I live in France and would like to know what cut of veal is equivalent to American brisket.

  • If all else fails take a picture to your butcher. – paparazzo Aug 21 '16 at 12:44
  • Related, but I don't know if it quite answers the question (as the brisket section is divided into two regions on the French diagram) : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/34597/67 – Joe Aug 21 '16 at 13:27

For adult beef, the area of the cow you're talking about is poitrine, though that covers the "brisket" as well as the front part of what in the U.S we'd call "plate" (i.e., into the "skirt"). If you ask for milieu de poitrine, that should get you closer to an American brisket cut. That's typically for beef, though.

For veal, I believe poitrine de veau (veal breast) is a traditional cut that is probably close to what you want, though again the cut may go back a bit farther than the standard brisket. I don't know whether it is common nowadays to debone the veal breast in France; in the U.S. (unlike adult beef brisket) it often comes with some ribs attached.

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  • Wouldn't the veal breast be way more tender than a brisket (which is from adults in america)? I'd think recipes would need a good amount of adjustment (or better, substitute another cut like chuck roll depending on case). – Batman Sep 21 '16 at 5:49
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    @Athanasius French butchery goes about its carving activities in a different way than its American & British counterparts. In France, is brisket used to make "salt beef" as in the UK and/or "corned beef" as in the US? Not to be confused with tinned corned beef in the UK, a completely different thing. Salt beef made from brisket in the UK and its equivalent of corned beef/pastrami in the US, owes its origins to Jewish delis which used to source meat from kosher butchers where butchery has limitations on which part of the animal can be kosher. The hind quarters are non-kosher and sold-off. – Peter Point Sep 21 '16 at 7:06
  • I am aware that "salt beef", pastrami and the like are not part of mainstream French cuisine but they are available in kosher delis and restaurants in Paris. – Peter Point Sep 21 '16 at 7:15

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