If you’ve been to Chile, you’ve probably noticed that doing a direct translation from Spanish to English of the different cuts of meat will lead you nowhere. We’ll get gems like vetoed loin (lomo vetado), smooth loin (lomo liso), chicken goose (pollo ganso) and it’s red meat by the way), black post (posta negra) and my personal favorite, Malaysian woman (malaya).
Good ‘ol cuts in English
It takes a while to get used to cuts of meat here in Chile, mainly because most American and European cuts of beef include bones. As a result, there is simply no direct Chilean equivalent for many American and European cuts and visa versa. It’s just a matter of adapting, after all, what is the point of traveling to another country without doing so?
Here is what we know about different cuts in Chile:
For BBQ or how Chileans call it “Asado“:
lomo vetado (rib eye) or lomo liso (short loin/sirloin) are good choices. Lomo vetado is fatter and produces a juicer roast (essential for those poor souls who prefer their meat well done); lomo liso is leaner and is apt to be dry if cooked beyond medium-medium rare. Sobrecostilla and asado carnicero from the shoulder or chuck are also good on the grill, full of flavor, though tougher, as is asado de tira, or short ribs. All are best cooked no more than medium.
For grilling, American Style, as steaks:
lomo vetado (rib eye), lomo liso (short loin & sirloin) and filete (tenderloin), cut into steaks. Entrtecot (T-bone steak) is common on restaurant menus and is occasionally available in supermarkets. Entraña (“skirt steak”) is a tender thin cut that can be grilled quickly.
For braising and stews:
The Chilean favorite is plateada (“rib cap”), but any of the shoulder cuts (huachalomo, choclillo, malaya, posta paleta, asado Americano [Imported US chuck roast] etc.) or the leaner and dryer round/rump cuts (posta negra, posta rosado, asiento picana, ganso, pollo ganso [eye of round], etc.) are suitable. Expect to simmer 2 to 2 ½ hours. Brisket is tapapecho.
For soups, cazuela, etc.:
Cuts with bone-like osobuco (shin), asado de tira (short ribs), or any of the cuts for braising, above.