Meat Cuts by the Numbers

Meat in Israel is a long-standing source of frustration for new olim, especially those from North America. It’s as if cows in America are somehow built with different parts, and trying to find the right piece of meat for your recipe becomes more confusing than it should be. Couple that with the now-permitted hindquarter meats, and you more than double the number of cuts available that people may never have seen or heard of before. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they number the meat like you’re in kindergarten, making you feel that much more stupid.

Enough is enough. I present my definitive guide to buying meat in Israel.

Why the Confusion?

The US, the UK, France, the Dutch, the Koreans and the Australians all have different ways to cut meat. The difference in numbers of cuts alone is staggering. A typical American beef has about 30 different cuts of meat. Koreans have 125 different cuts from the same animal. You’ve heard the phrase “It all depends on how you slice it”? Well, it’s true.

Israel for the most part likes to follow French cuisine styles. I suppose it makes them feel more fancy. That’s why ribsteak is called “entrecôte” (lit. ‘between the rib’) more frequently than it’s called “steak ayin” or ribeye. But it’s the same cut of meat. For the most part, beef is butchered in the French style in Israel, so people familiar with US cuts won’t see things like a square cut chuck roast. That’s also changing, thanks to American style butchers and frozen beef products now coming on the market.

The Chart

Israel NumberHebrew NameEnglish NamePrimalCooking MethodImage
#1Entrecote, Steak Ayin, Vered HaTzela


Preparing and Cooking a #1 Rib Eye Roast
The Steak
Rib, Rib eyeRibGrill, roast, stovetop
#2Tzlaot, Rifaan

Preparing and Cooking A #2 Chuck Roast
Chuck RoastChuckBraising, long cooking
#3Chazeh

Preparing and Cooking a #3 Brisket
BrisketBrisketSlow cooking, stewing, curing
#4Katef Mercazi

Preparing and Cooking A #4 Shoulder Roast
Silver Tip RoastForeshankPot roast, roast beef (US deli)
#5Tzli Katef


Preparing and Cooking a #5 Minute Steak Roast
Minute Steak RoastForeshankQuick roast, grill, stovetopThe Finished Roast
#6Fillet Medumeh

Preparing and Cooking a #6 Petit Tender
Petit TenderForeshankGrilling, stovetop, quick roast
#7Michaseh HaTzlah

Preparing and Cooking a #7 Chuck Cover
Chuck CoverForeshankGrilling, stovetop
#8Shrir Kidmi

Preparing and Cooking a #8 Shank
Shin, ShankForeshankSlow cooking, braising, stewing
#9Asado, Kashtit

Preparing and Cooking A #9 Asado (Boneless)
London Broil
Short Ribs, PlateRib PlateGrilling, braising
#10TzavarNeck ClodChuckGrinding, slow cooking, stewing
#11Sinta, MotenSirloinShort loinGrilling, stovetop, quick roastPreparing and Cooking a No 11 Sinta
#12FilletTenderloinShort loinGrill, stovetop, roast
#13Shaitel, Kanaf HaoketzRumpSirloinGrill, stovetop
#14Katchkah, OzitTop SirloinSirloinGrill, stovetop
#15YarchaThick FlankRoundRoast
Cha'ch, PichanaRump CapRoundRoast, braised
#16KafTopsideRoundRoast
#17Pladah, KislayimFlank SteakFlankGrill, stovetop, braised
#18Shrir AchoriShankRoundSlow cooking, braising, stewing
#19Rosh HaYerech (Yarcha)SilversideRoundGrill, stovetop
Basar RoshBeef CheeksMuscleCuring, stovetop, braising
LashonTongueOrganBraising, long cooking
CavedLiverOrganflame broiled
KivahTripeOrganstew, soup
MochBrainsOrganSaute, fry, braise
ShkeidimSweetbreadsOrganSaute, fry
RayotLungsOrganBraising, long cooking
KalayotKidneysOrganBraising, long cooking
Ma’ayimIntestinesOrganStuffing, sausage making
LavlavPancreasOrganSaute, fry
AshchimTesticlesOrganSaute, fry
SarefetHanger SteakMusclegrill, stovetop
Steak ChatzaitSkirt SteakMuscleQuick cooking, grill
Zanav ShorOxtailMusclebraising, soup
GidimBeef TendonsOrganStew, braising