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.
|Israel Number||Hebrew Name||English Name||Primal||Cooking Method|
|#1||Entrecote, Steak Ayin, Vered HaTzela||Rib, Ribeye||Rib||Grill, roast, stovetop|
|#2||Tzlaot, Rifaan||Chuck Blade||Chuck||Braising, long cooking|
|#3||Chazeh||Brisket||Brisket||Slow cooking, stewing, curing|
|#4||Katef Mercazi||Shoulder Roast||Chuck||Pot roast, roast beef (US deli)|
|#5||Tzli Katef||Minute Steak||Chuck||Quick roast, grill, stovetop|
|#6||Fillet Medumeh||Petit Tender||Foreshank||Grilling, stovetop, quick roast|
|#7||Michaseh HaTzlah||Chuck Cover||Chuck||Grilling, stovetop|
|#8||Shrir Kidmi||Shin, Shank||Foreshank||Slow cooking, braising, stewing|
|#9||Asado, Kashtit||Short Ribs||plate||Grilling, braising|
|#10||Tzavar||Neck Clod||Chuck||Grinding, slow cooking, stewing|
|#11||Sinta, Moten||Sirloin||Short loin||Grilling, stovetop, quick roast|
|#12||Fillet||Tenderloin||Short loin||Grill, stovetop, roast|
|#13||Shaitel, Kanaf Haoketz||Rump||Sirloin||Grill, stovetop|
|#14||Katchkah, Ozit||Top Sirloin||Sirloin||Grill, stovetop|
|#17||Pladah, Kislayim||Flank Steak||Flank||Grill, stovetop, braised|
|#18||Shrir Achori||Shank||Round||Slow cooking, braising, stewing|
|#19||Rosh HaYerech (Yarcha)||Silverside||Round||Grill, stovetop|
|Lashon||Tongue||Organ||Braising, long cooking|
|Moch||Brains||Organ||Saute, fry, braise|
|Rayot||Lungs||Organ||Braising, long cooking|
|Kalayot||Kidneys||Organ||Braising, long cooking|
|Ma’ayim||Intestines||Organ||Stuffing, sausage making|
|Sarefet||Hanger Steak||Muscle||grill, stovetop|
|Lechi Bakar||Beef Cheeks||Muscle||Curing, stovetop, braising|
|Zanav Shor||Oxtail||Muscle||braising, soup|