à la broche – (French) Food cooked on a spit or skewer.

abbacchio – (Italian, singular) lamb.

acidulated water – A combination of water and an acid used to prevent oxidation in meat and vegetables. Acetic acid (vinegar) or citric acid (lemon juice) are commonly used acids.

actin – The major component of thin muscle filaments. Together with the motor protein myosin, which forms thick filaments, it is arranged into actomyosin myofibrils. These fibrils comprise the mechanism of muscle contraction.

ad lib feeding – Self-feeding or allowing cattle to consume feed on a free-choice basis.

adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – A coenzyme required for the shortening of the actomyosin myofibrils required for muscle contraction. This latter process is one of the main energy requirements of animals and is essential for locomotion and respiration.

adipose tissue – Loose connective tissue comprised of about 80 percent fat.

adobo – A Filipino dish of marinated meat or fish seasoned with garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and spices. A Spanish process of marinating raw foods in a mixture of spices, especially paprika, and vinegar to preserve the food and enhance its flavor. A Puerto Rican salt and spice mixture rubbed on meats or seafood before cooking. A Mexican sauce preparation.

aging – The process of holding raw meat for a period of time before processing for the purpose of tenderizing and condensing flavor. Dry aging is performed by storing the meat exposed to air under refrigeration. Evaporation of moisture from the muscles serves to concentrate the flavor and cause significant weight loss. Natural enzymes break down connective tissue to improve tenderness. Wet aging is performed by anaerobically packaging the meat and storing under refrigeration. Wet aging increases the tenderness of the meat, and moisture (weight) loss is minimized.

aiguillette – (French) Nowadays any meat cut into long, thin strips. Traditionally in France, aiguillettes were only cut from a duck breast or beef tenderloin.

aïoli – (French, sp. Provençal) In American cooking, a garlic-flavored mayonnaise often used as an accompaniment to fish, vegetables and other meat. In Provence, where the term originates, it can also refer to a complete dish of boiled vegetables, seafood, and eggs served with an aïoli sauce. In Catalan cooking, an aioli may be prepared just from garlic and olive oil pounded together in a mortar.

aitchbone – The portion of the pelvis that is exposed when a carcass is divided at the medial line.

al dente – (Italian) Firm to the bite. Often used to refer to doneness in pasta, the amount of firmness is usually interpreted in the United States as being firmer than in Italy.

all natural – A USDA-regulated term that means that the meat has been “minimally processed with no artificial ingredients.” It may still contain antibiotics and growth hormones.

allspice – The dried, unripe fruit of the Pimenta dioca tree. It may also be referred to as Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or newspice.

ambassador steak – One of the many, although now, somewhat obscure, names for a boneless steak cut from the top loin.

amourette – (French) Although often translated as “spinal marrow,” it is actually the spinal cord and contains no true marrow.

anaerobic glycolysis – A process that breaks down sugar without oxygen, to generate ATP from glycogen, a sugar stored in muscle.

andouille sausage, Cajun – Sausage prepared from lean pork, spiced with cayenne pepper, mustard, paprika, and garlic, and smoked over hickory wood. Used to flavor gumbo and jambalaya. Served hot in sandwiches or cold and plain. Some recipes add rice to the forcemeat.

andouille sausage, French – Sausage prepared from cleaned and julienned pig intestines, seasoned with salt and pepper, stuffed into another intestine, and cooked by smoking and or simmering. Usually served cold. A smaller version called andouillette is made only from the small intestine, and is served grilled or fried, with or without a sauce.

angus beef cattle – Angus cattle comprises two breeds of hornless cattle from the original Scottish Aberdeen stock, Black Angus and Red Angus. The original name of the breed was Aberdeen Angus. Black is the predominant color. Black Angus is the most popular breed for beef in the United States. Four bulls were brought to America in 1873. At the time, shorthorn and longhorn cattle were the norm. The crossbred offspring impressed breeders, and purebred herds were imported. The American Aberdeen Angus Association was founded in 1883. Due to the dilution of breeding stock, the Certified Angus Beef Program was established with the Association to ensure that cattle labeled as angus had at least half of its genetic material traceable to true angus sources.

animal – Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa.

animelles – (French) Ovine testicles. Also called rognons blanc (white kidneys). The American-English equivalent would be the euphemism “lamb fries.”

Ardennes ham – An air-dried ham, similar to prosciutto, produced in the Ardennes region of Belgium. The hams are hand-rubbed with a mixture of salt, juniper berries, thyme, and coriander or brined, smoked over beech wood until dark brown, and aged. Finished hams typically possess a full-bodied flavor and soft texture. IGP-certified hams are marked with a yellow-numbered lead seal as a guarantee of quality and origin. The Belgium-French name is jambon d’Ardenne.

arm bone – The humerus bone. A long bone that lies roughly in the center of the upper forelimb of four-legged mammals. It extends from the scapula to the knee.

arm roast – Roast cut from the main section of the upper forelimb of four-legged mammals. Other names: arm pot roast, arm chuck roast, round bone pot roast, arm steak.

aromatics – The term for all vegetables, herbs, and spices that provide aroma and flavor in cooking.

asem (or asam) – (Var. Indonesian and Malay languages) Tamarind pulp.

aspic – A jelly made with meat or fish stock, usually set in a mold and used as a garnish. Also various vegetable juices, especially tomato, set with gelatin.


baby back ribs, back ribs – The portion of the rib-cage structure that lies directly ventral to the loin on either lateral side of the spine. A full set contains 13 rib pieces along with the intercostal muscles. There are two sets per animal. Unless otherwise specified, these ribs are from a pig, but they are also available from a steer but not generally as a full set. Also called loin ribs.

baby lamb – Milk-fed lamb slaughtered when it is between six and eight weeks old, not generally commercially available.

back strap – Part of the ligamentum nuchae that lies on the dorsal surface of the spine and literally holds the animals head up. Beef back straps are sometimes dried and used as dog chews.

bacon grease, bacon drippings – The fat rendered from cooked bacon. It was formerly used as the primary cooking fat by some people, but today is generally replaced by cooking oils seen as being more healthy. If the original bacon was smoked, the fat rendered from it may be used to impart a smoky flavor to items cooked in it.

bacon pigs, lard pigs – An archaic classification of pigs when pigs were important producers of lubricants and cooking fat. Lard pigs were generally thicker with short legs and are fattened quickly on a corn diet. Bacon pigs were leaner and more muscular and used for the production of meat.

barbecue, barbeque, BBQ – Either an apparatus for cooking meat with heat from wood, charcoal, or gas, usually used outdoors; or the act of cooking meat over such an apparatus; or the resulting cooked product; or a gathering that includes items cooked on such an apparatus.

baron – A very large roasting cut, usually of beef, designed to serve a large number of people. The cut is usually produced from a carcass that has not been split into left and right sides. A baron of rumps or loins is the most common.

bavette – (French) See “flank steak.”

beef – The culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle, although beef may also refer to the meat from the other bovines such as antelope, African buffalo, bison, water buffalo, and yak.

beef bacon – A product made from the steer’s belly meat, close to the flank area.

beef cheeks – The muscles on either side of the cheekbones. These highly worked muscles are generally only suitable for braising.

beef jerky – Jerky made from beef. See “Jerky.”

belly – See “pork belly.”

bison – A bovine native to North America. The U.S. government refers to it as buffalo. Bison meat is generally leaner, darker in color, and more intensely flavored than beef.

black angus beef – Black Angus is the most popular breed for beef in the U.S.

blade steak – A steak prepared by cross-cutting the infraspinatus muscle, which is packaged as a top blade roast. (IMPS 1114D)

bloom – The process of beef changing from the dark purple seen in vacuum-packaged meat to a bright cherry-red color when exposed to oxygen.

bockwurst – A sausage of German origin similar to bratwurst, but generally lighter in color and mostly produced from veal. The filling is usually emulsified and the finished sausage is sold precooked.

bone marrow – The flexible tissue found in the interior of bones.

bone-in – A term used to refer to meat cuts that are commonly sold as boneless.

boned, rolled & tied (BRT) – A term referring to roast cuts that are completely boned, internal fat removed, excessive outer fat trimmed off, and tied into a cylindrical shape.

boneless roast – A general term applied to any piece of meat presented without bones and too large to prepare as a steak.

Boston butt – The dorsal portion of a pork shoulder that has been separated where the humerus and scapula bones meet. (IMPS 406)

Boston cut(s) – Reference to the style of butchered beef cuts commonly found in Boston at the turn of the 20th century.

bottom roast – See “bottom-round roast.”

bottom round – See “outside round.”

bottom-round roast – A boneless beef roast, ranging in size from 2 to 3 pounds, prepared from the bottom, or outside, round, a large group of muscles on the lateral portion of the upper hind leg.

bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) – A fatal brain disorder that occurs in cattle. Commonly called “mad cow disease.”

braising – A slow cooking method in which tough cuts of meat are partially immersed in liquid in a covered pot or pan for long periods of time. By only partially submerging the meat, the space above the liquid is filled with steam which does a better job of breaking down the tough connective tissue. The denatured collagen is thought to melt into the meat, moistening it and allowing it to become tender. Cooks commonly confuse braising with stewing or simmering, where the meat is totally submerged in liquid.

bratwurst – A sausage of German origin sausage usually composed of veal, pork, and or beef. In different parts of the world, this sausage made be sold either cooked or raw. In its various forms, the meat filling may either be emulsified, finely ground, or coarsely ground. The name is derived from the German words brät, finely chopped meat, and wurst, sausage.

braunschweiger – See “liverwurst.”

brawn – Pork meat fragments, usually from the head, set in thick gelatin, derived from the same pieces, so they can be thinly sliced.

breast cuts – Collectively, cuts made from the breast of an animal.

brisket –  Technically, the cut includes the anterior end of the sternum bones, the deep pectoral muscle, and the supraspinatusmuscle. (IMPS 118) Commonly, this cut is sold as either the boneless flat cut, pectoral muscle, (IMPS 120A) or the boneless point cut, supraspinatus muscle, (IMPS 120B) Either cut should be termed of essentially all fat and no part may be less that 1/2 inch (13 mm) thick at any point.

bull testicles – Also known as calf fries, cowboy caviar, prairie oysters, Rocky Mountain oysters, and other terms.

butcher – A person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, cut their flesh into saleable portions, sell their meat, or any combination of these tasks.

butt ham – A bone-in ham taken from the upper portion of the femur that may also include the aitch bone.

butterfly – A term referring to a single muscle, or group of muscles, that has(ve) been cut in one or more places to leave a hinge so the cut can be opened like butterfly wings. The process produces a thinner meat cut that will cook quicker or more evenly or both. The term may also refer to a chicken carcass that where the spine is removed to allow the carcass to open flat.


calf fries – See “bull testicles.”

carpetbag steak – Not a cut of meat but a preparation dating back to the 19th century in which a pocket is cut in a steak and filled with raw oysters. The pocket is then fastened shut with thread or skewers to contain the oysters while the steak is cooked.

casing – The various parts of the alimentary canal used to enclose forcemeats to create sausages. The most common casings are made from the collagen that makes up the submucosa of the small intestines, usually from pigs but also lambs. Other parts, such as beef caecums are also used, but removed before eating.

center cut – Generally refers to steaks cut from the longitudinal center of one of the loin cuts, such as the rib-eye, sirloin, or tenderloin.

Certified Angus Beef – A registered trademark of the American Angus Association. Beef produced by licensees of the trademark must contain a minimum amount of the angus bloodline in their DNA, be graded as “choice” or “prime,” and meet 10 additional quality standards set forth by the Association.

chateaubriand – (French) In French butchery in the early 20th century, the beef tenderloin was divided into five portions of approximately equal length. The second piece from the rump end, the one where the iliacus and the psoas major join, was the chateaubriand. In the mid-20th century in America, this piece was used as a roast cut for two people in fine restaurants. There is also a 19th-century French steak dish by the same name that uses the same cut.

Chicago-style steak – A preparation of steak, cooked to the desired level and then heavily charred. The diner orders it by asking for the style followed by the level of doneness, e.g. “Chicago-style rare.” In some areas it is also referred to as Pittsburgh-style steak.

chicken-fried steak, country-fried steak – A mechanically tenderized round steak cooked in a manner similar to fired chicken, hence the name. The meat is coated with seasoned flour, shallow-fried, and often served with a milk gravy.

chine, chine bone – In English-speaking countries, the vertebral column.

chipped beef – Dried lean beef cut into thin slices for packaging. This is a shelf-stable product. In the U.S. military in the first half of the 20th century, chipped beef replaced salted meat as a common source of meat protein.

chitterlings – An English-language term for the small intestines, usually from a pig.

chop – Originally a cut made by cross-cutting the loin that included the chine. In the U.S. a chop made now refer to any steak-like cut from a lamb or pig, with or without bone.

chorizo – A highly-seasoned, spicy sausage whose red color comes from spices made from red-colored peppers. Spanish varieties are cured, dried, and ready to eat, similar to other dried, cured sausages. Mexican varieties are fresh and require cooking before eating.

chuck – In North American meat cutting, a beef primal obtained by cutting between the 5th and 6th ribs, perpendicular to the vertebral column.

chuck roast – The portion of the beef forequarter after removal of the rib, short plate, foreshank, and brisket. The rib end of the chuck is prepared by a straight cut between the 5th and 6th ribs. The brisket and foreshank are removed by a straight cut at an approximate right angle to the rib end. (IMPS 113) The roast may be cut into smaller portions to increase its salability.

chuck steak – Any steak cut from the beef chuck. Some chuck steaks have more specific names, e.g. top blade steak, depending upon which part of the chuck it is cut from.

chump – A term used in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries for a lamb top sirloin, which contains the contains the gluteus medius, gluteus accessorius, gluteus profundus, and the biceps femoris muscles.

city butt – An alternative term in the United States for a Boston butt. See “Boston butt.”

city ham – A boned or bone-in, wet-cured ham that is normally sold fully cooked. To produce, a pork leg is soaked in or injected with brine, a sodium chloride solution that may also contain sodium nitrite and flavorings. The meat is cooked by boiling, steaming, or hot smoking. See also “country ham.”

closed herd – A herd of farm animals that is 100% born and raised on a single farm to ensure the health of the herd. No additional animals are brought in from the outside.

club steak – A bone-in beef steak cut from the rib end of the loin. Similar in concept to a T-bone or porterhouse steak, a club steak contains mostly logissimus dorsi muscle, the same as the principal muscle of the rib-eye steak, and sometimes a little of the psoas major muscle from the tip of the tenderloin.

connective tissue – The collagenous tissue between and within muscles that helps bind muscles together. When the tissue attaches muscle to bone, it is called tendons. When the tissue attaches bone to bone, it is called ligaments.

core temperature – The temperature at the center of the thickest part of a piece of meat.

corn-fed, grain-fed – An adjective describing the process of feeding animals a diet of corn kernels and other grains. The process tends to create more fat than grass feeding.

corned beef – Corning refers to pickling beef in a seasoned brine or curing beef in salt. The term “corn” comes from the Old English word used describe any small hard particles. Today, briskets or eye of rounds are used to make corned beef, originally all cuts were used when corned beef was used for both land- and sea-based military units.

country ham – A dry-cured ham made by rubbing the raw meat with salt and flavorings. Once cured, the ham may be cold-smoked before drying. Drying is done over a period of 6 to 18 months, sometimes in a controlled environment. Country ham is uncooked. If being cooked before serving, the ham requires desalting in multiple changes of water. It may also be eaten uncooked in paper-thin slices. See also “city ham.”

country-style ribs – The blade end of a pork loin which contains not less than 3 nor more than 6 ribs. The chine bones are removed so the cut exposes lean meat between the featherbones and ribs. Country-style ribs are divided into approximately equal portions by cutting through the flesh from the rib end (ventral) side to the feather bone side without severing the muscle cover (trapezius), leaving both portions attached. (IMPS 423)

cowboy steak – A thick, chined, bone-in, beef rib steak cut parallel to the bone. The piece includes a short piece of bone ventral to the eye with all the meat and tissue removed.

cracklings, pork rinds – Fried or slow roasted pig skin with some fat attached.

crown roast, interlaced roast – A roast made from two rib racks harvested from the 5th through 12th ribs, generally from lamb or pork. The racks are fully chined, the individual racks are curved so the rib bones stand as a vertical half cylinder, and the two racks fastened together end-to-end to complete the cylinder, or “crown.”

cube steak, minute steak – A thin slice of beef generally cut from the top (inside) or bottom (outside) round. It is tenderized by pounding it with a mallet, jaccarding, or running it through a tenderizing machine. A mallet with a diamond pattern will leave a cube-shaped pattern in the meat.

culatello – A dried ham made from the inside round, eye of round, and outside round of a large pig. The salted meat is stuffed into is a pig bladder and tied into a pear shape before being dried for 8 to 12 months in an open-air building environment.

culotte steak, top sirloin cap steak –The beef steak is produced from the sirloin and consists of the portion of the biceps femorismuscle anterior to the acetabulum. The biceps femoris is removed from the sirloin by cutting through the natural seams and made into specified portion sizes or thickness by slicing the pieces at a right angle to the grain. (IMPS 1184D)

curing – The process of preserving meat or fish with salt.

cushion – The triceps brachii muscles the pork foreleg. It shall be practically free of fat with the tendons trimmed flush with the lean. (IMPS 405B)

cut – The term used for a piece, segment, or section of an animal produced during butchering.

cutlet – A thin, boneless slice of meat, often cut on the bias to create as wide a piece as possible.


dam – The female parent of an animal. In general, more specific terms such as hen, ewe, sow, or cow are more appropriate to use.

dark cutter – Color of the lean muscle in the carcass has a dark appearance, usually caused by stress to the animal prior to slaughter. This condition may also be referred to as “dark, dry, dry” or “DFD.”

debeak – To remove a portion of a bird’s top beak to prevent cannibalism or self-pecking.

deckle – The muscles located laterally in a primal rib cut. The large deckle muscle is the latissimus dorsi muscle, and the small deckle is the trapezius muscle. Sometimes the pectoralis muscle of the beef brisket is referred to as the deckle.

deep-fry – To cook food in hot fat in a level deep enough to completely cover the item being cooked.

dehorn – To remove the horns of an animal.

Delmonico steak – Although the definition has changed over time, today the term is usually used as a synonym for a boneless rib-eye steak.

demi-glace – (French) Formerly a mixture of equal proportions of brown stock and brown sauce that was reduced by half. Today, the term refers to highly reduced meat stock that is high in gelatin and solid at room temperature.

Denver ribs – Lamb spareribs cut from the breast and trimmed of all fat and connective tissue.

deviled ham – A commercial product of emulsified ham and spices which was first sold in 1868 by the William Underwood Company

dewlap – Loose skin under the chin and neck of animals.

disjoint – To separate poultry at its joints, typically the knees, hips, and shoulders.

done – The point of time in food preparation when the cooking of an item is complete.

Dorset Horn Sheep – Originating in Southern England, the Dorset Horn was imported into the U.S. in 1885. In 1948, a dominant gene for polledness occurred resulting in Polled Dorsets which are now popular in the farm flocks. Dorsets are medium-sized and white-faced. They produce medium-wool fleeces free of black fibers and have wool extending down their legs. Dorsets are noted for their aseasonal breeding characteristics and are commonly used in crossbreeding to produce females for out-of-season breeding. Ewes are prolific, heavy milkers. They are long lived and produce hardy lambs with moderate growth and maturity that yield heavy muscled carcasses.

double chop – A lamb chop produced by cutting transversely across the vertebral column forming left and right sides. See “saddle.”

double-cut chops – Rib chops, usually of lamb, that include two ribs instead of one (single-cut chops).

down – The soft, fur-like fluff covering a newly hatched chick; also, the fluffy part near the bottom of any feather.

dry sauté – An American term referring to cooking meat in a dry frying without the addition of fat. The term should not be confused with searing. See “sear.”

dry-aged – Fresh beef that has been hung or set on wooden racks to partially dry under controlled temperature, humidity, and air flow to enhance flavor and tenderness. During aging, the meat typically loses 10 to 12% of its water content, but in extreme cases twice that much water may be lost. The increase in flavor and tenderness is counter-balanced the significant increase in cost due to lose of weight.

dry-heat cooking – The cooking of meat in an air environment. Broiling, grilling, pan-frying, and oven roasting are examples of dry-heat methods of cooking.

dub – To trim a cock’s comb.

duck – Any of a variety of species of wild or domestic web-footed birds. Duck is generally higher in fat than other domestic poultry.

Duroc pig, Duroc pork – A heritage pig, the Duroc is a large red hog with loppy (drooping) ears. According to the National Swine Registry, it is the second most recorded breed of swine in the U.S. and a major breed in many other countries. While known for its red color, the Duroc can range from a very light golden, almost yellow color, to a very dark red color that approaches mahogany.


edema – Abnormal fluid accumulation in the intercellular tissue spaces of the body.

egg tooth – A horny cap on a chick’s upper beak that helps the chick pip through the shell.

elk – A large member of the deer family. Elk meat is called “venison.” Antelope, caribou, elk, deer, moose and reindeer meat is also classified as venison, the most popular large animal game meat in the U.S.

embryo – An animal in the early stages of development in the womb or egg.

emulsified sausage – Cooked sausage whose meat has been finely chopped, such as bologna, frankfurter, or mortadella. In most cases, they are smoked and cooked with moist heat.

endocrine gland – Any of various glands producing hormonal secretions that pass directly into the bloodstream. The endocrine glands include the thyroid, parathyroids, anterior and posterior pituitary, pancreas, adrenals, pineal, and gonads.

enhanced – Term describing meat pumped with added water, flavorings, preservatives, and or salt. Labels of enhance products made also used the terms: “basted,” “pre-basted,” “injected,” or “marinated.”

enteritis – Inflammation of the intestines, especially the small intestine.

entrecôte – (French) A rib-eye steak.

escalope – (French) A thin, boneless piece of meat that is uniform in its thickness and cut from a larger piece; a cutlet.

esophageal groove – Groove in the reticulum which directs milk in a nursing calf from the esophagus to the omasum, a ruminant’s third stomach.

eviscerate – Removal of the internal organs during the slaughtering process.

ewe – A female sheep.

eye of round roast – A roast made from the bovine semitendinosus muscle, common called the eye of round. (IMPS 171C)


F1 – Offspring resulting from the mating of a purebred (straightbred) bull to purebred (straightbred) females of another breed.


fabrication –Breaking the carcass into primal, subprimal, or retail cuts. These cuts may be boned and trimmed of excess fat.

farce – (French) A filling.

fatback (or backfat) – A layer of firm subcutaneous porcine fat. It is rendered to make lard; added when making sausages and terrines for added texture, flavor, and moisture; and cured as a stand-alone charcuterie item. See “lardo.”

fat thickness – Subcutaneous fat thickness is a predictor of wholesale bovine cut yield, and represents what is to be trimmed from the carcass. Typically measured at the twelfth and thirteenth rib as inches of fat over the longissimus dorsi muscle.

fed cattle – Steers and heifers that have been fed concentrates, usually for 90 to 120 days in a feedlot or until they reach a desired slaughter weight.

feed additive – An ingredient such as an antibiotic or hormone-like substance that is added to an animal’s diet to perform a specific role.

feed bunk – Trough or container used to feed cattle.

feed efficiency – (1) Amount of feed required to produce a unit of weight gain or milk. (2) Amount of gain made per unit of feed.

feed markup – Per-ton feed cost charged to the customer by the feed yard for the cattle-feeding services it provides.

feeder – (1) Cattle that need further feeding prior to slaughter. (2) Producer who feeds cattle.

feeder grades – Grouping of feeder cattle to predict the slaughter weight endpoint of a desirable fat-to-lean composition. Frame size and thickness are the two criteria used to determine feeder grade.

feedlot – Enterprise in which cattle are fed grain and other concentrates for usually 90 to120 days. Feedlots range in size from less than 100-head capacity to many thousands.

fell – The fell is the paper-thin covering of outer fat on a roast. It is usually removed for small cuts, like chops, but kept in place for roasts and legs because it helps retain the shape and juiciness when cooking.

femininity – Well-developed secondary female sex characteristics, udder development, and refinement in head and neck.

fermière – A rustic and simple style of cutting, like that of a farmer.

filet mignon – Traditionally, a thick (2-1/2 in) steak sliced from the mid-region of the bovine psoas major muscle and devoid of any connective tissue or fat. The term may now refer to any steak cut from the beef tenderloin and may include the psoas major, psoas minor, sartorius muscles as well as connecting tissue and fat.

fill – Contents of the digestive tract.

fines herbes – (French) A mixture of herbs added at the end of cooking so they don’t lose their flavor. Parsley, chervil, tarragon, or chives are common.

finish – (1) Degree of fatness of an animal. (2) Completion of the last feeding phase of slaughter cattle.

finished cattle – Fed cattle whose time in the feedlot is completed and are now ready for slaughter.

finishing ration – Feedlot ration, usually high in energy and fed during the latter part of the feeding period.

flank steak – Consists of the rectus abdominis muscle from the flank region and is separated from the transversus abdominis, obliquus abdominis internus, and obliquus abdominis externus muscles through the natural seams. It is practically free of fat and the membranous tissue. (IMPS 193) Some butchers label this cut as a London broil.

flat iron steak – The American name for the cut known as “butlers’ steak” in the UK and “oyster blade steak” in Australia and New Zealand. The steak encompasses the bovine infraspinatus muscles, and is located adjacent to the heart of the shoulder clod, under the seven or paddle bone (shoulder blade or scapula). It is sometimes sold as a “top blade” roast. Steaks that are cross cut from this muscle are called “top blade” steaks or “patio” steaks. As a whole cut of meat, it usually weighs around two to three pounds. The entire top blade usually yields four steaks between eight and 12 ounces each. Flat iron steaks usually have a significant amount of marbling.

flehmen – Pattern of behavior expressed by animals where they draw back their lips in a manner that makes them appear to be “grimacing” or “smirking”. Bull exhibit this behavior as they commence sexual activity.

flushing – Placing females on a high level of nutrition before breeding to decrease postpartum interval and possibly stimulate an increased conception rate.

follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – Hormone produced and released by the anterior pituitary that stimulates the development of the follicle in the ovary.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – United States government agency responsible for protecting the public against impure and unsafe foods, drugs, veterinary products, biologics, and other products.

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) – National association of food retailers and wholesalers located in Washington, DC, that conducts programs of research, education, and public affairs for its members.

foot and mouth disease (FMD) – Highly contagious disease affecting many species of livestock including cattle. This disease is of particular concern in that it can lead to loss of export markets.

footrot – Disease of the foot in cattle.

forage – Grazed or harvested herbaceous plants that are utilized by cattle.

forage production – The total amount of dry matter (forage) produced per unit of area on an annual basis (e.g., lb/acre/year).

foie gras – The fattened liver of a duck or goose. See “gavage.”

fond – (French) Base or bottom. In cooking, a fond is the term for stocks used in the preparation of sauces. American chefs may refer to the particles stuck to the bottom of a pan from cooking as the fond.

forb – Weedy or broad-leaf plants (unlike grasses) that serve as pasture for animals (e.g., clover, alfalfa).

forequarter- The neck, shoulder, front legs, breast, and ribs of any meat animal.

fork tender – Referring to cooked meat easily cut or broken up with a fork.

founder – Nutritional ailment resulting from overeating. Lameness in front feet with excessive hoof growth usually occurs.

frame score – An objective, numerical description of cattle skeletal size which reflects the growth pattern and potential mature size of an animal. Values typically range from 2 to 9 and are calculated from hip height and age. Frame scores are frequently reported as supplementary information to weight and other performance data. They can be used to project mature size, provide an indication of composition, and characterize performance potential and nutritional requirements of an animal.

frankfurter – One of the many names traditionally given to a slender, emulsified sausage. See “hot dog.”

freemartin – Female born twin to a bull (approximately 90% of such heifers will never conceive).

freezer burn – The discoloration and dehydration of flesh in freezer-stored meats due to exposure to air.

frenched – The process of removing meat and connective tissue from a bone end to make its presentation more sophisticated. Rib and shank bones are those usually “frenched.”

fresh ham – Meat from the hind leg of a pig that is neither cured or smoked.

fricassee – A preparation of poultry, rabbit, or other white meat in a sauce. In American cooking, it is a method of stewing whereas in French cooking it is a method of braising.

fumet – (French) Literally, aroma. A shorthand reference to a fumet de poisson, or a fish stock.


galantine – (French) Meat or fish, generally poultry, that is de-boned fully or partially, stuffed, and rolled back together. Then poached and served cold, sometimes in aspic.

gelatin – A translucent, colorless, brittle, flavorless, irreversibly hydrolyzed form of collagen. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food. Common sources for production include porcine skin, bovine hides, and animal bones. In the kitchen, gelatin is a common by-product from the production of charcuterie and stocks.

gene – Segment of DNA in the chromosome that codes for a trait and determines how a trait will develop.

generation interval – Average age of the parents when the offspring destined to replace them are born. A generation represents the average rate of turnover of a herd.

generation turnover – Length of time from one generation of animals to the next generation.

genetic correlations – Correlations between two traits that arise because some of the same genes affect both traits. When two traits, such as weaning and yearling weight, are positively and highly correlated to one another successful selection for one trait will result in an increase in the other trait. When two traits are negatively and highly correlated, such as birth weight and calving ease, to one another, successful selection for one trait will result in a decrease in the other trait.

genetic engineering – Changing the characteristics of an animal by altering or rearranging its DNA. It is an all-embracing term for several techniques: (1) manipulations at a cellular level (cloning); (2) manipulation of the DNA itself (gene manipulation); and (3) changing the DNA sequence through the selection and mating of cattle.

Genoa salami – A smooth textured, cured, pork sausage seasoned with garlic and spices named for its northern Italian city of origin.

genotype-environment interaction – Variation in the relative performance of different genotypes from one environment to another. For example, the “best” cattle (genotypes) for one environment may not be the “best” for another environment.

German hard salami – A fine-textured blend of pork and beef, accented with garlic and smoky flavor. It is firmer than Genoa salami.

gestation – Time from conception until the female gives birth, an average of 285 days in cows, 147 days in ewes, and 113 days in sows.

giblets – The liver, heart, gizzard, and neck of a chicken or other fowl, usually removed from the carcass and cooked separately.

gizzard – An organ found in the digestive tract of poultry. This specialized stomach is constructed of thick, muscular walls and is used for grinding up food, often with the aid of pebbles ingested by the bird.

gonad – Organ that produces spermatozoa in the male, the testicle, and the egg cells in the female, the ovary.

grade – A designation that indicates quality or yield of meat.

grade and yield – Marketing transaction whereby payment is made on the basis of carcass weight and quality grade.

grade augmentation – Supplementation of traditional USDA visual carcass grading that allows for sub-grading.

grading up – Continued use of purebred sires of the same breed in a grade herd.

grain-fed – Refers to livestock that has been fed grain mostly grain after weaning.

grain-finished – This term refers to pastured animals that are given a grain diet in the months before slaughter.

grass tetany – Disease of cattle marked by staggering, convulsions, coma, and frequently death that is caused by a magnesium imbalance while grazing lush pasture.

grass-fed – Refers to livestock that has been fed herbaceous plants for its entire lifecycle following weaning.

grazier – A person who manages grazing livestock.

grazing cell – A parcel of land subdivided into paddocks and grazed rotationally.

grazing cycle – The length of time between two grazing periods in a particular paddock of a grazing unit. One grazing cycle includes one grazing period and one rest period.

green chorizo – A form of chorizo from Toluca, Mexico. Although often sold in casings, the forcemeat is removed from the casing for cooking. The cooked chorizo resembles ground beef.

grilling – A method of dry cooking that includes searing and cooking on a grill over a radiant heat source, usually wood coals or a gas fire.

gross margin – Difference between the revenue and variable production cost for one unit (one acre or one animal) of an enterprise.

ground beef – Beef that has been ground or finely chopped. Usually produced from trim in butcher shops, commercial ground beef is made from the entire animal.

growing ration – Usually a high-roughage ration whereby gains of 0.25 to 2 pounds per day are anticipated.

growth – Increase in protein over its loss in the animal body. Growth occurs by increases in cell numbers, cell size, or both.

grubs – Larvae of the heel fly found on the backs of cattle under the hide.

guanciale – (Italian) A cured, unsmoked pork jowl bacon. See pancetta.


halfsib  Animals having one common parent.

ham  A general term for cured pork meat. The ham may be smoked or not, cooked or not, fresh or dried, and on the bone or not.

ham hock  The ham hock is either the distal portion of the shank or the whole shank, depending on the butcher. The tibia and fibula (hind legs) or ulna and radius (fore leg) are sawed so the interior of the bones are exposed at both ends.

hand mating  Bringing a female to a male for breeding, after which she is removed from the area where the male is located (same as hand breeding).

hanger steak  A cut from the muscle on the inside of the beef carcass, attached to the last rib, diaphragm and kidney, right below the tenderloin in the plate primal. It is called hanger because it appears to “hang” from the diaphragm of the steer. Also called onglet (French), lombatello (Italian), and solomillo de pulmón (Spanish). (NAMP 140)

hanging tenderloin  Lumbar portion of the diaphragm muscle. Also called the Thick Skirt.

hard salami  See “German hard salami.”

hardware disease  Ingested sharp objects perforate the reticulum and cause infection of the heart sac, lungs, or abdominal cavity.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)  A process used to identify those steps in production where mistakes may critically damage the final performance of the product and to establish a system of monitoring and intervention to avoid these mistakes.

heart girth  Circumference of the animal’s body, measured just behind the shoulders.

heat increment  Increase in heat production following consumption of feed when an animal is in a thermoneutral environment. It includes additional heat generated in fermentation, digestion, and nutrient metabolism.

hedge  Risk management strategy that allows a producer to lock in a price for a given commodity at a specified time.

heifer  Young bovine cow prior to the time that she has produced her first calf.

heiferette  Heifer that has calved once and is then fed for slaughter. The calf has usually died or been weaned at an early age.

heritability  Portion of the phenotypic differences between animals that is due to heredity.

heritage breed  Breed produced from purebred and cross-bred livestock from rare species.

heterosis  Performance of offspring that is greater than the average of the parents. Usually referred to as the amount of superiority of the crossbred over the average of the parental breeds. Also called “hybrid vigor.”

Himalayan beef – Another name for yak. The yak is more environmentally friendly than beef and easier to handle than bison. Americans don’t understand “yak meat”; hence, the more food-friendly name. Yaks need far less food than either bison or beef. To gain one pound, yaks need 6 pounds of forage, compared to 8 pounds for beef and 12 for bison. Yak meat is 95 to 97% lean. Grass-fed without hormones or antibiotics, yak is also low in palmitic acid, which effects bad cholesterol production.

hindquarter  The rear leg and hip portion of a quadruped.

hiplock  Condition at calving in which the hips of the calf cannot pass through the pelvis of the cow.

hormones  A chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another.

hot dog – A slender, emulsified sausage derived from the “frankfurter.” It is typically eaten in a bun or roll.

hot links  The commercial name for Cajun-style andouille sausages. Commercially produced hot links are generally less fatty, smoother, and contain a higher percentage of meat than the originals.

hot-fat trimming  Removal of excess surface fat while the carcass is still hot, immediately after slaughter and dressing and prior to chilling the carcass.

hot-house lamb  A young lamb that has been entirely milk-fed and not pastured.

hot smoking  A method of cooking meat and fish by exposing the protein to smoke a in controlled environment of between 165 °F and 185 °F (74 °C and 85 °C). The smoked items are safe to eat without further cooking.

hot weight  Weight of carcass just after slaughter and prior to chilling.

HRI (hotel, restaurant, and institutional) – A term used in the context that some beef is supplied to the HRI trade.


interlaced roast –Two or more Frenched rib sections are joined and tied. Two racks tied together are into a circular form are called a “crown roast.”

Ibérico pig – A very old strain of black-skinned pigs with very little hair. The adult has slender legs and a very long snout. Ibérico pigs also have a high fat content. The large amount of fat covering each ham, enables the meat to be cured for a much longer period, resulting in a much more complex, intense flavor.

industrial livestock pigs – Pigs raised on large-scale, industrial farms. They are raised mostly indoors on a commercial feed, and have a considerably shorter life span.

Irish bacon – Cured pork loin, including the overlying fat, that is sliced thin and fried like common bacon. It is sometimes called “back bacon.”

inbreeding – Production of offspring from parents more closely related than the average of a population. Inbreeding increases the proportion of homozygous gene pairs and decreases the proportion of heterozygous gene pairs. Inbreeding increases prepotency and facilitates expression of undesirable recessive genes.

independent culling levels – Selection of culling based on cattle meeting specific levels of performance for each trait included in the breeders selection program. For example, a breeder could cull all heifers with weaning weights below 400 pounds and yearling weights below 650 pounds.

IBP – One of the three largest beef-packing companies.

immunity – Ability of an animal to resist or overcome infection.

intake – The amount of feed consumed by an animal per day. Intake is usually expressed as a percent of bodyweight or in pounds per day.

integrated resource management (IRM) – Multidisciplinary approach to managing cattle more efficiently and profitably. Management decisions are based on how all resources are affected.

integration – Bringing together of two or more segments of beef production and processing under one centrally organized unit.

intensive grazing management (IGM) or intensive rotational grazing – Grazing management where a grazing unit is subdivided into subunits (paddocks) with grazing periods of typically less than 5 days.

intermuscular fat – Fat located between muscles. Also called “seam fat.”

intramuscular fat – Fat within the muscle. Also called “marbling.”

intersemating – Mating of animals within a defined population. Literally to mate among themselves.

ionophore – Antibiotic that enhances feed efficiency by changing microbial fermentation in the rumen.


Jaccard tenderizer – A device with a series of symmetrically arranged narrow, chisel-like blades used to tenderize meat. The blades are arranged offset so small bundles of muscle fiber are cut into short sections while leaving the entire muscle still intact. Versions are available for home cooks, restaurants, and commercial meat producers. Produced by the Jaccard Corporation in New York State.

Jamaican jerk seasoning – A dry seasoning blend originating in Jamaica used primarily in the preparation of grilled meat. The ingredients can vary, depending on the cook, and often are a combination of chilies, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, garlic and onions.

jambalaya – One of Creole cookery’s hallmark dishes Jambalaya is a versatile dish that combines cooked rice with a variety of ingredients including tomatoes, onion, green peppers, and almost any kind of meat, poultry, or shellfish. The dish varies widely from cook to cook. It’s thought that the name derives from the French jambon, meaning “ham,” the main ingredient in many of the original jambalayas.

jambon – (French) ham. Jambon fumé is smoked ham and jambon cru is “cooked” ham.

jambon persillé – (French) A molded dish of strips or cubes of cooked ham and minced parsley held together with a gelatin.

jambonneau – (French) The lower leg of a pig, usually without the knee or ankle joints attached.

jarret de veau – (French) veal shank.

jerky – Also called jerked meat, jerky is meat (usually beef) that is cut into long, thin strips and dried, traditionally by the sun. Jerky was a popular staple with early trappers, just as it is with today’s backpackers because it keeps almost indefinitely and is light and easy to transport. It’s quite tough and salty but is very flavorful and high in protein.

joue – (French) cheek.

jugged hare – A classic English preparation that begins with cut pieces of rabbit that are soaked in a red wine-juniper berry marinade for at least a day. The marinated meat is well browned, then combined in a casserole, traditionally a heatproof crock or jug, with vegetables, seasonings and stock, and baked. When the meat and vegetables are done, the juices are poured off and combined with cream and the reserved hare blood and pulverized liver. The strained sauce is served over the “jugged” hare and vegetables.

jus – (French ) juice. Can refer to fruit and vegetable juices, as well as the juices exuded from cooked meat.


kafta – (Lebanese) ground meat patties, usually prepared by mixing the ground beef with onion, parsley, allspice, black pepper and salt. See kofta.

kalbi, galbi (갈비) – (Korean) marinated and grilled pork or beef short ribs.

kassler, kasseler – (German) A salted (cured) and slightly smoked cut of pork. Pork necks and loins are the most often used although ribs, shoulders and bellies can also be used.

kebab, kabab – A wide variety of meat dishes originating in the Middle East and later on adopted in Turkey, Southern Europe, South Asia, and Asia Minor, that are now found worldwide. In English, kebab with no qualification generally refers more specifically to shish kebab (Armenian) served on the skewer. In the Middle East kebab refers to meat that is cooked over or next to flames; large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat; it may be served on plates, in sandwiches, or in bowls. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb.

keech – An early 20th century term for a mass or lump of fat rolled up by the butcher. The term is no longer in use. It is derived from the early 19th century Scottish informal term for excrement.

keslop – The stomach of a calf prepared for rennet.

kheyma – (Armenian) (Also called kibbah in Arabic or Lebanese.) Uncooked ground lamb or beef mixed with parsley, onions, tomatoes and spices and eaten with romaine leaves or Armenian pita bread.

kid – A young goat of less than five months old.

kidney – One of the edible internal organs of an animal. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid-base balance, and regulation of blood pressure (via maintaining salt and water balance). They serve the body as a natural filter of the blood, and remove wastes which are diverted to the urinary bladder. They must be thoroughly cleaned and trimmed before cooking.

kielbasa , kołbasa, kobasa, kovbasa, kobasi, kubasa – A smoked sausage of many varieties originating in Eastern Europe.

kinilaw – (Visayan ) A Philippine dish referring to fresh, uncooked fish briefly marinated in vinegar until translucent.

kip – Very young veal, often round three days old at the time of slaughter.

kipper – A whole herring that has been split from tail to head, gutted, salted or brined, and cold smoked. The term is sometimes used as an adjective to describe other fish prepared in the same manner.

kishke – (Yiddish, also Slovene: kašnica; Belarusian кішка, kishka; Polish: kiszka; Romanian chişcă; Silesian krupńok; Hebrew קישקע; Russian Кишка ) Refers to various types of sausage or stuffed intestine with a filling made from a combination of meat and meal, often a grain.

klobása – (Slovene) A small sausage generally served whole.

knacker – (British English) A person in the trade of rendering animals, especially horses, that are unfit for human consumption. A knacker’s yard or knackery is different from a slaughterhouse, where animals are slaughtered for human consumption.

knackwurst – Refers to a variety of sausage types, depending on the geographical region. In the United States, it may refer to a short, plump sausage originating from the Holstein region in Germany that contains ground veal, ground pork, and fresh garlic stuffed into hog casings.

knish – An Eastern European snack food made popular in America by Eastern European Jewish immigrants. It consists of a filling covered with dough that is either baked, grilled, or deep fried.

knuckle – See “peeled knuckle.”

Kobe beef – Beef harvested from an ancient stock of cattle called “kuroge wagyu” (black haired Japanese cattle). It is raised exclusively in Hyogo Prefecture, of which Kobe is the capital. Kobe beef is considered the most exclusive beef in the world. True Kobe beef is not available outside of Japan due to Japanese export restrictions.

kofta – (Albania: qofte; Arabic: كفته (kufta in standard Arabic & most dialects; Azerbaijan: küftə; Bangladesh: kofta; Bosnia and Herzegovina: ćufta; Bulgaria: кюфте; Croatia: ćufta; Greece: κεφτές; Hebrew: כופתה; Romania: chiftea; Serbia: ћуфтa or ћуфтe (ćufte); Turkey: köfte) A Middle Eastern and South Asian meatball or meatloaf. They consist of balls of minced or ground meat, usually beef or lamb, mixed with spices and or onions. They are often shaped into meatballs which are prepared with a mixture of ground meat, rice, leeks and some other ingredients.

Kosher – When used in reference to meat, means meat that is butchered and processed according to the Jewish religious law of kashrut (כַּשְׁרוּת).

kreplach (קרעפּלעך) – (Yiddish) Small dumplings, filled with meat, potatoes, or cheese and served in soup.

kromeski – (Russian) Chicken, game, or veal cut into small pieces, creamed and wrapped in thin slices of bacon, dipped in fritter batter, and deep-fried.

kugel (קוגל) – (Yiddish) A baked, savory “pudding” made with potatoes or noodles and sometimes meat and vegetables.

Kutteln, Kaldaunen, Flecke – (German) Mostly beef, but sometimes lamb or veal, tripe.


lagniappe – Used primarily in southern Louisiana and southeast Texas, the word refers to an “unexpected something extra.” It could be an additional doughnut, as in “baker’s dozen,” a free “one for the road” drink, and an unanticipated tip for someone who provides a special service or possibly a complimentary dessert for a regular customer.

Lancashire hot pot – A version of hotchpotch that contains mutton, sheep’s kidneys, and, when available, oysters, all covered with a layer of potatoes.

lardo – (Italian) a type of salume made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices

ligamentum nuchae – See “back strap.”

linguiça – (Portuguese) A form of smoke-cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika.

liver – The organ in invertebrates responsible for blood detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. Liver is rich in iron, protein and vitamin A.

llama – A domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times.

London broil – A poorly defined North-American beef cut fabricated from either the flank or a thick cut from sirloin tip, bottom round, or top round.

loukániko (λουκάνικο) – (Greek) A common Greek word for pork sausage. In English, the term refers to a Greek sausage seasoned with orange rind, fennel, and other dried herbs.


Maillard reaction – A form of nonenzymatic browning resulting from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat. High temperature, intermediate moisture levels, and alkaline conditions all promote the Maillard reaction. The reaction peaks at 154 °C (309 °F).

mammal – Members of class Mammalia, air-breathing vertebrate animals characterized by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young. Most mammals also possess sweat glands and specialized teeth. The largest group of mammals, the placentals, have a placenta which feeds the offspring during gestation. The mammalian brain, with its characteristic neocortex, regulates endothermic and circulatory systems, the latter featuring red blood cells lacking nuclei and a four-chambered heart.

mandolin – A mechanical slicer that can be fitted with various cutting blades to produce consistent slices and strips.

marbling – Small, visible streaks of intramuscular fat. Marbling improves meat juiciness and flavor.

marinate – To steep food in a marinade.

marinade – A liquid, normally savory and acidic, in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it.

marrow – See “bone marrow.”

marrowbone – Sections of beef femur or humerus cut to expose the marrow on one or both ends. The marrow may be cooked in the bone or extracted and cooked separately.

maw – The mouth, throat, or gullet of a voracious animal.

mechanically separated meat – A paste-like meat product produced by forcing bones with attached edible meat under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.

medallion – A small round or oval slice meat.

melt – A pig or calf spleen.

mesentery – Membranes and fat that support the intestines and provide paths for blood vessels that service the intestines.

middle meats – Cuts from the rib and loin section of an animal.

mignon – See “filet mignon.”

mince – A food preparation technique in which food ingredients are chopped in small, irregular pieces.

minestra – (Italian) A thick soup of meat and vegetables.

minute steak – See “cube steak.”

moist-heat cooking – Cooking a covered pot in the oven, on the range, or in a slow-cooker so that the heat transfer mechanism is liquid. It is used for tougher meat cuts.

mortadella – (Italian) A smooth-textured pork sausage with large pieces of fat dispersed through the body of the sausage.

moussaka (μουσακάς) – (Greek) A dish consisting of layers of minced lamb or beef, sliced eggplant, tomatoes, and béchamel sauce, that is baked in an oven, and is common in the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

mulligatawny – (Tamil) A curry-flavored soup of Anglo-Indian origin.

muscle – A soft tissue of animals. Muscle cells contain protein filaments that slide past one another, producing a contraction that changes both the length and the shape of the cell. Muscles function to produce force and cause motion.

museau de bœuf – (French) Beef snout.

mutton – The flesh of mature sheep used as food. The definition of mutton varies from country to country.

myoglobin – An iron- and oxygen-binding protein found in the muscle tissue of vertebrates in general and in almost all mammals.


nabemono (なべ物) – (Japanese) A general term referring to dishes prepared in one pot. Ingredients are cut bite-size and cooked in broth in the kitchen or at the table.

nanny goat – Another term for a female goat. Also referred to as “doe.”

nap – To completely coat food with a layer of sauce.

navarin – (French) A stew of mutton or lamb and vegetables.

neat – An archaic term that refers to a member of the bovine family, such as an ox or a cow.

nephric – Of, like, or pertaining to kidney.

New York strip – A steak cut from the muscles lying dorsal to the lumbar spine. Also called a New York steak, shell steak, club steak, Kansas City strip, or sirloin steak.

Newcastle disease – A highly contagious disease effecting poultry. It is transmissible to humans.

nidor – (Latin) Strong smell or fume of an animal being cooked.

nimono (煮る) – (Japanese) A general term for a simmered dish.

noisette – A small round piece of meat, especially loin or fillet of lamb, veal, or pork

nuggets – A small, batter-fried piece of chicken or fish.


offal –Animal organs or extremities that can be used for cooking. Often referred to as variety meats.

oligopsony – A commodity market where there is a small number of buyers that gives the buyers a strong advantage over the sellers.

olla podrida – (Spanish) A rich, seasoned stew of meat and vegetables, usually including sausage and chick-peas.

oleic acid – An unsaturated fatty acid found in natural fats and oils.

omega – A fatty acid found in meat.

omnivorous – Feeding on both animal and vegetable substances.

ossobuco – (Italian) A dish made from veal shanks cross-cut into slices and braised in olive oil, white wine, stock, onions, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, carrots, celery and lemon peel. Traditionally garnished with gremolata and served with risotto.

ox – A domestic bovine trained as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated males.

oyster – The small mass of muscle contained in the dorsal concavity of the pelvic bone on each side of a fowl.

ozoni – See zōni.


panaculty – A dish originating from the northeastern England. It is a form of canned corned-beef hash, but started out as any left over meat from Sunday dinner that was served the next day.

partridge – Medium-sized birds from the pheasant family.

pašticada – (Croatian) A stewed beef dish, popular in Croatia.

pasty –A folded pastry case filled with seasoned meat and vegetables, often associated with the Cornwall region of England. Also called a Cornish pasty.

pastrami – Highly seasoned, smoked beef, typically served in thin slices. Raw meat is brined, seasoned with various herbs and spices, smoked, and steamed.

pâté – (French) A mixture of usually ground or pureed meat and fat cooked in a terrine.

patty – A small, flat cake of minced or finely chopped food, especially meat.

pemmican – A mixture of dried and pounded meat mixed with melted fat and other ingredients, originally made by native North Americans.

pepperoni – Beef and pork dried sausage seasoned with pepper. It is characteristically soft, slightly smoky, and bright red in color.

pepper steak – A steak covered with crushed peppercorns, pan-broiled, and served with brandy-butter sauce.

pickled pigs feet – Hog’s feet cooked and preserved in a hot vinegar brine.

pink – Another term for “rare” when referring to degree of doneness during cooking.

pluck – An archaic term for the heart, liver, lungs, and trachea of a slaughtered food animal.

pork – The meat of a pig, from the Latin porcus.

porterhouse steak – A steak cut from the lumbar region of the spine containing portions of both the loin and the tenderloin. See also T-bone steak.

pot pie – A savory pie with a top crust and sometimes a bottom crust baked in a pie tin or deep dish.

pot roast – A dish prepared by slow-cooking large cuts of meat in a covered pot, originally on top of the stove but now often in an oven.

poultry – Meat from domesticated birds, such as chickens.

prime rib – A roast cut from the seven ribs immediately ventral to the loin with some portion of the ribs and associated vertebrae.

prosciutto – (Italian) Cured and dried ham typically served in very thin slices.

protein – Any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds that consist of large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids.

pulled pork –It is a method of preparation in which pork, usually shoulder, is slow-cooked until tender and then separated into small pieces. In some parts of southeastern United States, the term “barbecue” refers to pulled pork.


Render - The process of extracting fat from an animal tissue by using heat.

Regular Liver – Liver usually taken from older beef animals.

Refiner – A processing unit that refines lard into vegetable oils and shortenings.

Rough cuts – Less popular cuts e.g. shank, navel, flank, brisket.

Rib Fingers – Thin strips of beef that are removed from between individual back ribs.