Where Does Steak Come From? Popular Cut Of Cow Listed!

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Learn where does steak come from and the best things you can put on a steak here! You might be surprised by the other animals that also qualify for a great steak.

Let’s explore the origin, types of cut, best seasoning, and how to cook various types of steak.

Where Does Steak Come From?

Steak is cut from cows, specifically their muscle tissue. It’s cut from various parts of the cow, with the most popular steaks coming from the rib, sirloin, tenderloin, and T-bone areas. Other animals like tuna, venison, and kangaroo can also provide ‘steak’ cuts.


Where Did Steak Originally Come From?

Speaking of where it gets the name, steak’s origins trace back to the mid-15th century in Scandinavia and Italy. The word “steak” comes from the Scandinavian term “steik“, and the Middle English dialect word “stickna“, both meaning to roast on a stick. These early steaks were simply slices of meat, often cooked on a stick over an open fire.

Fast forward to today, and the cut of steak has evolved into a symbol of indulgence and sophistication, adored by food lovers around the globe.

And if you’re asking about the part of the cow that we get the steak? Let’s find out together!

Which Part Of A Cow Is Steak?

So, from which part of a cow does steak come? The simple answer is that steak can come from many different parts of a cow – just simply cut against the grain of the beef. However, the most common cuts that grace our plates are from the rib, sirloin, tenderloin, and the T-bone region (see how many steaks in each cut of meat).

Let’s break this down a bit. Picture a cow in your mind to find where does steak come from. The top part of the cow, behind the shoulders, is where we get the rib cut. This is where your succulent ribeye steaks come from.

Travel a bit further down, and you’ll find the sirloin near the rear of the cow, a source of many popular steak cuts with beefy flavor profiles. The tenderloin runs along both sides of the spine, providing the tenderest cuts like filet mignon.

The T-bone is a bit special; it’s a cross-section from the forward part of the short loin, containing meat from both the tenderloin and the top loin (also known as the New York Strip).

Is Steak A Beef Or Cow?

Steak, my friends, is a type of meat that comes from cows, specifically from the muscle tissue. So, to clear up any confusion, all steak is beef, but not all beef is steak.

Steak refers to specific cuts of beef designed to be cooked quickly at high temperatures, differentiating it from other cuts of beef better suited for slow, moist cooking methods.

What Type Of Cow Does Steak Come From?

So, we’re cleared on where does steak come from. But from what types of cows does steak come? Steak can come from a wide variety of cow breeds, but the most common breeds used for beef production include Angus, Hereford, and the luxurious Wagyu. Each breed imparts a unique flavor profile and texture to the steak.


For example, Angus beef is renowned for its finely marbled meat, which means the fat is dispersed evenly against the actual cut of meat. This marbling effect is what gives the steak a mouth-watering flavor.

Hereford cows, on the other hand, are known for their hardiness and easy fattening, making their meat tender and succulent. Wagyu, a Japanese breed, is famous for its rich, buttery flavor due to an intense marbling of fat.

What Part Of The Cow Does We Get Steak? All Types of Steak Await

Let’s take where does steak come from on a deeper level. Here are what different types of steak we can take from all sub-primal beef cuts!


This is a thick cut from the shoulder and neck area – also known as the hindquarter of the cow. It’s a well-exercised area, resulting in flavorful but sometimes tough meat. Chuck steaks, often slow-cooked to tenderize them, include cuts like blades and flat iron steaks prefer these time-incentive-cooking-methods.


Located at the cow’s breast or lower chest, brisket is a beef cut that’s typically not used for steak due to its toughness but rather slow-cooked in dishes like corned beef and barbecue.


This rib primal section yields some of the richest and most flavorful steaks, including the Ribeye and Rib steaks. These cuts are known for their marbling, contributing to their flavor and tenderness.


Located below the rib cut, the Plate area is not typically used for steaks by butchers. It’s often used for slow-cooking dishes like short ribs, skirt steak, and hanger steak.

Short Loin

This area gives us some of the most sought-after steaks, including T-bone and Porterhouse steaks. These flavorful cuts are prized for their tenderness. You can also get strip steak from this cut.


The Flank steak comes from the abdominal area of the cow. It’s lean and flavorful but can be tough if not properly prepared. It’s often used in dishes like fajitas.


The Sirloin, located behind the short loin, provides a variety of steak cuts. Top Sirloin is a flavorful and fairly tender cut, while Bottom Sirloin is less tender and often used in recipes like kebabs. 


These desirable cuts are where we get the Filet Mignon, the most tender cut of beef. It runs along both sides of the cow’s spine, and the steaks from here are known for their soft texture. The tenderloin muscle is hardly exercised – hence the tender-like-butter mouthfeel!

Top Sirloin

This cut from the upper portion of the sirloin is tender and flavorful. It’s often grilled or broiled.

Bottom Sirloin

Less tender than the top sirloin, this cut is typically used for tri-tip roasts rather than steaks.


The top round cut comes from the rear of the cow. It includes cuts like the round steak and rump steak, which are lean and less tender than other steaks, often used in roasts and stews.

What Other Types Of Animals Can Make Steak? What Animal Is Steak Eligible?


While beef is the most common type of meat used for steak, it’s not the only player in the game. Regarding where does steak come from. other animals, such as salmon, tuna, venison, reindeer, and even kangaroo, can all be used to create ‘steak’.

These alternatives provide a unique twist on the traditional beef steak and are a testament to the versatility of this dish.


Tuna steaks come from large, ocean-dwelling fish. These steaks are thick, meaty, and have a firm texture that can be grilled or pan-seared. It’s common to cook them, like beef steak, so they’re still pink in the middle.

  • Season: Olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Cook: Sear on high heat for 2 minutes per side for rare or until desired doneness.
  • Side Dish: A fresh, citrusy salad or grilled vegetables.


Bison, or buffalo, steaks are similar to beef but leaner and richer in flavor. They’re often grilled, and since they’re lean, they should be cooked to no more than medium doneness to maintain juiciness.

  • Season: Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook: Grill or pan-sear over medium-high heat to medium-rare or medium doneness to keep it juicy.
  • Side Dish: Roasted potatoes or a simple green salad.


Lamb steaks are usually cut from the leg or shoulder. They’re tender, full of flavor, and often grill well. They’re popular in many cuisines, especially Mediterranean.

  • Season: Rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook: Grill or pan-sear over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  • Side Dish: Minted peas or roasted root vegetables.


Venison steak comes from deer. It’s leaner than beef and has a strong, gamey flavor. It’s often marinated before being grilled or pan-seared to help tenderize the meat and add flavor.

  • Season: A marinade of red wine, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook: Grill or pan-sear over high heat to medium-rare to prevent it from becoming tough.
  • Side Dish: Mashed sweet potatoes or wild rice.


Kangaroo steak is a common food in Australia. It’s lean, rich in flavor, and needs careful cooking – usually searing on high heat. To prevent it from becoming tough. It’s often served medium-rare to maintain tenderness.

  • Season: A marinade of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
  • Cook: Sear on high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, keeping the inside medium-rare for tenderness.
  • Side Dish: Grilled vegetables or a fresh salad.

Best Way To Season This Cut Of Beef Traditionally

Seasoning your steak is an essential step to enhancing its natural flavors. Here’s how to season and the best way to cook three of the most popular steak cuts traditionally.


Ribeye Steak

Known for its rich marbling and tender texture, the Ribeye benefits from simple seasonings that allow its natural flavors to shine. Start with a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

Let the steak sit for about 40 minutes at room temperature so the salt can draw out the meat’s juices, creating a natural brine. Right before grilling, add a light dusting of garlic powder for extra flavor.

Sirloin Steak

The Sirloin is a leaner cut, so it pairs well with bold seasonings. Use a rub made from equal parts salt, pepper, paprika, and brown sugar. The salt and sugar help create a beautiful crust, while the paprika adds a smoky element.

Lightly oil the steak, apply the rub generously, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Filet Mignon (Tenderloin)

As the most tender cut, the Filet Mignon is best with simple seasonings to keep its delicate flavor intact. Use just a sprinkle of salt and pepper and perhaps some garlic powder.

After cooking, top the steak with a pat of compound butter made with fresh herbs and garlic for a gourmet touch. Time your Filet Mignon carefully because overcooking it is a crime.

Remember, no matter the cut, always season your steak at least 40 minutes before cooking. This allows the salt to infuse the meat, enhancing its flavor and tenderness. Happy grilling!

FAQs About This Beef Cut

Where Does Beef Come From In The US, Canada, UK?

In the US, Canada, and the UK, beef mainly comes from domestically raised cattle, including breeds like Angus, Hereford, and Simmental.

What Is The Best Type Of Steak For Grilling?

Ribeye steak is excellent for grilling, its rich marbling ensures a juicy, flavorful result.

What Is The Best Type Of Steak For Roasting?

The prime rib roast, a larger cut from the rib section, is ideal for roasting, offering a tender and flavorful feast.


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