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What is French Cut - Learning About Cuts of Meat

Spend more than five minutes in your local butcher shop, or say, on the website of your favourite meat and seafood delivery service, and you’re pretty likely to come across the term “French cut” (also known as “French trimming”, or “Frenching the bone”).

If you think that this is just fancy meat talk designed to make a product sound more appealing, then think again. French trimming is actually a culinary technique that is used all over the world (not just in France!) and involves preparing certain meats in a specific way. 

Put simply, a French cut describes the method of exposing a portion of clean bone at the end of a chop or rib. 

French cut prime rib in a pan with skewered baby potatoes and garnish

How to French Cut Meat

The fine details of a good French cut depend on the meat used and the desired effect, but the overall principles remain that same. It involves cutting and scraping all of the meat and fat from a portion of the bone until it shows no residue and is white in appearance. 

With lamb, pork and beef, it is usually the loin of the animal that is used, and the rib bones that are trimmed. The length of bone that is exposed can vary dramatically and is often a matter of personal preference.

For a trained hand, French trimming is a relatively straightforward task. While it can be performed at home, for a true restaurant quality experience, it is generally better to buy meat that has already been French cut by a professional butcher.

Raw French cut veal chops

Why French Cut Meat?

For humans, eating is a fully sensory experience; food doesn’t just need to taste and smell great, it also needs to look fantastic. French trimming is all about creating a visually dramatic effect and elevating your dish to a new level of culinary extravagance. 

French cut meat has a clean, finished look that people find more aesthetically pleasing. It shows that thought and care have been applied to the presentation of the meal, which immediately gives the impression that it will taste better! Not only does French cut meat look incredible, but it also allows you to get really creative with your plating to build some spectacular showstoppers that are guaranteed to wow your dinner guests.  

French cut rack of lamb on cutting board

While French cuts are mostly done for the visual appeal, there are also a few practical benefits to them. Having a clearly defined bone makes cutting the meat simpler, and also allows for easier handling during preparation and serving.

And though mostly used to up the class level of any meal, French cut meat is also great when you want to go back to basics and allow your guests to live out their caveman fantasies by using the trimmed bone as a handle! 

Most Common French Cut Meat

French trimming is a technique that can be applied to a huge variety of different meats, but the most commonly used proteins are pork, beef and lamb. 

Pork - Fine dining and pork chops aren’t always synonymous with one another, but with a French cut, these BBQ favourites can quickly attain black tie status. Try using our French Cut Pork Chops for your next dinner party and you’ll see what we mean!

Beef - The French cut options for beef products are practically endless. Two of the best are French Cut Veal Chops and French Cut Prime Rib Steak. Both of these offerings take great quality meat and turn the visual appeal up to ten so that your meal looks every bit as good as it tastes! For an incredible dinner idea that showcases French cut meat at its finest, give this Grilled Veal Chops with Gremolata recipe a go! 

Veal Chops with Gremolata recipe

Lamb - Lamb and French trimming go together like lamb and mint sauce, or lamb and roast potatoes, or lamb and just about anything (yes, we are slightly obsessed with lamb!). French cut racks of lamb are probably the most popular and widely used example of this culinary technique. Eat them like a Neanderthal, or plate them into a delicate crown roast, either way this 2 Bone French Rack of Lamb will show you the true meaning of the term French cut!

Final Thoughts

French cuts are all about making your meals not only taste delicious, but look fantastic too. They are the perfect way to create elegant, restaurant quality dishes from the comfort of your own kitchen, and are guaranteed to impress even the most discerning dinner guests. And with our range of incredible French cut meats, all the hard work has been done for you, allowing you to reap the rewards without having to work your fingers to the bone! 

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