Mar 242020

Beef, Lamb, and Pork!! We have been enjoying many different flavors of the yummy Australian dishes made out of lamb, pork, and beef. But do us ever thought of the interesting cuts!? Mostly, No. Actually there are many styles, formats, and cuts that are implemented on these common protein staple food of Aussies dinner plates as well as nutritional power houses. After listening about the basic cuts of meat, people might get frightened on how and why should these cuts are taken the priority place before we enjoy any dish made out of it!! Don’t panic.  Today, let us know everything you need to know about beef, pork, and lamb cuts.

Australia is well-known for its meat quality both domestically and internationally. Until this date, Australia is the world’s largest exporter of livestock and red meat. Worldwide, more than 100 countries are facilitating the meat export services from Australia. Each and every style of cut assurances consistency and taste tenderness.

For most of us meat counter is an intimidating place, may be because of looking at the butchers holding big knives, hooks, cleavers, etc. But believe me, meat cuts do not need to be intimidating anymore!! Besides, knowing some facts about the meat cuts will expand your knowledge on what to ask for at the butcher’s shop as well you will get enough knowledge on what kind of meat it is and how to cook it after getting it home. In addition having a clear knowledge on basic cuts of meat may help you to better understand the associated cost-which makes a biggest difference while buying meat and paying for some meat cuts. The following is a detailed list of premium basic cuts of meat such as beef, pork, and lamb available in Australia.

Main and Basic cuts of Beef Meat

Beef meat is the major staple food product in Australia. On an average each person in Australia consumes 33kg of beef meat per year in a variety of forms including steaks, roasts, stews, and soups. Likewise, with so much of choice in varieties of consuming beef meat, beef cuts are there to satisfy every occasion, taste, and budget. Because each and every cut offers unique flavour and texture that suits your cooking methods and recipes certainly.

What is inside and outside meat of beef?

Inside meat is located underneath part of the body and also situated at the back of outside edge. Whereas outside meat is located diagonally starting from 6th to 12th rib, attached to the chest wall layered with a thick membrane. Cut names of inside and outside meats include inside, Top round toast, inside cap off, outside, inside streak, and eye round.

Round cuts

Rear leg of the cattle is the main source for round cuts.  This is where you will find the muscle which is thin, lean, and most importantly used very rare. Round cuts include round and beef strips, round streak, etc.


To enjoy the flavour of this cut, the cow has to offer its most tender cut of meat. Also, enjoy the real taste of this cut by roasting the cut meat as a whole or grilled or broiled or sautéed streaks, etc. the very versatile cut of meat include Tenderloin Butt, Tenderloin, and Tenderloin centre cut streak.


The lower chest or breast of the cattle offers the brisket cut of meat. This cut of meat is perfect for barbeques but is often well-known for its hardness and that is the reason it is considered as the toughest cut of meat. Brisket is a cut of meat, in which you will find more fat but the high quantities of fat keeps the meat clammy and soft.

Top Sirloin

This is the cut which is quiet larger compared to the other cuts of cow meat. But this cut does not sacrifice in satisfying your taste buds since it is the large cut, it offers intensely flavorful, deep beefy taste. Top Sirloin cuts include: Sirloin Cap, Sirloin roast, Sirloin centre streak, Centre cut Sirloin, and Tri-Tip.

Rib Eye

This is a kind of boneless cut of meat from the cattle collected from the rib section. This boneless beef streak cuts are very delicious and perfect for those who likes meat without bones and especially kids will love these steaks very much. Common cuts of this Rib Eye includes Rib Roast, Rib Eye Roll Steak, whole rib eye, and rib steak.

Flap Meat

Flap meat is sometimes called as flap steak is a thick and fleshy portion of the cow meat derived from the internal flank plate. It is the best food for BBQ’s or as Cheese Steak, or broil, or Fajitas.


People are the favorites of striploin because of its tenderness and great taste. This cut is a very versatile cut that is easy to cook as a roast or steaks. The common cuts of striploin include Striploin Steak (Bone-In) and Striploin Steak (Boneless), T-bone steak, and Striploin Roast.


Shin is a cut of cow derived from the lower leg of a steer. It is also known as the shank and is a well-flavored cut, which is sold in both types: boneless and bone-in medallion shaped pieces. It offers a wonderful rich beef flavour when cooked on slow and medium flames.


Clod/chink is another versatile cut of cattle which offers delicious flavorfrom the shoulder area of the beef. It is one of the eight primal cuts and common cuts include: Chuck Eye Roll Steak, Shoulder Roast or Diced. Flat Iron Steak, Blade Steak (Bone-in), etc.

Inside Skirt

Inside skirt is derived from the flank part of the cow. Skirt steaks are nothing but the cuts made from the diaphragm muscle, located in the area just below the ribs of the cow. When compared to outside skirt, inside skirt is thinner and narrower without the membrane.

Main and Basic cuts of Lamb meat

In general, lamb refers to female sheep and young male. Since the lamb is very young, it weighs only 50lb-60lb or 25kg-27kg and is slaughtered at the age of six months. Also the meat of lamb is very tender and promotes dry heat cooking. Sheep over one year old is referred as mutton. Mutton is basically less tender in nature and offers strong flavour. As meat is high in price, it is often sold or marketed with bone-in.

The lamb meat is actually cut into four primals that include: loin, flank, leg, and front.

Front: The front part is again divided into four sub-primal cuts. They include fore shank, lab shoulder, breast, and neck.

Leg: The leg portion is split in to butt portion and leg shank.      

Lion: The loin is split in to two parts: loin and the rib

Primal   Sub-primals

Leg         Shank (A), Leg, shank portion (B), Leg, butt portion (C and D), Sirloin (E)

Loin        Rib (rack) (G), Loin (F)

Flank     No further breakdown (H)

Front     Shoulder (J), Breast (L), Neck (I), Shank (M)

There are other cuts available apart from primal and sub-primal cuts, they include restaurant and retail cuts which are represented in the tabular form below:


Restaurant Cuts

Retail Meat Sales Cut

Alternate Names

Lamb leg

Leg of lamb

Lamb leg shank portion


Lamb sirloin (boneless)

Lamb leg sirloin chops


Lamb leg butt portion


Lamb shank


Lamb loin

Lamb rib chops

Lamb chops

Lamb popsicles


Lamb rack

Rack of lamb

Both lamb racks can be used to produce a crown roast


Lamb loin chops

Lamb T-bone


Lamb flank

Lamb flank rolled (boneless)


Lamb shoulder

Lamb shoulder blade chops


Lamb shoulder arm chops


Lamb neck chops


Lamb shank


Lamb shoulder roast

Lamb shoulder

Oyster shoulder

Basic and Main cuts of Pork

Pork is again a versatile and a popular meat in Australia. Depending on its size, pork meat is merchandised as a whole or in sides or split into primals. Like lamb, pork meat is collected from the butcher hogs that are six months old at the time of slaughter. The whole hog weighs about 165 pounds or 75 kilograms and while slaughtering, a little amount of pork meat goes into waste. Pork meat is merchandised in a number of ways like fat is used in sausage manufacturing plus larding and barding of lean meats, intestine part is processed for sausage casings. Skin, head, and feet are rich in offering good amounts of natural gelatin. Whereas feet and hocks are sold as sweet pickle.

The sub primals are derived from the side of the pork i.e. pork shoulder, pork loin, pork leg, and pork belly.



Pork leg

Pork leg butt portion (D)


Pork leg shank portion (C)


Pork hock (B)


Pork foot (A)

Pork loin

Pork loin rib end (G)


Pork loin centre (F)


Pork sirloin (E)

Pork belly

No further breakdown (H)

Pork shoulder

Pork shoulder blade (I)


Pork shoulder picnic (J)


Pork jowl (K)


Pork foot (M)


Pork hock (L)

Pork Leg

The leg portion of the hog is very lean and tender, free of connective tissue, all together making it perfect for dry cooking. It is divided into three muscle groups: tip, inside, and outside including hock and foot. The most famous and highly in demand version of pork is ‘Ham’, produced while the pork leg is smoked and cured. Prosciutto is produced by dry cured and aging process of pork. Fresh steaks and roasts are produced from legs as well as cutlets. Retail, Restaurant, and smoked cuts are shown in the below table.


Retail Cured and smoked Cuts

Retail Meat Sales Cuts

Alternate Names

Pork Leg

Pork leg ham whole (b)(bl)

Pork leg inside roast

Fresh ham


Pork leg ham piece boneless

Pork leg outside roast


Pork leg tip roast


Pork leg ham steak (b)(bl)

Pork leg steak (b)(bl)


Pork leg cutlet



Pork leg ham (shank portion)

Pork leg shank portion


Pork leg centre portion


Pork leg butt portion


Pork leg ham (butt portion)

Pork hock



Pork hock (smoked)

Pork foot


Pork Belly

Pork belly is the rich source of fat offering good amount of fat content on the hog, encompassing pork breastbone and pork side ribs.


Retail Meat Sales Cuts

Retail Cured and Smoked Cuts

Alternate names

Pork belly

Side pork fresh

Pork side bacon

Pork belly


Pork side ribs




Pork side ribs center cut


St. Louis ribs

Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder is an inexpensive cut of meat that comes from the shoulder part of the pig. The pig’s shoulder part cut meat is relatively tough because it is highly layered with fat content. The sub-primals: pork shoulder picnic and pork shoulder blade are collected from the pig’s shoulder along with pork foot and pork hock.


Retail Cured and Smoked Cuts

Retail Meat Sales Cuts

Alternate Names

Pork shoulder blade


Pork shoulder blade Steaks (b)(bl)


Pork cottage roll (smoked)

Pork shoulder blade roast (b)(bl)

Pork butt Boston butt

Pork jowl

Pork jowl (smoked)


Jowl bacon

Pork hock

Smoked Hocks


Pork Foot

Pickled pigs’ feet


Pork shoulder picnic

Pork shoulder picnic (smoked)

Pork shoulder picnic blade portion

The blade and picnic together are sometimes referred to as the Montreal shoulder


Pork shoulder picnic shank portion


Pork riblets


Pork Loin

Pork loin is a thicker and wider cut of meat that comes from the pig’s meat, covered with thick layer of fat on the top. Commonly, the pork loin cut of meat is split into three sections: sirloin, rib, and loin centre. On the other hand, the pork loin is also divided into two halves at the end of the tenderloin naming pork loin sirloin half and pork loin rib half.


Retail Meats Sales Cuts

Retail Cured and Smoked Cuts

Alternate Names

Pork Loin

Pork loin centre roast (b)(bl)

Pork loin centre back bacon (smoked)

Canadian bacon


Pork loin centre chops (b)(bl)

Pork loin centre chop (smoked)

Kassler loin


Pork back ribs


Pork sirloin roast (b)(bl)


Pork sirloin chop (b)(bl)

Pork sirloin chop smoked

Baby back ribs


Pork loin rib country-style chop


Pork rib chop (b)(bl)

Pork rib chop smoked


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