Cuts of BeefBeef is divided into large sections called primal cuts, which you can see in the beef cuts chart above. These beef primal cuts, or "primals," are then broken down further into individual steaks and other retail cuts.
A "side" of beef is literally one side of the beef carcass that is split through the backbone. Each side is then halved between the 12th and 13th ribs into sections called the forequarter and hindquarter.
The most tender cuts of beef, like the rib and tenderloin, are the ones furthest from the horn and the hoof. By contrast, the neck and leg muscles are worked the most, which makes them tougher.
To begin with, let's look at the beef primal cuts that come from the forequarter.