Beef in france

10 Replies



I have noticed that tender beef is not really available in France ,have I missed something, you can buy. Stewing beef or casserole and if you cook it for long enough it will become tender, how ever I have tried buying steak which seems tough and not much flavour also not cheap , I tried the faux fillet whicH I understand is supposed to be similar to Sirloin , but not much flavour and a bit tough 

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chèvrefeuille 1469650232

Luckily for me most of the beef I've eaten in France has been both tender and tasty. I did have a tough old bit last Tuesday lunchtime but as it was part of a very cheap lunchtime menu it seemed fair enough.

Lily-864056 1469652244

Thank you for that where would you recommend I could buy a tender steak from to cook please 

Giles 1469707415

I think beef in France is not necessarily hung as long as in the UK which may be why it's sometimes not as tender and tastes a bit different.

Yes, Faux-filet is sirloin, you can get Rump, T-bone and, of course, filet mignon.  You can't get rib eye - at least I've never found it.....

Tranche de boeuf can be nice depending on the butcher and source of meat. 

Bavette which is very tasty is a tougher cut - and for best results should be cooked rare.  

And this is another of the reasons there is a difference  - it's in how it's cooked.  The French tend to cook their beef very rare - and if you do the same - it will be more tender.  Medium or well done doesn't seem to work quite as well with beef that's not hung as long. I like my steak bleu - and in over 20 years here, I haven't had many tough steaks!  

Oh - and a reminder that all meat really must be a room temperature before you cook it - makes a huge difference.  Straight from the fridge into the pan and it will be tougher.  I leave it an hour or so out of the fridge. 

It is a case of getting to know your local butchers - whether they are in the supermarket or not - and ask them about  their meat -In the supermarket -  buy it from the counter rather than off the shelf and tell the butcher you want it tender.  They love to help on the whole. They will often give cooking tips too.  

I buy from my local Intermarché butcher who happens to be pretty good but that doesn't mean all Intermarches will be the same as they source differently in different areas. If you have a good steak in a local resto - ask them where they buy their meat!  Leclerc has a good reputation for meat too. 

And, yes, it's expensive.  You might try Magret de canard instead of steak. sometimes, less pricey and delicious... I even use it for fondues and such.  

Best of luck!


Stella65 1469709771

Great beef from our local butcher, Boucherie Ribour in Tournay. We've rarely found anything as good in the supermarkets and the banter is much better, too!

We treat ourselves to skin-on pork for 'proper' crackling - you just eed to order in advance.

Lily-864056 1469715965

Thank you Giles and Stella great help, we wnt give up our search goes on 

Iver lostit 1469804813

Hi Lily

we Have never managed to find a consistent supply of good steak in France, it is always hit and miss.


supersec-611519 1470056889

One reason the "beef" in France is rubbish because the "viande bovine"  (and not "boeuf") is old milking cow, probably 7-9 years old. In the UK we use prime young male cattle for our beef.  But yes, agree with Giles, they also don't hang it long enough. If you can get to Riscle, the butcher in Carrefour (now moved to the Rte de Tarbes just outside the town) does good beef. If you can find a supplier of Bazas beef, it is a slightly different texture, very silky, but can still be a bit tough, just not as bad as normal!

FizzFizz 1470128378

I read this thread with a bit of a giggle as when I lived in England I could never find a good steak. I went to Wales one day and had a sublime grass-fed filet but that's the only time I ever found a tasty and tender piece of beef in the UK. 

I agree with Giles that cooking it rare and buying the right cut is important here. If you like it as most Brits do (cooked to death) then you're going to have a terrible meal. I love entrecote and onglet (gotta get friendly with your butcher to score the onglet though) and never touch faux filet because there's not enough fat for my taste. 

Lily-864056 1470131493

Hi supersec yes old cows that would explain a lot..btw fuzz fizz in uk I would of been what's  known  as a pink meat eater i.e. I like my steak medium ,but medium here is raw in the middle so I asked for Bon  cuit and it comes up pink as I like it..I don't mind a bit of. blood in my steak but rare I do not like , I went to evening market and they did duck kebabs they were so rare that there was no heat in the middle at all and I just couldn't eat it ,Shame as I do like duck...but I think the French are very good at cooking different cuTs of meat that we wouldn't dream of i.e. The gizzard salad of the region is delicious 

Jill Gibbard-603569 1470206251

A bit far away from you, near Vic fezensac in the Gers, but we have an excellent source of beef, from salers cattle, grass fed.  Delicious. Take a look at their website :

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