What is the difference between French and British cuts of beef?

I am told they just butcher the animals dfferently. Certainly the cuts don't seem the same. For example is faux fillet really exactly the same as British sirloin and is entrecôte really the same as rib steak?

Here is a picture of British beef cuts.

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5 Answers 5


The simplest way to see the difference is to compare the cut diagrams:


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Images courtesy of Wikipedia - Cut of Beef

The main difference is in how certain areas are sub-divided. We can see that faux-filet is part of the British sirloin, and entrecote is partly forerib and partly sirloin.

  • 1
    @marshall: Technically a fillet can be any boneless cut. I don't think that it is a British term, but in North America it generally refers to the tenderloin.
    – Aaronut
    Jun 9, 2013 at 20:32
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    Obviously, the french cows go to the gym more. The british one seems to be missing the shoulder altogether. Blade, or flatiron steak?
    – MandoMando
    Jun 9, 2013 at 22:34
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    You pay for the beef, I'll compile the dictionary! Jun 10, 2013 at 18:21
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    The Clod and Chuck are the shoulder cuts. Blade cuts or Farmers are part of the Chuck. Flat Iron is removed from the Clod. Just because a name you recognize isn't in the picture, doesn't mean that it isn't there.
    – user29820
    Dec 9, 2014 at 14:30
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    You can also see that British cows go to the left and French to the right, probably related to the driving direction in the respective countries.
    – Luciano
    Aug 19, 2019 at 13:42

Apart from the fact that French and British cuts are differently named, the hindquarters are cut at different angles, which is why British cuts tend to be a lot more tender and easy to carve than their French counterparts.

Someone commented that 'Fillet doesn't exist in British cuts'? As someone (literally) born & brought up in a butcher's shop, I've never heard such utter nonsense.


I read somewhere that the British cut beef into about 40 cuts and the French into 200+ cuts so it seems the French have identified taste and texture difference not visible or unimportant to the UK/USA eyes/mouth or just that UK butchers don't think customers can tell. Comparing a butchers shop in France to one in UK or US is eye opening. The attention to detail, the use of fat strips, the careful cutting shows clearly that French butchers are superior. Having said that the meat is not always so. I got a rib roast in France and it was tough like leather, I was told later not aged at all.


The real difference is that the French feeding of their bovine for cuisine is very different than the British or American

Fillet and faux fillet, are the cuts that are not found in a normal Angus or Angus type of Bulls. It is due to their feeding

The British and/or American's prefer a layer of fat, whereas the French in their fillet have none. For example, le fillet American is scraped fillet with a blunt knife. There are other examples of the difference but this one it most obvious. Pedantically, fillet does not exist in English/American Cuts


Two things 1.The French diagram seemsfar more detailed than the English one, which lacks several cuts 2. Meat cuts are regional in both countries, but I think more in the UK

The obvious examples have already been mentioned, fillet steak is definitely an English cut,the eye of the loin. French paleron = feather or blade (regional names) Skirt is not shown (it is related to onglet). Neck is not a cut commonly sold in London, I'm not even sure what I'd ask for, I suspect it goes into anonymous stewing steak and mince


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