All Beef, No Bull: A Guide to Great Steak Cuts

Steak. It’s a beautiful thing, and for many Americans it’s almost a love affair. A perfectly marinated and char-grilled cut of tender and succulent beef is one of the the simpler pleasures that one can enjoy. But with so many cuts to choose from, how do you choose a good cut?

Are all steaks created equal? In short, no.

While as of this article’s writing, I’ve yet to encounter a cut of beef that I did not like, I have found that there is definitely a pecking order when it comes to steak quality, and cooking method, as well as level of “doneness

In this article we are going to discuss some of the different cuts of steak you might find at rustic Henderson Mexican Restaurant and their best preparation methods.

To answer the old question “where’s the beef?” Well, it’s right here. Let’s take a look.

Filet Mignon

A staple of the finest upscale steakhouses across the nation, this tender cut does barely, if any, of the heavy lifting on the cow. the result is a soft, buttery texture that is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Filet mignon is a very lean cut of beef meaning the mild flavor has less of the lip-smacking juiciness meat eaters crave.

Filet Mignon is best pan seared with aromatic herbs and cooked rare to medium rare. This cut pairs well with roasted red potatoes and aged Pinot Noir.

Ribeye

One of the most prized, and prize winning cuts of all, the rib eye comes boneless or with the rib bone still attached. The bone might make it harder to navigate your knife and fork, gnawing on gristle and crispy fat is one of the most satisfying, and arguably the most carnal aspect of the steak-eating experience. And a ribeye is a great cut to satiate that meat fat craving.

Ribeyes have a beautiful interior marbling and a thick white cap of fat surrounding the edge that makes for an exceptionally juicy and flavorful steak. Our best recommendation, char-grilled over hardwood, rare as sin. A pinch and a dash are all you need to season this beautiful steak. Beauty is in the (rib)eye of the beholder. Enjoy this cut like a true american, with a side of thick cut seasoned fries, and a pint or two of a good microbrew or an IPA.

New York Strip

Though not as tender as it’s classy cousin, the filet,  or as juicy and succulent as the fatty ribeye, the New York strip is still solid cut of beef that stacks up well on this list. The lack of fat marbling makes for a slightly less expensive steak than some of the others on this list. However, the new york strip holds its own in the flavor competition. This surprisingly tender, and lean cut of beef is an affordable mid week change of pace that truly satisfies.

New york strip is best pan seared with herb infused butter. This cut pairs well with roasted asparagus and a nice cabernet sauvignon.

Porterhouse

A porterhouse, also known as the the T-Bone is a New York strip and delicate filet mignon separated by, you guessed it… a T-shaped bone. This iconic cut of meat is synonymous with the American idea of steak, as it has been depicted in pop culture and even kids cartoons since the days of black and white television.

A great way to prepare this tasty cut, and ensure for even cooking throughout is to flame broil it. A juicy porterhouse cooked medium rare is a true thing of beauty for any steak fan. Crispy edges. Need I say more? You can’t go wrong with a classic baked potato and a nice draught beer with one of these bad boys.

Skirt

The go-to choice when it comes to carne asada and fajitas, this flavorful, well-marbled cut is just as savory and succulent as a rib eye, while remaining one of the cheapest cuts behind the counter. These steaks are naturally thin, so blistering heat is required to make sure the outside is charred before the interior becomes overcooked.

Skirt steak is great when seared on a flat-top or in a cast iron skillet. Pair this cut with grilled chilis and onions, and serve with hot tortillas and a good mexican beer for a great fajita Friday dinner option.

Final Thoughts

Whether you prefer your steak blue-rare, or burnt to a crisp, there is one thing that all steak lovers can agree on. Steak is delicious. And well…Who am I to argue?

These are a few of our favorite steak cuts, but we’ve barely even “cut the bull.” What is your favorite steak cut, and how do you like it prepared? Leave a comment with your best recommendations in the section below.

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