – because she said that they helped flavor each other. We browned round steak then smothered it with onions. Served over rice, there is no dish with more tender beef or a finer gravy.
But the fact of the matter is that since I wasn’t doing the shopping, I had no idea what else was out there. After all, what kid browses the meat coolers in a grocery store? You’d find me in the chip or candy aisle, if I went missing.
Even when I went off to college, I tended to buy the old standards because I knew how to cook them. It wasn’t until I got married and finally had more time and interest in cooking a variety of dishes that I started learning about cuts of beef. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable by the time my husband got transferred to Australia. No problem, right? They speak English in Australia! What they don’t speak is American beef.
Ground beef is called mince. Boneless ribeyes are called Scotch fillets. Never mind that the current charts show brisket being called brisket in Australia. It wasn’t heard of there or in most countries I’ve lived in until recently. Ditto skirt steak for fajitas. And if you grow up in Texas, you need some fajitas.
The problem reoccurred with each new home, each new country. And, of course, it was even trickier in places that didn’t speak English. Hard to believe but in my three whole years of high school French, the word entrecôte for ribeye never came up. How on earth to ask the French butcher for my favorite cut? I mostly bought the prepackaged beef at the supermarket. So less stressful.
In Brazil, on the other hand, there was no packaged beef. The butcher shop was tiny, only about six feet wide, with a glass case full of big hunks of beef that separated me from the man wielding the razor sharp knife. For ground beef, I’d order a large piece of lagarto, or eye of round, which would be ground up for me on the spot. Talk about lovely and lean! (As a confusing aside, lagarto is also the Portuguese word for lizard. The more you know!) By the time we moved on five years later, the butcher and I were great buddies, exchanging recipes and cooking tips. We loved speaking beef together.
Of course, this problem is a two-way street. A Brazilian friend of mine once rented a vacation home in Kissimmee for a week for her family to visit the theme parks. She came back to say how fabulous the groceries stores were but they couldn’t find picanha for their barbecue. Ah, cap of the rump, my friend. That’s what it’s called if you are speaking beef in Florida!
This week our Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing a variety of tasty tapas, bowls and salads featuring Florida Beef so I thought it might be helpful for our international readers and members who love to travel and cook, to share a link with you, from the Beef Checkoff folks on international beef cuts.
It’s a pdf so you can save it to your mobile device for easy consultation. The best part is that for languages with a different alphabet, like Arabic or Japanese, the names for the international beef cuts are in that language so you can just open the doc and point!
Now no matter where you go or where you live, you can make these fabulous beef recipes! Of course, ideally, you should live in or visit Florida, where some of the very best beef is raised. Just ask our Sunday Supper tastemakers who are spending this weekend learning all about it from the knowledgeable folks at the Florida Beef Council.
Did you know just one three-ounce serving of lean beef has an average of only 150 calories and less than 10 grams of fat? Not only that but one serving of beef meets 50% of the recommended daily value of protein and contains high amounts of zinc, iron, and vitamins B6 and B12, and other key vitamins and minerals every body needs for good health.
Inspired Beef Recipes
- Balsamic Steak and Grilled Peach Salad by Casa de Crews
- Beef and Cheddar Risotto by My World Simplified
- Beef, Brie and Onion Jam Canapes by Family Around The Table
- Creamy Polenta with Shredded Beef Braised in a Tomato Wine Sauce by Girl Abroad
- Grilled Steak Fajita Quinoa Bowls by Katie’s Cucina
- Joe’s Special by Family Foodie
- Korean Bibimbap by The Crumby Cupcake
- Mini Beef Wellingtons by Cricket’s Confections
- Roast Beef Sliders topped with Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onions by The Healthy Fit Foodie
- Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs Bowl by Having Fun Saving and Cooking
- Steak & Farro Rainbow Salad by Go Epicurista
- Steak and Eggs Benedict Crostini by Life Tastes Good
- Steak Frites by April Golightly
- Thai Noodle Steak Salad by Dessert Geek
- Vaca Frita Rice Bowl by Love and Confections
- Speaking Beef: A Handy Guide to International Beef Cuts by Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Want to learn more? Check out the Florida Beef website and follow Florida Beef on social media.