What word can I use to accurately describe brisket of beef in French? I usually go to the butcher with a chart of US beef cuts and point to it but it neer seems to correspond to the same piece. Does anyone know the definitive translation?
It's not that simple. Every culture cuts their beef differently (or not at all!) and therefore has different names for it
Around the Belgium, Dutch, French low lands they call what the US call brisket and flank, just flank. And what other parts of France might call brisket is not always cut separately, it is just part of the chuck
Confused, we are...
Many butchers in cities receive partially processed carcass parts, so parts like the chest (brisket) may have been removed for processed meat etc
So you need to take a cutting diagram to a butcher whom displays whole carcasses and you should be able to get what you want
As I understand it the brisket extends from in front on the fore legs, between the forelegs and a short way past them? When we have a beast killed most of that goes into the salamis, yum!
Edit: Some common words used are:
- Plat de côte
A popular brisket cut is a long thin (10mm) strip of the full width of the brisket (left to right). A serving is a single slice slowly grilled and topped with a chunky sauce
The UN has a standards document that contains translations of beef cuts from English to French, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. (To try to work around the fact that everybody has slightly different cuts of meat.)
- (Boneless) Brisket - Poitrine sans os
- Brisket deckle off - Morceaude poitrine sans os épluché
- Brisket navel plate - Flanchet / tendron sans os
- Brisket point end deckle off - Gros bout de poitrine sans os épluché
I live in Bordeaux but used to live in Texas. Here is my "modus operandi" when I need a specific piece of meat like the brisket. I show my butcher a diagram and show him the part I need. The usual term for brisket is "poitrine" I ask him to cut a piece of 5 kilos and to leave the fat on the top of it. He knows me now and always tell me when he has a entire beef coming in, that way he is sure the brisket is still there. They usually don't sell it in France so I pay +/- 5 euro/kg. "Pointe de poitrine" seems to be the right word for brisket. Enjoy!
If you're living in France then I apologize if my Canadian French leads you astray, but according to the (bilingual, obviously) Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the terms are:
- Pointe de poitrine (Brisket or flat brisket)
- Poitrine complète (Full brisket)
Here's that same page in English if you want to cross reference other cuts.
The French word is le tendron, it is also known as le gros bout de poitrine.*
- http://www.civ-viande.org/ebn.ebn?pid=56&rubrik=5&item=37 (interactive graphic)
Use Google Translate to translate from French to English.
*I do not speak French
The Canadian Beef Council has a bilingual chart of beef cuts (PDF) which might be useful.
(Although, French and Canadian cuts might not be the same, even if they're in the same language; I know US and UK aren't. But with pictures, the butcher might be able to identify the correct bits for you)
Look here, english french terms.