What’s the difference between a strip loin and a ribeye? Not a clue? Fret not. STEAK lessons are in session!
You’re a die-hard carnivore, a self-proclaimed steak lover. But how much do you really know about that gorgeous, drool-inducing slab of beef on the plate in front of you? Not too sure what the terms such as filet mignon, rib-eye or New York strip mean on the menu at that fancy steakhouse? You’re not alone.
We’re here to shed some light on the different kinds of steaks (the fleshy part of a beef carcass), which are essentially sliced across the muscle fibre of a large section of beef – and sometimes could include a bone.
Filet mignon (also known as tenderloin, steak loin or chateaubriand) is a steak cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin, which runs along both sides of the cow’s spine. Its position on the lower back makes it a less active muscle, hence is a lot softer and more tender, naturally making it the most juiciest and most buttery steaks – which explains its steep prices on menus of the best steakhouses.
The sirloin (also known as strip loin or New York strip steak) is a cut of beef steaks from the short loin of a cow. As it’s made up of the longissimus, a large muscle that does minimal work, the meat is particularly leaner at some parts, while containing more fat in others. Featuring a fine-grained texture, the sirloin is one of the most popular cuts due to its strong beefy flavour.
Ribeye steaks, derived off the rib section, are tender, juicy and packed with flavour, making it one of the most common and best types of steaks. The primary muscle in a ribeye is the longissimus dorsi, which is a long, tender, less-active muscle that runs from the cow’s hip bone to the shoulder blade. The deposit of intramuscular fat (marbling) adds heaps of moisture and buttery flavour to the steak.
The porterhouse comprises a portion of the tender, buttery filet mignon and the meaty-flavoured sirloin – separated by a T-shaped bone that runs through the middle – and is generally considered one of the highest quality steaks. Also known as T-Bone or date steak, it’s derived from the point where the tenderloin and top loin meet. As it’s basically two steaks in one, expect a huge portion.
The flank steak is really not a “steak” – it’s a cut of beef taken from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the steer. A relatively long and flat cut, the flank is very lean, contains many fibres and almost no fat – yet packs loads of flavour if you know how to prepare it well. It’s often served as thin slices cut against the grain (think Chinese stir-fry beef and fajitas).
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