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Portuguese Cuts of Meat

Over the years I have been teaching Portuguese I have often heard people asking about various meat cuts, so I thought I would compile a list of the meat cuts in Portuguese, their translation and their uses. Please not that cuts can vary from region to region. Also that American cuts are different to British.

CACHAÇO – neck end

Braised, stewed, fried or boiled

Off the bone neck end can be used for hamburgers and as minced meat.

It is especially good for stews and broths. A 2nd category meat that gives any dish a gelatinous finish and gives great consistency to sauces.

ACÉM – chuck

Braised, roasted, fried or grilled

The chuck can be divided into three different pieces;  comprido, redondo e coberta.

The first two pieces are of prime quality. The last, although not as tender can be tasty grilled or barbecued, also good for sauces. The steaks are very tender, succulent and tasty, even though they have a larger fat content

PÁ – shoulder

Braised, roasted, fried or grilled

1st category, very tender and after trimming makes excellent steaks. Best way to cook is to stir fry and grill.

MAÇÃ DO PEITO – thick rib

Braised, boiled or stewed

Very tasty, and especially indicated for stews, puddings, mince and broths.

It is a 1st category meat.

PEITO – Brisket

Stewed, braised or roasted

This cut is divided into 2 The thick rib and brisket. 2nd category cut of meat used for braising and for stews. It can also be roasted in the oven, boned and rolled.

CHAMBÃO – shin

Braised, boiled or stewed

A very gelatinous cut and especially good for broths, consommés, gellies, boiled

and minced. Very tasty, but needs to be cooked a long time. Great for stews.

MÃO – foot

Stewed and boiled.

Has a soft and gelatinous consistency.

It is the best meat to braise with pasta and great for stews.

LOMBO – filet

Grilled or BBQ

A special cut and perfect for steaks and BBQ.

The most tender, succulent and tasty piece of beef. From the centre

of the filet they take the finest quality cuts such as, chateau briand, Filet-mignon and tornedós.

VAZIA – sirloin

Grilled, BBQ or fried

Sirloin steaks are tender and should be heavy and thickly cut, with hardly any fat. Can be grilled, BBQ, fried and stuffed.


Stew or boil

3rd category meat for stews and boiling

ABA  – belly / flank

Boiled or braised

Best boiled or  braised

ALCATRA – rump

Grilled, roasted, fried, cooked or braised This is considered a 1st category meat, normally used in the preparation of stews, roasts, steaks, braised dishes, and mincemeat.13 CHÃ DE FORA – silverside

Stewed, braised or roastedThis is connected to the rump, flank and the shoulder.

This is quite a dry piece of meat and should be cooked with lard.

Especially good for stewing.

RABADILHA – thick flank

Grilled, roasted, stewed or boiled.Great for steaks, braising and stewing. Very good boiled.

POJADOURO – topside

Grilled, braised or stewedThe inside thigh of the bull, 1st category meat.

Very succulent, great for steaks with sauce, grilled, braised or stewed.

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