Forequarter Beef Primal Trimming

Forequarter Beef Primal Cuts Boning & Trimming

I am adding a few videos of how to proceed with boning and trimming down of the forequarter beef primal cuts so that they are ready for slicing, portioning and ready for cooking or sale to customers.

The videos are short and to the point showing how butchers in Australia prepare meat. The methods of breaking down the forequarter shown in this selection are different from the way that I breakdown but they still finish with the same results. Watching the videos I can say that I could use both methods.

Things to note:

Watch how the butcher always uses his knife and cuts away from himself so that he avoids any chance of cutting himself. You will notice that he rarely cuts towards himself and when boning you can see the bone is away from his body and the knife is pressed firmly against the bone moving away. When he is cutting towards himself you will notice how his posture changes keeping his body well clear of the knife.

He wears a Stainless Steel Mesh Safety Cutting Glove for protection as well. Stainless Steel Mesh Gloves are commonly used by butchers and when I tried other cloth varieties I found that the steel mesh gloves were easier to clean with hot boiling water and detergent, which is hygienically better.

Visit The Best Butchers Knives for my choice of knives that I use and still have.

Primal Trimming Videos…

There are 4 videos in all showing the breakdown, boning and then trimming of each primal starting in order with: Beef Brisket, Beef Chuck, Beef Blade and Beef Rib Set. The videos are short and to the point. Enjoy.

Beef Brisket…

In Australia we used to use the Brisket for rolling and then pickled and brined.

  • The Rolled Brisket was then sold for boiling for a Corned Beef Coldcut. The Brisket is now used mainly for slow roasting and smoking in a bbq pit but the trimming is the same for both end products.
  • The rest can be trimmed lean for mince but most times the fat to meat ratio is just right for making Aussie Style BBQ Sausages.

Beef Chuck…

Chuck is probably the hardest primal to bone out because it has many bumps and ridges on the vertebrae. Just go slow and steady ensuring the knife is moving away from yourself.

  • Chuck is great for slow cooking and the meat is fantastic for stewing as it is very flavoursome.
  • The Rib End of the Chuck can be slowly roasted for a long time at low temperatures for a great pulled beef meal.

Beef Blade…

The whole blade can be difficult to bone so take it slow and steady. The muscles consist of :

  • Shin Shank that can used for slow cooking as Gravy Beef. It had many sinus throughout the leg muscle but when used for the wet cooking method nice and slow these sinus become like geletin, very soft and tender.
  • Chuck Tender can be roasted or diced for stewing. 
  • Bolar Blade can be used as a whole roast, sliced into steaks and diced for a flavoursome stew.
  • Oyster Blade can be trimmed into Flat Iron steaks as demonstrated or simply sliced cross ways for small oyster shaped steaks. These go well on the bbq but do have a thick tendon that increases as you cut towards the end.
  • All the lean trimming are great for stewing or simply mincing.

Beef Rib Set…

Here the butcher shows how many items we can prepare from this tender primal.

  • He names the eye Scotch Fillet and it is another name for the commonly known Rib Eye.
  • The Tomahawk is severed in restaurants as a great wow meal and very tender.
  • The Beef Short Ribs can be sliced individually and roasts or slow baked. Alternatively the piece can be cross cut with meat saw the way the Argentinians cut and bbq the ribs called Asado. 
  • The cap removed from the whole Scotch Fillet/Rid Eye can be trimmed and turned into a Rolled Roast like the Brisket Roll or simplt trimmed lean for dicing into chunks or mincing.


I hope you enjoyed the videos and hope that they gave you a bit more of an insight on how to bone and trim down the forequarter into primal cuts. Feel free to send me a comment if you need further clarification or help.

Visit my Beef Hindquarter Primal Cuts Trimming article for details and videos to finish off the whole carcass cutting and preparation.

For other helpful videos see the list above from the Meat Cuts Charts & Videos drop down tab.

Regards John


  1. Ysabel says:

    Thanks for the really helpful info. Just wondering which primal would have the teres major (aka petite tender)? Would it be part of a chuck roll? If so, how do I get to it? I can’t seem to find this cut on Australian websites.

    • John says:

      Hi Yasabel, Firstly thank you for visiting my website and asking your question.
      After reading your comments and question you had my wondering about the cut so I did a bit of research for you and for myself as well.
      The Teres Major was not used when I was butchering so I was a bit puzzled at first but I have found it. The muscle actually is part of the Shoulder Clod or Whole Blade. It is a separate muscle connected with a seam to the under side of the Bolar Blade (what we call it here). After removing the whole blade you can cut and pull the muscle off the Bolar Blade and then trim the fat and sinue from the muscle leaving a tubular shaped muscle about the size of a pork fillet.
      Now, being the second tenderest muscle on the beef, that many other websites have mentioned, I’m not so sure about that, but it should be quite tender.
      You may find that not many butcher shops in Australia would carry the cut as it depends if they purchase whole carcass beef for boning themselves, but in most cases butcher shops mainly purchase already vacuum packed primal cuts ready for slicing.
      I have attached a video from a NewZealand meat processing plant showing where the cut is and how to butcher it. Hope it helps.
      Teres Major Video

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