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Glossary of Basic Cuts of Steak

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Edited By Crimsonwolf

Glossary of Basic Cuts of Steak

Club Steak: Sometimes called Delmonico, after the famed 19th century New York dining club that specialized in this steak, the club steak is triangular, smaller than a T-bone, but with the same large "eye" section. It is cut from the short loin, next to the rib end, and when cut properly, it is a delicious and tender steak. You can tell the quality by looking at the steak's "eye"--the meat should be fine in texture with delicate marbling; avoid cuts that seem coarse or contain fat chunks.

Filet Strip: Filet strips are removed from the short loin before any other steaks are cut. A whole filet strip can be broiled and then cut into individual portions, or covered with pastry and baked, as in Beef Wellington. The tenderloin is the most tender of all steaks. But no matter how delicious and tender, some find the texture too soft.

Porterhouse Steak: This is one of the most popular steak cuts, perhaps because it has a generous section of tenderloin. The porterhouse got its moniker when it was first served in the drinking houses where porter, ale, and stout were featured. A large, flavorful steak cut from the short loin, nearest the sirloin. Fine-grained with a characteristic portion of fat, it is usually cut from 1 1/4" to 3" thick. The tenderloin portion can be removed and served separately as a filet mignon.

Rib Steak: This is similar in appearance to club steak and is sometimes sold as such, even though it is less tender and more fatty. Rib steaks have an excellent flavor and, of course, come from the rib section. This cut is often sold in kosher meat shops.

Shell Steak, or Strip Steak: When the tenderloin strip has been removed from the short loin, the remaining meat is known as a shell steak. Shell steaks are called by a variety of names, such as strip,
New York strip and Kansas City
strip. Ideal for one person, these steaks can be cut in any thickness you wish, usually from 1 to 2 1/2 inches. Lobel's Prime Meats often remove the bone for their customers so the steak can be easily sliced on the diagonal.

Sirloin Steak: The sirloin is a large steak, which makes it suitable for families or parties. Usually cut from 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" thick, with a small amount of wedge bone. Sirloins vary in shape and bone size. Sirloins come in the pin-bone or hip-bone, flat-bone, and round-bone varieties; the bone adds flavor to the meat. These can be cut from 1" to 3" thick. Any sirloin steak is tender, delicious, and excellent when broiled in the oven or barbecued. The thinner cuts may be pan-broiled. Sirloin Tip Steak or Boneless Sirloin: This cut comes from the bottom tip of the sirloin section. It is less tender than the sirloins with bones, but it has a delicious flavor. Lobel's Prime Meats usually cuts it about 2 inches thick and suggest that it be braised for a half hour.

T-Bone Steak: This steak is easily identified by its T-shape bone. It comes from the center section of the short loin, between the porterhouse and club. Similar to the porterhouse, but with a smaller section of tenderloin and a smaller tail, with a fine-grained shell. Should be cut from 1 to 3 inches thick. Broiling is the best cooking method, pan-broiling for thinner cuts.

Tenderloin Steak or Filet Mignon: The popular name for this steak is filet mignon.


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