One of the more daunting tasks for me has been purchasing beef from the deli. I'm familiar with certain cuts because I could order them from our little Brazilian grocery in the States. But I'm not familiar with all the cuts, and beef in general has always been a bit of a struggle for me. Give me chicken and I'm a Top Chef champion. Give me pork and I can make a couple tasty dishes. Give me beef and I'm lost.
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Acem is a cut that I purchase often, because it's fairly cheap. I can normally find it for about R$15.90/kilo. It's also what I choose when I order carne moida (ground beef).
Alcatra is a popular steak for barbecuing and it's similar to a top/bottom sirloin. Throw some rock salt on it and let it rotate over fire on a spit. Cut off the outside pieces as the cook through and you've got yourself some Grade-A Brazilian steaks.
Contrafile is similar to a tenderloin, but admittedly I've never purchased it.
File Mignon is also part of the tenderloin/sirloin area.
Fraldinha is a confluence of short loin, flank, and bottom sirloin.
Maminha is the bottom sirloin or flank cuts.
Paleta is a chuck/brisket cut, so this cut is more for roasting or using in a stew.
Picanha is an especially delicious section of meat, similar to a rump cover or rump cap. It's grilled the same was as Alcatra - covered in rock salt, maybe some spices, rotated over a fire, and cooked pieces are cut off. It's quite expensive here in Brazil, as it's normally around R$50/kilo. We did find a sale during Carnaval that priced it at $R20/kilo. We bought seven kilos and had a three-day-long barbecue with all of our friends. Zero regrets.