A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“What did the bunny say when he had only thistles to eat?"/"Thistle have to do!” (8/18)
“What did the bunny say when he had only thistles to eat?"/"Thistle have to do!” (8/18)
“Programming is like sex: one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life” (8/18)
“If you do pass the McKinley bill, we shall have to come over to your country and thrash you” (8/18)
“There are so many scams on the internet. But for $19.99 I can show you how to avoid them” (8/18)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from December 20, 2015
“What do you call a cow with three legs?"/"Lean beef.”

Popular cow riddles are:

“What do you call a cow with no legs?"/"Ground beef.”
“What do you call a cow with one leg?"/"Steak.”
“What do you call a cow with two legs?"/"Your mom.”
“What do you call a cow with three legs?"/"Tri-tip.”
“What do you call a cow with five legs?"/"Rare.”

A “lean beef” joke has been cited in print since at least 1985;

Q: What do you call a cow with three legs?
A: Lean beef.



Google Books
Names
1985
Pg. 291:
16. What do you call a cow with three legs? Lean beef.
I7. What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.

Google News Archive
5 June 1986, Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, “The Stroller” by Seymour Rosenberg, pg. 1, col. 1:
Cow jokes are now popular in California. For instance what do you call a cow with no legs? round beef. How about a cow with only three legs? Lean beef. And a cow with only two legs? Extra lean beef.

Google Books
Cracking Jokes: studies of Sick umor Cycles & Stereotypes
By Alan Dundes
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press
1987
Pg. 18:
What do you call a cow with three legs?
Lean beef.

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

12 July 1991, Daily Republican-Register (Mt. Carmel, IL), “The Light Touch” by David Fithian, pg. 12, col. 3 ad:
What do you call a cow with two legs shorter than the I others?
Lean beef.

Straight Dope Message Board
Do you know any jokes for 7-10 year olds? 
Tenebras
10-15-2007, 01:55 AM
Forgive me if these have been told before. . .

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef

What did the snail say when he rode on the turtle’s back?
(throw your arms in the air and yell) WHEEEE!

What do you call a cow with one leg?
Steak.

What do you call a cow with two legs?
Lean beef.

What do you call a cow with three legs?
Tri-tip.

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of One-Liners
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2012
Pg. ?:
What do you call a cow with two legs?
Lean beef.

What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

Facebook
Certified Angus Beef ® brand
June 20, 2012 ·
What do you call a cow without legs? Ground beef
What do you call a cow with one leg? Steak
What do you call a cow with two legs? Lean beef
What do you call a cow with three legs? Tri-tip
What do you call a cow with FIVE legs? Rare.

Special thanks to our new intern, Malorie, for today’s comedy routine!

Reddit—Jokes
What do you call a cow with three legs? (self.Jokes)
submitted May 30, 2013 by hitokirivader
Tri-tip.
What do you call a cow with two legs?
Lean beef.
What do you call a cow with one leg?
Steak.
What do you call a cow with no legs?
Ground beef.

Reddit—TipOfMyTongue
What do you call a cow with 4 legs? (self.tipofmytongue)
submitted February 28, 2017 by georgecena1337
Alright so there are 4 parts to this joke:
What do you call a cow with 4 legs? (A cow)
What do you call a cow with 3 legs? (Tri-tip)
What do you call a cow with 2 legs? (This one has 2 answers: lean meat OR your mom)
What do you call a cow with 1 leg? (Steak/stake)
What do you call a cow with no legs? (Ground beef)
But I could have sworn that the cow with 4 legs had a better/second answer that wasn’t just “A cow” and it was way more funny.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, December 20, 2015 • Permalink