French Beef Cut Translations

Here is a list of the cuts that our butcher does for us.


The French name links to the cut on the la-viande site and the English name links to Wikipedia.

FiletFillet, tender, juicy, expensive.

Faux-FiletSirloin steak with a different name in each English-speaking country. The photo below show a faux-filet, although the hand model is an 8-year-old which messes up the scale a bit.


EntrecôteFore rib steak. We’ve made fore rib roasts out of this in the past. My personal favourite steak.

Basses-côtesChuck steak although I could be misundersting things in the UK. This is like the fore rib/entrecôte but further forward. Rosbeef – Rump roast, likely Silverside

RumsteakRump steak (in steak form rather than roast form)

Gite/Noix and Rond de Gite – this is a tricky one as it seems the Rond de Gite is part Topside and part Thick Flank, and the Gite à la Noix is Thick Flank. In the USA we just make it easy and call it all Round.

Tende de tranche – more Rump steak

Tranche Grasse – a rump steak but a hard one to track down. See number 8 in these butcher photos. There are six muscles in the Tranche and they have distinct names in French.

BavetteFlank steak

Osseline and OngletHanger steak, although we received just one packet of Onglet from this cow and it is sitting in my fridge right now.

Bourgignon – Beef cubes for braising (e.g. for Bourgignon!)

Paleron and MacreuseThick rib (or brisket). Braise this.

Pot au feuMore thick rib/brisket for braising.

Plat de Côte – More thick rib/brisket.


All rich with beefy goodness!


23 thoughts on “French Beef Cut Translations

  1. HT says:

    Hi- thanks for this! I’m an American in France. The beef cuts have never made any sense to me here. Now I know what to look for when my American recipe calls for a rump steak or chuck steak!

  2. CD Prince says:

    I’m Canadian, and again, this makes good sense… although they could learn the art of hanging beef eh?

  3. Christopher Felix says:

    Also, prime rib, although very hard to find is: cotes couverte a la noix.

    I once spent 60 euros on a chuck roast that tasted like dairy cow at Grand Frais. It looked like prime but clearly wasn’t.

  4. grasspunk says:

    Hello Marcus, Jenny’s comment above says “tende de tranche” and looking at this Australian site a Topside does look very much like a tende de tranche. I need to update my page.

  5. Kevin Berry says:

    My favorite cut of meat is Tri-tip. Readily available on the west coast of USA but hard to find in some States.
    Is there a French equivalent?

    Thanks in advance

  6. ray pridmore says:

    What beef cut is persille. It is very tender n casseroles but is not chuck steak

  7. Mickey Odin says:

    Great info! I did not, however see Chuck Roast. I understand chuck steak, but chuck roast should be different, right? I am American and we use chuck roast to make beef stew. Thanks, Mickey

  8. grasspunk says:

    Persillé means “marbled”. You used a cut that had plenty of marbling. It could have been chuck (basse cote) but could have been something else, Hope that helps.

  9. grasspunk says:

    Hey Mickey. Chuck would be close to Basse Cote. The cuts usually aren’t exactly the same but Basse Cote is the cut from the front of the rib area which uses the same muscles as chuck.

  10. Mickey Odin says:

    So, since most french beef has very little marbling, would using basse cote in my stew be an acceptable substitute?

  11. grasspunk says:

    Honestly basse cote is a really nice cut for stew and expensive. There are other cheaper cuts that are marbled but they will be less tender. If you ask for a cut that is persillé for a stew you can get cheaper cuts. The pot au feu cuts are less tender and will take longer cooking to get all soft but that’s what the French usually use for stews rather than basse cote. You’ll also get a lot of variation between cattle breeds and age of cow. Where I live they use retired Blonde cows at the butcher and this makes stew cooking take ages.

  12. Polly ideson says:

    Hi I’m Polly in Normandy been buying beef here for 15 years from our neighbours we’ve recently bought a hamper but I’m stumped buy this one we got fondue in the hamper, would really appreciate it if you could tell me what it is Merci x

  13. grasspunk says:

    Are they cubes? The cuts they often use are steak cubes, nicer and more tender than bourguignon. You could also make brochettes out of them (kebabs).

  14. grasspunk says:

    Hello Jackie, Ithink it’s the paleron but cleaned of its gristle and cut along the fibers rather than cross-cut like a regular French paleron.

  15. Clodo41 says:

    I live in France and wanted to celebrate St Patrick day by making a traditional US Corned Beef meal… Unfortunately my butcher and I had no clue what a beef brisket is. So here ended my Irish adventure. Would you know and if so tell me what I should ask for? Your French Beef Cut Translation is greatly appreciated! Merci

  16. grasspunk says:

    A brisket is the pectoral muscle and in French that’s a pointe de poitrine. Good luck in your search! If you miss St Patrick’s Day you can always make pastrami.

  17. Monica says:

    Hoping to find the term for short ribs please. I’ve seen haut de cotes, plat de cotes and cote courte. Any ideas? Many thanks!

  18. grasspunk says:

    Hello Monica, we ask for plat de cote when we want short ribs. We take them as they come which is longer than normal but you can just ask for them shorter. There’s no special term as far as I know.

  19. Barbara says:

    Hi, thanks for your extremely helpful list. I have two other cuts that I can’t find anywhere : London broil and tenderloin steak. Thanks for your help.

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