For over a decade, the beef industry has been working on a way to process an animal and take advantage of every available piece of muscle for the consumer market. Combine that with the next generation of up and coming chefs and you get a compelling list of new meat cuts people are literally eating up. Let’s look at some of the new cuts diners are flocking to restaurants to eat.
Tri Tip Roast
First up is the meat that is gaining popularity around the country because of its size and taste profile, the tri tip roast. This cut is the small muscle from the bottom of the sirloin, triangular in shape, giving it its name. This cut of meat has long been used in California as a grilling meat for groups of people. Now, it is gaining popularity throughout the country with finer restaurants as a marinade and grilled meat served sliced like traditional roast beef.
Flat Iron Steak
Next is the flat iron steak. Often described as the best all-around steak for grilling, the flat iron steak is a versatile steak cut that is typically very uniform in look, cut, and thickness. The flat iron steak is known for its strong beefy taste profile. It is from the chuck and if prepared well, is a very tender cut of steak if the fascia membrane is removed. If not, the membrane is gristly and will make your steak tough. The flat iron steak is also known as a book steak, butler steak, top blade steak, lifter steak or petite steak.
Cap steak is answering the call for smaller cuts of meats with a great flavor. Also called the Cap of Ribeye, this cut originates from the outside edge of the prime rib cut, opposite of the bone, and is one to two inches wide, depending on the animal. This has become a popular steak for chefs, as the presentation is clean, the flavor is rich and the portion size is very appealing.
Denver Cut Steak
Denver cut steak is being hailed as the next biggest thing in meat cuts. Also called the underblade cut, this steak goes from the short ribs to the chuck. It is known for being well-marbled with a great flavor. This cut is quickly becoming a favorite for chefs as it grills very well and can be cut and served with thinner portions without compromising the muscle.
Petite sirloin cut is one of the newest on the meat scene. Cut from the top sirloin, the petite sirloin is a significantly smaller cut than the traditional filet mignon cut. The petite cut still has many of the qualities the top sirloin is known for – great flavor and tenderness. This has become a popular cut in restaurants as the portions range from ½ a pound to 2 pounds and responds to marinades favorably.
There are additional new cuts making their way into restaurants – including the Sierra cut, Delmonico steak, San Antonio steak, round petite tender, Tucson cut, Santa Fe cut, Braison cut, Merlot cut, Western Griller steak, and Western Tip steak. As these cuts become popular with chefs and artisan butchers, we’d expect to see more of them in your local eatery. As with most meat cuts, once the cut catches on commercially, they will start to surface in grocery stores for home preparation.