The Craft Cuts you never knew existed...
Welcome back to another awesome episode! I am so excited to share this video with you as I explore Craft Cuts. Craft cuts, also known as Butcher Cuts, are commonly used for ground meat or are just not harvested at all because it’s too labor intensive to do so and too hard to get to, making it unprofitable for the big industrial slaughterhouses. But butchers that still break down whole animals by themselves and cut the steaks by hand know just where some of the tastiest meat is on every cow and traditionally keep these cuts to themselves which is why they are the “butcher’s cuts”. You really gotta try them for yourself!!
Today we are going to try the following cuts and we’re only seasoning them with salt so we can taste their natural flavors:
- Oyster Steak: also known as Spider steak, is one of those cuts that Butcher’s use to keep for themselves. It’s names were given due its looks, the intramuscular fat looks like a cool spider web and the overall shape of the steak kind of resembles an oyster. This cut is found in the inner part of the cow’s hip bone, and it's quite rare to find but it is filled with an awesome natural flavor and quite a bit of marbling.
- Hanger Steak: also known as a Butcher’s Steak as it is one of the Butcher’s best kept secrets! This cut can be found in between the cow’s loin and rib, supporting the diaphragm, this piece is just hanging there and does absolutely no effort therefore making this a very tender and amazing piece of steak. Given that there’s only one per steer, it is super rare to find.
- Flanken Short Ribs: not the most popular cut in the US, but widely popular in countries like Argentina, Korea and Uruguay. These ribs are different as they are cut across the bones and thinner, so each slice has quite a bit of bone and where there is bone there is flavor! This cut needs to be cooked in high heat and with a bit of caution as they are easy to over cook.
- Denver Steak: this cut I believe to be one of the most known ones out of this list. It is essentially a boneless short rib (how good does that sound?) It is also known to be the fourth most tender piece of a steer, making it juicy and exploding in flavor. I am expecting this steak to be delicious and just buttery all around.
- Bone-In Filet Mignon Flanken Style: the name on this cut is a mouthful, but it'll be a delicious mouthful! This is a popular item and may be unique to Meat n’ Bone, they leave the bone in to give the filet mignon the added flavor it usually lacks. By cutting it Flanken style (thin), it gives it the great balance between flavor and fat making it the perfect bite.
- Ribeye Cap: a.k.a the Spinalis Dorsi, the best and most delicious part of a ribeye. It is very uncommon to just buy the cap, you usually buy the entire ribeye because butchers do not want to waste any chance of selling all of the cow’s parts. But we all know the cap is the star of that steak! This cut I am imagining it to be the soft, tender and just overall a delicious piece of meat.
So now that I've given you a bit of an intro on these craft cuts, let’s get to cooking!!
Directions:Follow these steps if you have chosen a thicker cut steak such as the Denver Steak and the Ribeye Cap, we are going to use the Reverse Sear method:
- Season your choice of cut with coarse salt.
- Place your steaks in indirect heat, until the internal temperature is at 115° F
- Remove the steak and crank the heat up in your grill, we’re about to create some epic crust.
- Once the fire is going, sear each side of the steak for about a minute. Make sure to also flip on its sides, to get that crust all over.
- Let is rest for about 7-8 minutes
- Season your choice of cut with coarse salt.
- Let the fire soar and the temperature get hot.
- Place your steaks and let them cook for about a minute each side.
- Be careful and don’t wander off to get that beer! These cuts are so easy to overcook.
- Let them rest for about 4-5 minutes.
Can you guess what my favorite is?
As we were grilling all of these steaks, I created so many mental notes on how I thought these would all taste, but nothing compared to what I actually tasted in them, they did not disappoint! This is what we thought of the cuts:
- Filet Mignon: I am used to filet mignon kind of lacking that beefy flavor, but this one really brought up the flavors thanks to it still having the bone. I think we overcooked it a bit since it came out a little dry, but if this were cooked perfectly it would definitely be a great piece of meat!
- Flanken Short Rib: This was just dripping fat everywhere!! As soon as I put it in my mouth I could feel drops of amazing fat all over, and wow the taste was just indescribable. The texture is a bit chewy due to it having so much bone around it, this quickly became one of my favorites.
- Oyster Steak: we cooked this one to be a good medium rare finish, and I have to say it is probably one of the most interesting cuts of beef I’ve ever tried. It was chewy but at the same time tender, I could almost compare it to a NY Strip Steak but with more of a beefier flavor. Overall awesome, I really enjoyed it.
- Hanger Steak: as I touch this steak to cut it, it feels like filet mignon as it’s very tender. I cut it and I’m not sure what to expect. As I try it I get this very funky (but great) taste, almost like it’s been dry aged! I am definitely digging this cheesy and explosive flavor, just WOW!.
- Denver Steak: One thing I learned, is that this steak has to be cut against the grain. As I give it a try, I realized my jaw is having to do quite a bit of work as the meat is pretty chewy but surprisingly juicy, I think the juiciest of all the steaks we tried. German suggested that the best way to cook this steak is to either use it for stews or smoking it, really any method that involves long cooking times.
- Ribeye Cap: I have high expectations on this one, just by looking at it I know it's going to be amazing. As we remove the twine and unroll it, my mouth is watering and my eyes open with excitement. This was so tender and so buttery, and I can’t forget to mention the nice beefy flavor that it has. You really can’t go wrong with this cut!
All in all, these cuts were all amazing and unique in their own way. If you were to ask me which one was my ultimate favorite I would have a very hard time choosing, but I can tell you my top picks. The ones that I kept reaching out for seconds the most would be the Hanger Steak and the Ribeye Cap (even though I had seconds of all them haha). They were all so different and definitely worth a try.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever tried one of these cuts? If so, which one was it and how did you like it?
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