Beef is the name given to meat obtained from the carcasses of cattle. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of Australia, Europe and Americas, and is also important in Africa, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Each main beef cut is known as a primal cut, which are groups of muscles from the same area of the carcass. Smaller cuts of beef are taken from the primal cuts and are known as subprimal cuts. An example of a subprimal cut from the short loin is the tenderloin. The subprimal cuts of beef can yield still smaller cuts such as filet steaks from the tenderloin. Many of the subprimal cuts of beef, and the smaller cuts obtained from them, are known as consumer cuts or retail cuts.
Cuts of beef that are obtained from the center of the animal, such as the loin and rib area, are the most tender. This is due to the muscles in these areas being suspension muscles, which are not used as frequently as those responsible for locomotion and are located in the front and rear portions of the animal. The more a muscle is used, the less tender it would be.
Various cuts of beef may differ in name between different countries and even in different regions of the same country, so it can be confusing. For example, a Scotch Fillet Steak as it is called in Australia is known as a Ribeye Steak in the United States.