Beef

Buying meet can be a confusing task. The Spanish word for veal is ternera, but ordering ternera won't get you the pale-pink, milk-fed veal you are expecting. Ternera lechal is what you are looking for. Tenera is neither veal nor beef. It comes from beef cattle from one to two years old, too old for veal but to young for beef. Beef is called buey or vacuno menor.

But the age of the animal is not the only obstacle. The other is the way the meat is cut. You won't find a peace of meat that is cut like, for instance, a silverside or porterhouse. The most expensive cuts are extra, which includes the solomillo, fillet or tenderloin, and boneless pieces of the lomo bajo, sirloin or loin. In butchering veal the fillet is usually not removed and chops are cut across the loin and fillet, called chuletas de solomillo. The next best cuts, usually boneless, are lomo alto, the widest part of the loin, and the lomo bajo, which narrows to the hip. Entrecotes can be cut from the lomo alto or bajo, while chuletas are bone-in-rib steaks from the lomo alto.

The remaining part of the hindquarter classed Primera includes the cadera or hip, which corresponds roughly to the rump or the US sirloin. The redondo or round is a long, thin muscle from the back of the leg. From the sides of the leg are cut the tapa and contratapa and from the inside, the babilla. Any of these pieces can be rolled, barded, tied and labelled rosbif. Meat from the forequarter include the espadilla, shoulder, the pez, a long, narrow piece adjoining the shoulder, the aguja or chuck which, adjoining the lomo alto, makes medium-quality steaks and adjoining the neck, for pot-roasting,  culata de contra and rabillo de cadera.