More Budget-Friendly Beef

CIA chef gives tips on beef cuts that won't break the bank.

By 
Lindsey Ramsey, Contributing Editor

In FSD’s July issue the Ingredients section took a closer look at budget friendly, but still delicious, cuts of beef. We spoke to Thomas Schneller, associate professor at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. to get his take on teres major and a few other cuts of beef that deliver flavor without breaking the bank.

Teres major: Schneller says the teres major is a small, deep muscle cut that is part of the shoulder quad. Schneller says since it’s so small, it’s almost a portion on its own. It’s tender enough to make a medallion out of it, or it could be roasted or grilled whole and sliced.

“It’s only about a pound or pound and a half,” Schneller says. “They usually come in a packet of six. The cut reminds me of the tail of the tenderloin. It can be used as a little medallion or it can be cooked off whole and sliced. I have friends that cut it into a medallion shape and wrap it in bacon. Since it works like a tenderloin and the price isn’t anywhere close to a tenderloin, it is a great option for budget conscious operators. It’s often not quite half the price of a tenderloin. The trouble is availability. I have seen it on some purveyors’ lists but not all. If they have to special order it then the price structure could be different.”

Schneller also says he doesn’t consider chuck tenders, which should not be confused with teres major, a steak cut. Chuck tenders are also known as shoulder tenders.

“It’s a cut that I would consider a braiser,” Schneller says. “The chuck tender is more close to an eye round. I try to steer clear of it other than for braising.”

Chuck delmonico/chuck eye roll: This cut is a little piece off the chuck eye roll, which is where the chuck eye bumps into the ribeye. Schneller says he likes the chuck eye roll because if you take that off and roast it slow like a prime rib, it works like a prime rib.

“It’s got excellent flavor,” Schneller says. “Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than a ribeye. What I like about it is it’s got a lot of sectioning to it. So I open it up and season the inside of it, then tie it closed and slow roast it. It’s a little bit tougher than a ribeye. A lot of places would consider it a braiser but if you slow roast it it’s really quite good. A long slow roast helps to tenderize it some.”

Flatiron: This cut, says Schneller, is the top blade that is separated through the middle. The cut has a long collagen band that runs through the middle of it. Schneller says if you take that band out then you have two flat steaks that resemble a flank steak, but are more tender.

“They are excellent for grilling and sliced steaks and things like that,” Schneller says. “The flatiron has gotten a name all on its own. People are starting to recognize it. It’s a good steak. There is this other piece called the under blade. Chefs are isolating the under blade muscle, and if you cook that one like a brisket or barbecue it’s excellent.” 

Keywords: 
menu development

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chicken wings

We started advertising our chicken wings as halal wings with assorted sauces. Our inspiration was to inform customers of an option that was available but not widely known. By changing our approach to our marketing efforts, we were able to exponentially increase participation in the consumption of our halal menu items.

Managing Your Business
busy kitchen

While catering a wedding for a previous employer years ago, Rahul Shrivastav—now director of catering at University of Michigan—found himself in a panic when an elevator malfunction put salad service on hold. “The wedding was in a very old building and the elevator had issues,” he says. “We had 200 plated salads in the freight elevator when it got stuck. The dinner needed to start—they were doing their toasts.” In a panic, Shrivastav hustled up a plan B: His team would station a chef outside the ballroom, and he’d plate new salads right there.

Luckily, the elevator was fixed in...

Menu Development
beau rivage resort blended burger

Stealth health is so 1998. When author Evelyn Tribole’s original book on sneaking healthy add-ons into meals was published nearly 20 years ago, there may have been a genuine nutrition need to fill. But as today’s diners are increasingly requesting more produce at the center of the plate, another need has taken the lead: a desire for creativity. Here’s how operators are openly blending meat with other ingredients—or eliminating animal products entirely—to take protein to another level.

In April, dining halls at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., began offering the Beyond Burger, a...

Ideas and Innovation
desserts plate

We’re knocking down a wall in our bar area, which will create a more inviting atmosphere and allow us to host a coffee and dessert bar in the space on off nights when the bar is closed.

FSD Resources