Anatomy of Deliciousness: Exploring the Hind Quarter Cuts of Beef

As an enthusiastic home cook and meat lover, I’m always seeking to expand my knowledge about the various cuts of beef. While familiar with basics like ribeye and tenderloin, the intricate breakdown of a steer carcass remains a bit mysterious to me. That’s why I decided to dive into researching the hind quarter in particular – to uncover which tasty cuts come from this back half of the animal.

The hind quarter is responsible for many of the most sought-after steaks and roasts. But it contains a diverse range of options beyond just the pricey fillet. Understanding the full scope of hind quarter cuts provides insight into selecting the right piece of meat for any dish or budget. So let’s drill down into the sections and specifics that make up these desirable back-end beef cuts!

An Overview of the Hind Quarter Primals

The hind quarter consists of three main primal cuts the loin the round and the flank. Here’s a quick overview

  • Loin – This is where the tenderest, most expensive steaks are cut from. It runs along the spine from the ribs to the hip.

  • Round – Taken from the back legs and rump area. Known for lean, moderately tender cuts.

  • Flank – The belly/underside area. Contains flavorful cuts requiring marination.

Within these primals lie a variety of invaluable steaks, roasts and other cuts Now let’s explore some of the specific options found within each section.

The Loin: Home of Splurge-Worthy Steaks

The loin is truly the steak-lover’s paradise. It’s divided into two subprimals:

Short Loin

This contains the most coveted steaks:

  • Tenderloin – Where filet mignon comes from. Extremely tender and lean.

  • Porterhouse – Combines tenderloin and strip steak. Highly marbled and flavorful.

  • T-Bone – Also has tenderloin and strip steak. Iconic “T” shaped bone.

  • Strip loin (NY strip) – Tender with generous marbling. Full beefy flavor.


Moving down the loin, the sirloin contains:

  • Top sirloin – Leaner and slightly firmer than short loin cuts. Still fairly tender.

  • Tri-tip – Triangle shaped roast cut from the bottom sirloin. Tender and flavorful.

  • Ball tip roast – From the bottom sirloin. Budget-friendly roast.

The Round: Lean Cuts for Roasting or Grinding

The round primal provides lean, moderately tender cuts including:

  • Top round – Often sliced for London broil or roast beef. Can be tough if overcooked.

  • Bottom round – Used for roasts or ground beef. Requires slow moist cooking to tenderize.

  • Eye of round – Lean roast good for slicing or kabobs. Lacks fat so benefits from marination.

  • Sirloin tip – Small tender roast. Also sold as minute steak when thinly sliced.

The Flank: Boldly Flavored Cuts

The flank primal includes flavorful but tough cuts like:

  • Flank steak – Long flat steak best sliced thin across the grain. Intense beefy taste.

  • Hanging tender – Small tender steak from the diaphragm. Requires fast hot cooking.

  • Skirt steak – Thinly grained steak needing marination. Imparts great flavor.

  • Flap meat – Sold as sirloin tips. Extremely flavorful cut used for stir fries.

Don’t Overlook the Other Cuts!

In addition to the major primals, the hind quarter contains a few other cuts worth considering:

  • Short ribs – Cut from the sirloin or plate. Excel when braised into tenderness.

  • Cheeks – Highly prized, ultra-tender cut from the head/neck area.

  • Oxtails – Bony yet flavorful tails needing long braising. Collagen gives great body to stews.

  • Suet – Hard beef fat used for tallow, pastry and deep frying.

Tips for Cooking Hind Quarter Cuts

With its diversity of textures and fat contents, the hind quarter lends itself to an array of cooking methods:

  • Grill loin steaks hot and fast to medium rare to avoid toughening.

  • Braise round or flank cuts in liquid until fork tender.

  • Thinly slice sirloin tip or top round for dishes like stir fry.

  • Marinate flank steak several hours before flash grilling.

  • Roast lean eye of round covered with broth to boost moisture.

  • Slow cook oxtails or short ribs into pull-apart tenderness.

No matter which cut you choose, proper cooking maximizes the hind quarter’s flavor and tenderness potential.

Time to Explore the Possibilities!

This overview just scratches the surface of the diversity found in the hind quarter of beef. From pricey steaks to economical roasts, these cuts offer incredible versatility. While my go-to steaks may still come from the loin, now I’m excited to experiment with underutilized cuts like flap meat and oxtails. The hind quarter offers so many possibilities to create sumptuous steakhouse fare or comforting slow cooked braises. Time to put this new knowledge to use in the kitchen!

Cow Front Quarter VS Hind Quarter! (Custom Cut Style) | The Bearded Butchers


How much meat do you get from a hind quarter cow?

HOW MUCH MEAT WILL I TAKE HOME? The average quarter will yield 100-130 pounds of cut, wrapped and frozen meat. Of course, each beef will vary in size and since your beef will be custom processed to your specifications, the yield will vary slightly.

Which is better, front or hind quarter of beef?

The hindquarter is ultimately more expensive to purchase, but it contains a lot of those flavorful steaks and meats. The front quarter is a more economical option since it doesn’t have some of those premium steaks.

What cuts of beef are from the hind legs?

Round. Beef Round is the rear leg of the cow. These muscles are well exercised, so round cuts tends to be a bit tougher and leaner than cuts from the loin. Because of its lack of fat and marbling, dry heat methods of cooking, such as grilling or roasting, can dry out round steak.

What cuts are in a beef hind quarter?

View the cuts from a beef hind quarter with this interactive beef hind quarter chart. Find out exactly what cuts are on the front quarter, where they are located, and suggested cooking methods for each cut. Round, Short Loin, Sirloin Tip, Sirloin, Flank and Hanger Steak.

What is a hind quarter of beef?

The hind quarter of beef is the part of the carcass that contains mostly sub-primal cuts that can be prepared using dry heat. Figure 17 illustrates the primal, sub-primal, and retail cuts of beef. The hind quarter is shown in Figure 17. Beef carcass showing primal, sub-primal, and retail cuts.

What cuts are in a cow’s hindquarter?

The hindquarter of a cow is divided into several different cuts, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Here are some of the most common cuts you’ll find in a hindquarter: 1. Sirloin: This is one of the most popular cuts from the hindquarter, known for its tenderness and rich flavor.

What is a hindquarter of beef?

What Is A Hind Quarter Of Beef? A hindquarter of beef is one of the two main sections that a cow is divided into for meat purposes. It includes the cuts of meat from the loin, round, and flank. The approximate hanging weight of a hindquarter is around 150 pounds before it is trimmed and cut.

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