Some steaks can be much more expensive than others. Sometimes, this is because they come from rarer animals, as shown by Kobe beef, which comes from a particular strain of a particular Japanese cattle breed. However, it is important to note that different parts of the same animal can have different properties that make them more appealing to some people than others, thus causing them to differ in value to interested individuals. As a result, knowing what a steak cut means can be very useful for people seeking to get the most value of their spending on meat.
Here are five of the most expensive steak cuts that can be found out there:
The tenderloin refers to a particular muscle that can be found in cattle and other quadrupeds. In cattle, it is situated behind the kidneys, stretching from about the hip bone to the 13th rib. Due to this, the tenderloin doesn't get much exercise, which explains why it is so tender. Combined with its leanness, it is no wonder that the tenderloin tends to fetch a high price, though there are people who are less than enthusiastic about it on its own because of its relative lack of the marbling that is responsible for so much flavor.
Filet mignon comes from the smaller end of a tenderloin. In other words, it is even rarer than tenderloin, which is already pretty rare compared to some of the other steak cuts out there because of its small size relative to the rest of the cattle. Due to this, filet mignon tends to be some of the most expensive steak cuts out there, seeing as how it combines rarity with tenderness. However, it shares a lack of marbling with the rest of the tenderloin, which is why it is sometimes cooked with bacon for the purpose of providing extra flavor.
New York Strip
The strip steak is sold under a bewildering number of names. For example, it can be found under the names of New York strip, Kansas City strip, and top loin in the United States, which isn't considering the even more numerous and even more wide-ranging names that can be found in other English-speaking countries. Regardless, the strip steak comes from a muscle called the longissimus, which is similar to the tenderloin in that it doesn't get much exercise, thus making it tender but not quite as tender as its more expensive counterpart. On top of that, the longissimus is a much bigger muscle than the tenderloin, meaning that it is less rare and thus less expensive.
Porterhouse steaks should be recognizable to most people as a steak with an approximately T-shaped bone in the middle that has meat attached to it on both sides. It comes from a portion of the cattle called the short loin, which can be summed up as the part of the hindquarter situated right behind the ribs. Porterhouse steaks are defined as having been cut from the rear of the short loin, meaning that it includes a strip steak as well as a considerable portion of tenderloin. As a result, it is no wonder that porterhouse steaks can be sold for a high price. As for the origin of the porterhouse steak, it tends to be believed that it comes from either a hotel or a restaurant that specialized in serving such steak cuts to their customers, but no one is quite sure exactly which hotel or restaurant is responsible for the practice, meaning that it is a topic of some debate.
T-bone steaks are quite similar to porterhouse steaks, which is perhaps unsurprising when they come from the short portion of the cattle. In fact, the difference between the two is that T-bone steaks are cut from the front rather than the rear of the short loin, meaning that they incorporate a smaller amount of tenderloin. Unfortunately, there is no real agreement on exactly how much tenderloin has to be included for one to be considered the other, which is why T-bone steaks are sometimes used to refer to both T-bone steaks and porterhouse steaks. With that said, T-bone steaks tend to be cheaper than porterhouse steaks in spite of their status as high-quality beef, which can be attributed to the fact that they include less tenderloin.
Written by Garrett Parker
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