Cost Cutting | Two Value Steaks from Lesser Known Cuts

If you haven’t heard by now, the USDA is predicting food prices will increase by as much as 4% in the next few months. That makes couponing even more attractive for consumers and cost containment strategies necessary for Chefs and Restaurateurs.

Here are several thoughts…

First, read Carrie Kirby’s recent Trib article on ways to combat upcoming drought-driven price hikes.  Second, consider working with some lesser known value cuts that deliver lower food costs and great taste.

We recently blogged about the trendy Bavette and Hanger steaks as value cut alternatives to traditional steakhouse cuts. Here are two more steaks from lesser known cuts that offer great flavor and can also lower food costs:

Teres Major Steak

Teres Major, also known as Petite Filet and Chuck Tender Steak (MBC #114), is a boneless 8-10 oz. muscle found in the shoulder of the steer. It is the second most tender muscle in the animal after the Tenderloin. Teres is lean, has a great beef flavor, a nice bite texture and is about half the price of Tenderloin.

Many purveyors use this steak in ground beef because the muscle is part of the beef chuck which is difficult to extract. Quality meat purveyors with Master Butchers know how to remove this muscle and thus, are capable of offering it as a value cut – the Teres Major Steak.

These steaks can be grilled, broiled, roasted and pan fried. Buedel Fine Meats customers often serve them as 2 oz., 3oz. and/or 4oz. medallion trios with crusted toppings such as horseradish, crab, blue cheese or Parmesan. They are tender, delicious and far less expensive than tenderloin.

Ball Tip Steak

The Ball Tip Steak (MBG #185B) is a boneless 3 lb. muscle found in the bottom part of the beef sirloin butt. It gets its name because it looks like a round ball when separated from the bottom sirloin butt.

Ball Tips are a lower cost value cut that can be listed on your menu as sirloin steaks. They have good flavor however, they are a lot less tender than a rib eye or top sirloin butt steak. To ensure your guests have a good eating experience, it is critical to tenderize these steaks before serving so they are not tough.

The best meat companies will mechanically tenderize or “pin” the whole Ball Tip muscle prior to fabricating it into steaks. This process breaks down the muscle fibers and loosens the meat making it more tender. The makeup of this muscle takes very well to marinades and rubs.

Once the Ball Tip Steak is properly cut and tenderized, it can be grilled or broiled with high heat at medium-rare to medium. These steaks were first popularized in Michigan where they were called, “Sizzler Steaks”.

Try Teres Major and Ball Tip Steaks to combat rising food prices with a dash of your own creativity!


From the desk of  John Cecala  Twitter @Buedel Fine Meats  Facebook  Buedel Fan Page

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