With winter fast approaching, it’s time to get a little adventurous with your food. You’ll be indoors more often now that the weather is getting chilly, so it’s time to have fun in the kitchen and explore new ingredients. One of the best ways to get creative in the kitchen is to explore new versions of familiar ingredients. Now is the time to try new varieties of squash, new styles of wine, and, most excitingly, new cuts of beef. One of the joys of beef is that there are so many different cuts of meat, and so many different ways to prepare it, that the possibilities for beef are seemingly endless.
Here are a few new cuts of beef to get familiar with this fall:
Also known as the top-sirloin cap, the culotte steak is the single most prized cut of beef in Brazil, yet it is relatively unknown in the United States. Part of this is because people in the United States are accustomed to “Americanized” steak, which is usually ultra tender and dripping with fat. Culotte is a little bit more rustic; it’s less tender than most cuts of beef, but it’s one of the most flavorful cuts available today.
For those who want the tenderness of another cut but the flavor of culotte, marinating the beef should do the trick if you can’t find any culotte in your area.
Teres Major Steak
Teres major, or shoulder tender, is one of the more rare cuts of beef because it’s relatively difficult to extract, and there isn’t much to the cut in each animal. Teres major is a very small muscle in the shoulder of the animal, but it cooks up into a gloriously tender piece of meat. Because it is not incredibly well known, the cut is usually very affordable, despite the fact that its quality is considered to be on par with that of filet mignon.
Because of the excellent flavor of a teres major steak, it stands well on its own, either grilled or cooked in a pan. Simply treat it like filet mignon and you’ll be happy you’ve saved some money on a delicious meal.
Flat Iron Steak
The flat iron steak is very similar in flavor to the teres major, but it’s easier to find (and usually a little bit more expensive). The flat iron is remarkably tender and well marbled, making it as enjoyable to look at as it is to eat.
As the name implies, the flat iron is relatively flat, which makes it a pretty easy cut of beef to cook. While it’s delicious on sandwiches or kabobs, this cut of beef—like the culotte and the teres major—is fabulous on its own as a mouth-watering and remarkably flavorful steak. It holds up well on a grill because the strong beefy flavor is complemented by smoky flavors. Thankfully, that makes it the perfect cut of beef for autumn.
With these three awesome cuts of beef, you should have a world of fun in the kitchen this fall. Each of these cuts is fabulous as a simple steak, so have fun trying all three and seeing which you prefer.
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Ryan Garfield is a freelance food blogger. For anyone that likes preparing their own meat cuts at home, he recommends checking out some of the available meat slicers at berkelsalesservice.com