Cut to the New
Beef up the value with frugally flavorful alternatives
After years of price spikes, beef costs are slowly coming down to earth. Slice into some extraordinary values right now with these less expensive but wildly flavorful cuts recommended by Laura Hagen, senior director, Culinary National Cattlemen’s Association.
Instead of Tenderloin:
Shoulder Tender (petite tender)
Shaped like a tenderloin, and as juicy and tender as one, the shoulder tender is smaller and more affordable. Grill, broil or roast, and seize its unique value opportunity by offering as a mini roast for two to four diners.
Instead of Strip Steak:
Coulotte Steak (top sirloin cap)
A savory roast with plenty of marbling, this cut is best roasted in the oven, smoked slowly on the grill or cut into Coulotte steaks. Consumers are beginning to hear about this cut at retailers, so give them the opportunity to sample—and fall in love with—it on your menu. “A Coulotte roast offers a unique, lovely flavor at a very reasonable price,” says Hagen.
Instead of Skirt Steak:
Also called the sirloin flap, this thin, boneless, hearty cut is perfect for fajitas, chimichurris and more. With extensive surface area for marinades, sirloin Bavette acts exactly like skirt steak on the grill or broiler pan at a lower cost.
Instead of Sirloin Tip:
Petite Sirloin (ball tip)
The small roast section of the bottom sirloin makes a cost-friendly substitute for the mighty sirloin tip that always turns out well, whether grilled, smoked or roasted. Sized to feed two to four people, the petite sirloin makes a special shareable dinner or a buffet offering that knows how to retain its juiciness.
More to consider:
Boneless and tender, this California favorite, cut from the bottom of the sirloin, is becoming part of the beef vernacular everywhere. It’s terrific for grilling, roasting, braising, broiling or smoking.
Formerly called the butcher’s cut because knowledgeable beef experts wanted to keep it for themselves, this tender cut is rapidly gaining followers. Try it with a spicy rub or savory marinade.