What are the different steak cuts?
Steak has been a staple main course for the longest time. From a beautiful wedding catering experience to an everyday office working brunch, steaks are good for any occasion (except of course for a vegetarian’s birthday). It stands on top of the food pyramid and considered timeless and has been tested throughout all of known history.
However, even if a paragon amongst food can stand the test of time, can it do so perpetually? That’s a debatable question for sure. One thing is for sure though: people just generally love good food, and a perfectly good steak is exactly that.
The beautiful cut of meat that people know and love was once a necessity for hard laborers looking to start the day with a hearty meal. The steak they knew back then is worlds apart from the steak we know today. Firstly, their cuts were the cheap unwanted cuts that the nobles and the wealthy disliked. The method of preparation for steak however, isn’t all that different from the way we prepare steak now. People would usually just salt their cuts and then proceed to grill or roast them – but without minding the degree of doneness of their meats. It was a necessity back then and their knowledge in the field of cuisine at the time was severely lacking.
Over time, the methods of cooking and preparing steak evolved into something akin to that of art. The method of actually choosing a cut was found and the many different cuts that we know today were born.
It is a cut from the midsection or the ribs. Described as tender and flavorful, this cut is perfect for roasting or grilling.
Cut from the back or rear portion of the animal, there are types of sirloin cuts aptly called top sirloin and bottom sirloin. The top sirloin cut is considered a premium cut whilst the bottom sirloin, while not terrible, is considered an ordinary cut.
Cut from the loin of beef, tenderloin is known for being soft and tasty. This cut is perfect for grilling or baking.
This is a cut of beef from the short loin, this cut sports a noticeable “T” shaped bone on both sides of the meat. This cut is considered a tad heavier than the other cuts and it is perfect for searing and grilling.
This cut is taken from the tenderest part of the cow. Although the lack of bone also makes it lack in flavor compared to other cuts, it is still popular cut because it can be wrapped in bacon and served with different sauces and spices. It must be broiled or grilled quickly in order to retain all of its flavor.
The French call this cut as filet de boeuf which means beef fillet.
This particular cut is commonly known as the “king of steaks” because it is actually two steaks in one. The two steaks are a combination of the two previously discussed cuts: a New York strip and a large filet mignon. This thick cut has a bigger tenderloin portion than loin. It is best enjoyed when it is grilled, but is also good when sautéed, broiled, or fried.
The Tri-Tip is extremely popular in the Central Coast and Valley regions of California and it is commonly known as a Santa Maria steak. It is also beginning to become popular in other places because of its full flavor at affordable prices while still being low in fat. This flavor is attained because of the excellent marbling which means that this cut will stay tender as long as it isn’t over cooked. It is best enjoyed when it is marinated and then grilled.
Any good steakhouse will have this staple. The New York Strip has an excellent amount of marbling with a full flavor. To experience the best natural tender texture from this cut, one must ask the steakhouse to serve it rare or blue and grilled.
It is known under different names; depending on where it is being served. In the USA, it is known as either New York strip, strip loin, shell steak, or Kansas City strip steak while it is called the club steak internationally.
Although this is less tender than most cuts, it still boasts a great flavor due to the prevalence of connective tissue. This is what makes it one of the most popular cuts despite it being a bit chewy. Just like the Tri-Tip, it is best cooked when marinated then grilled. One can also choose to broil it. Once it is cooked, it is usually cut across the grain and into thin slices so that it is easier to eat.
Although it may lack in tenderness, it makes up for it in its flavor. This cut is best enjoyed when the meat is marinated and quickly cooked at high temperatures via broiling or grilling to be rare or medium-rare.
This is the top blade steak that comes from the tender top blade roast. These have quite the amount of marbling which makes it one of the finest cuts available. It is best served when it has been broiled or grilled.
This is also known as the butler’s state in the United Kingdom while in Australia and New Zealand, it is called the Oyster Blade Steak.
Different cuts of steak means different ways to enjoy them. Traditionally, steak is served with some vegetables like potatoes that could either be mashed or cubed, carrots, peas and asparagus. Another essential ingredient for non-grilled steak is butter melted and poured on the meat akin to that of a glaze while people prefer serving steak with sauces like gravy or fruit-based sauces. There are a lot of ways to enjoy meat and people have their own likes and preferences but one thing is for sure – steaks are definitely not going out of style.
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