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This issue: The Classic Kings of the Barbeque:

Tenderloin, Striploin, and Rib Eye

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VOLUME 39

The Classic Kings of the Barbeque:

Tenderloin, Striploin, and Rib Eye

 

In the last couple of years, so much has been written about "nose-to-tail” eating and the less expensive cuts of steak that we find ourselves constantly explaining the differences between North America’s traditionally most sought after cuts over and over again.   

So here goes – an acknowledgement and description of the classic kings of the barbeque.


continued below..

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World Cup 2010
Our very own meat expert Keith Gordon and partner Liz Hunt compete on Dinner Party Wars!

 

Wed, Sept. 29 @9:00pm
on the Food Network

Keith and Liz prepare "Duck Three Ways" trying to beat out two other couples on reality TV. 

 

Kick some culinary butt Keith and Liz!

 

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Prove it on Saturday, October 30.  Free to participate but only a limited number of contestants will be randomly selected for each HB location.

Click here for details and to apply to be one of the competitors.  Grand prize: $100 gift certificate, all contestants will win at least a $25 gift certificate.

 

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  • 100% Grassfed beef, breed Murray Grey & Red Devon;
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  • Pasture raised Limousine, finished on a grass and corn silage
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  • Wagyu-Angus cross, featuring Prime+ marbling

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VOLUME 39 ... The Classic Kings of the Barbeque:

Tenderloin, Striploin, and Rib Eye

continued...

 

First and foremost, understand that all meat is muscle tissue. As a result, regularly used muscles will result in tougher meat, while lesser used muscles will result in tender meat. So, locomotive muscles such as the legs and shoulder are tougher than muscles that just hang around, like those in the upper middle part of a quadruped. The upper middle part is composed of two adjacent and prized primal cuts – the rib section and the short loin section, with the rib section closer to the front shoulders.

Beef Primal Cuts

The rib section produces “Rib Eye Steaks”, which are boneless, or “Prime Rib Steaks”, which are the exact same but with the bone left on. The loin section is comprised of the “Striploin Steak” and the “Tenderloin Steak”. (To be specific, the Tenderloin starts in the Short Loin section and ends further to the rear of the animal in the “Sirloin” section.) Other names for the Striploin include Strip, New York Strip, or if the bone is left on, Wing Steak or Club Steak. Synonyms for Tenderloin include Fillet, Filet Mignon, Chateaubriand, Tournedos, Medallions, or Filet de Boeuf. 

Now, the main bone running in between the Tenderloin and Striploin muscles is the “T-Bone”. If the cut is made cross-wise, cutting through the bone, then you will get a T-Bone or Porterhouse steak (the latter cut from the back end where there is a larger portion of Tenderloin). In other words, a T-Bone steak is made up of a piece of Tenderloin and a piece of Striploin connected to each other by a bone.

Tenderloin Striploin and Rib eye

Dry Aged Prime Rib

The rib section produces “Rib Eye Steaks”, which are boneless, or “Prime Rib Steaks”, which are the exact same but with the bone left on. The loin section is comprised of the “Striploin Steak” and the “Tenderloin Steak”. (To be specific, the Tenderloin starts in the Short Loin section and ends further to the rear of the animal in the “Sirloin” section.) Other names for the Striploin include Strip, New York Strip, or if the bone is left on, Wing Steak or Club Steak. Synonyms for Tenderloin include Fillet, Filet Mignon, Chateaubriand, Tournedos, Medallions, or Filet de Boeuf. Now, the main bone running in between the Tenderloin and Striploin muscles is the “T-Bone”. If the cut is made cross-wise, cutting through the bone, then you will get a T-Bone or Porterhouse steak (the latter cut from the back end where there is a larger portion of Tenderloin). In other words, a T-Bone steak is made up of a piece of Tenderloin and a piece of Striploin connected to each other by a bone.

Now let’s compare the three cuts to one another. Of the three steaks, the Tenderloin is the most tender and least flavourful; the Rib Eye is the least tender and most flavourful; and the Striploin takes the silver prize in both the tenderness and flavour categories. The Striploin and Rib Eye steaks are usually similarly priced and the second most expensive. The Tenderloin is usually, in North America, the most expensive cut.

Tenderloin Striploin and Ribeye

Ironically, the Tenderloin is the least flavourful steak in a beef. No really, it is the least flavourful cut – which is the reason it is so often wrapped in bacon. So why is it so expensive? Simple economics of supply and demand provides the answer – of the 700lbs of actual meat on a beef, only about 14lbs or so makes up the Tenderloin. And since everyone enjoys cutting meat with a fork, the price is exorbitant. In parts of the world where people don’t mind chewing, tenderloin is actually one of the lesser priced cuts. The Rib steak, being the most flavourful of the bunch, is usually well-marbled. Yet, even the flavour of the Rib steak pales in comparison to the flavour you get from a harder working muscle, like Brisket for example. It’s really a question of priority – do you prioritize tenderness or flavour?

So there you have it. Filet, Strip, and Rib… the classic kings of the barbeque.

To access previous issues of Live to Eat, click here.

 

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