If you are anything like us Neanderthals, steak is not just for dinner; it’s for breakfast, lunch, midnight snack and well, any other damn time we’re hungry.
Unfortunately, our wives refuse to let us sustain life solely on red meat, so when we eat steak, we try to make it the best cut and flavor experience that we can.
So, let’s talk steaks; cuts, flavor, and just a basic “what’s what.”
Most of the steaks that we will cover today will be from the full loin. This is a primal cut that extends from the round to the ribs - the lower middle of the back, which contain the most tender cuts on the animal. The full loin is typically divided up into the sirloin or top loin and the lower portion, the short loin.
Warning, this quick read is likely going to lead to you firing up the grill. Proceed accordingly.
Tenderloin aka The Filet Mignon:
The most tender of all cuts, which come from the bottom portion of the loin, the short loin. This is usually the most expensive cut due to the limited amount of meat on the short loin.
Although expensive, this cut should deliver a fine marbling which will give you that buttery, melt in your mouth texture. The filet is beautiful on a flaming grill or red-hot cast iron skillet. A nice sea salt and coarse ground pepper is all you need for this.
Roasted asparagus or crispy brussels sprouts and a lemony Béarnaise sauce pair well with this.
Don’t forget a healthy Cabernet pour.
The Strip Steak:
This steak gained popularity as a favorite at many classic steak houses, which can also be named New York Strip or Kansas City Strip, when a small piece of bone is left on the steak.
This cut comes from the top loin, not quite as tender as the filet, but with bolder, beefy flavor and a great bite. Encrust this in Chop House rub and slice it down with some fried eggs…mmm good morning!
The strip steak really shines with a higher grade, Prime or Wagyu is our
recommendation, if you come across it. Pairs well will a loaded baked potato.
Grab a full-bodied Merlot and dig in.
Porterhouse and T-Bone:
The Porterhouse is two steaks separated by a t-shaped bone; the strip steak on one side and a tenderloin filet on the other. The t-bone steak is the same steak with a smaller portion of the filet. The size difference is usually about 6 oz.
These come from the cross-section un-fileted loin, so you can expect all the tenderness from the filet and all of the flavor from the strip.
These are great on a hot grill accompanied by an ice-cold lager and some thick-cut, salty potato wedges.
Pour some garlic/cayenne/habanero Neanderthal Fire Sauce on those bad boys.
This can be a bit harder to find, but worth looking for. The skirt comes from the lean muscles inside the animal. This steak takes its name from its wide open-grained fibers which give it a pleated texture.
This steak can please the most sophisticated palates with a balsamic, thyme
and sweet onion marinade, seared on a hot grill and sliced down.
A lot of people will use it for steak tacos or fajitas, but we think it stands up well on its own with some chimichurri and grilled jalapenos.
Pour a margarita, this steak is reason enough to celebrate.
The Hanger Steak:
The Hanger gets its name from the fact that it hangs down between the tenderloin and the rib.
Only one Hanger comes from each animal, which makes them hard to find and expensive, but extremely tender and flavorful. It’s an incredible steak, if you can find it.
This is a great reason to get to know your local butcher.
A red wine reduction will finish this beauty off nicely. An after dinner bourbon is definitely in order.
The King of Steaks, The Ribeye:
Hands down, our favorite steak across the board. The Ribeye delivers on all fronts. If you want a steak that gives the best sear and best flavor, go for the Ribeye.
The generous marbling enables this to cook in its own fat, creating a delicious crust with a tender and juicy interior. We recommend a medium rare preparation, with whatever damn seasoning you want.
This beauty comes from the “eye” of the rib, hence it’s name and is packed with flavor. You can enjoy this steak boneless, or for a more dramatic presentation opt for the long-boned Tomahawk or a short-boned Cowboy steak.
Either way, you’re eating like a Neanderthal.
*Fun Fact: You might see a Ribeye referred to as a Delmonico.
This comes from Delmonico’s in New York, still one of the most popular steak houses in the country. If you ordered a Delmonico steak from Delmonico’s today, you would receive a boneless ribeye.
Back in the 1800’s when the restaurant first opened, animals were slaughtered in-house and the chef would determine which particular steak was of the best quality and that would become the Delmonico steak for that night.
Now that we’ve got you drooling, go ahead fire up the grill and treat yourself to a delicious steak. Oh yeah, it’s a proven fact that steak tastes better on a Neanderthal Butcher Plate.
Get yours today.