The diverse American environment coupled with sophisticated production and packaging technique enable the U.S. beef industry to provide a wide range of beef and beef products. A full spectrum of beef cuts and products are available, ranging from high quality specialized cuts suitable for hotels, restaurants and supermarkets, to packs for use in the processing industry.
The tenderness, uniformity in size and shape, trim, exact portion cost, storage space as well as the short preparation time and little waste have made these cuts of a widespread appeal to food service operators, importers and consumers.
Understanding Beef Cuts
U.S. beef is the only variety in the world that generates highly tender, delicious cuts when cooked in a proper style. The secret to success is the use of grain-fed beef that has the right amount of white fat “Marbling” distributed in the muscle to insulate the meat when cooking for long periods of time. Grass-fed beef disappoints when cooked for long periods of time.
Everyone knows about U.S. middle meats – tenderloin, T-bone, Porterhouse, Rib Eye and Striploin, but few are those who understand U.S. beef underutilized cuts as low plate-cost items with high perceived value, ideal for buffets and banquets, a la carte, or regular restaurant menus.
Middle meats are vital to your restaurant’s success; chefs find easy to grill and customers love their taste and flavor. Yet, middle meats do not fit into every expense account or every home budget. Underutilized cuts, like the brisket, back ribs, shoulder clod, top blade and cap of the top sirloin (coulotte) offer the high satisfaction associated with U.S. beef at an affordable menu price for the customer.
Out of the four basic major primal cuts into which a beef carcass is separated, the most popular underutilized cuts - also named end meats - are the chuck, loin, and round. The spectrum of end meats also includes the flank, knuckle, short plate and fore-shank.
Underutilized U.S. beef cuts undergo the same inspection and quality grading regime as all middle meats high quality beef products. Whether you buy USDA Choice or the lower-cost USDA Select beef cuts, the end result is a highly flavorful, tender beef, if properly prepared. Underutilized cuts offer all the quality and value of the U.S. beef at a cost that can compete with lower priced meat items on your competitors’ menu.