Behind the brisket on the underside of the animal is the plate. This primal includes the short ribs, or bottom section of the rib bones, as well as the skirt steak.

The Spanish name for skirt steak is the fajita, or ‘belt,’ and this is the classic cut for the dish of the same name. It’s the diaphragm muscle, and it’s working on the animal all the time. It has a thick grain structure and a lot of connective tissue, and is very flavorful. Deal with that connective tissue mechanically, as in fajitas, by grilling hot and fast and slicing against the grain. Or, conversely, deal with it chemically by breaking it down through braising.

The short ribs are the lower sections of the rib bones, below where they run alongside the ribeye. These are ideal for low-and-slow barbecue or by braising .

Either way, cuts from here can be mind-numbingly delicious. Just don’t rush.

Next, the spectacular stuff on the short loin.