Glossary of Best Basic Cuts of Steak
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.
A steak is a slice from a larger piece of meat, typically beef. Red meat and fish are often cut into steaks. Most steaks are cut perpendicular to the muscle fibres, improving the perceived tenderness of the meat. In the United States, steaks are typically served grilled, though they are also often pan-fried or broiled. Because steaks are cooked quickly, using dry heat, and served whole, the most tender cuts of the animal are usually used for steak. This also means that steaks have a premium price and perception; the idea of eating steak is a signifier of relative wealth.
A restaurant that specializes in steaks is known as a steakhouse. A typical steak dinner consists of a steak, with a starchy side dish, often potatoes, occasionally rice, pasta, or beans. A small serving of cooked vegetables accompanies the meat and side. A well-known accompaniment to steak is prawns or a cooked lobster tail, a combination often called surf and turf. Special steak knives are provided along with steak; a steak knife is sharper than most table knives and can be serrated as well.
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