We’ve all heard of rump, tenderloin, sirloin and T-bone – but what about the teres major, flat iron and coulotte? Numerous beef cuts aren’t given the attention they deserve, and if you never try them you’re missing out. Here are 5 unusual cuts of beef with great flavour and texture that you should add to your repertoire:
The teres major (AKA petit tender of faux filet) is a 20cm strip taken from the cow’s shoulder. This cut is perfect if you love filet mignon but don’t want to pay an eye fillet price – it is lean, tender and very economical. In terms of cooking, treat the teres major like you would tenderloin – slice it and grill it, or sear it and roast it whole.
The Coulotte is taken from the triangular muscles that sit over the top of the sirloin near the back of the cow. Coulotte has little fat marbling, so it is sold with a layer of fat intact. The texture and flavour of this cut is similar to that of sirloin, however, the flavours are made more intense from the rendering of fat during the cooking process (we recommend that you leave the fat cap on when cooking). Coulotte is very popular in Brazil, where they sear it quickly, slice it and then grill it to medium-rare.
Flat iron (AKA top blade steak, butler’s steak or oyster blade steak) is cut with the grain from the shoulder of the cow and contains significant marbling. The flat iron (named so because it resembles an old fashioned metal flat iron) is uniform in thickness and rectangular in shape. This cut is beautifully tender and it is perfect for grilling and serving between rare and medium.
Tri tip (AKA triangle steak/roast or bottom sirloin steak) is taken from the whole rump. This cut is lean and similar in texture to brisket, but has less fat so it cooks more quickly. Tri tip is very versatile – uncut, it makes a fantastic roast. Cut, it makes for delicious steaks. Tri tip is best cooked to medium rare. Although it has more chew than traditional steaks, it has plenty of delicious flavour. This cut is very popular in Santa Maria-style barbeque in the Southwest.
Want to further your beef-ucation? Check out our previous posts – the most undervalued cuts of beef, common beef cuts and how to cook them, best beef cuts for slow cooking and the leanest cuts of beef.