A Great Steak, but what is its name in your area?
- FoodFuser Nov 12, 2006 05:22 AM
There is a cut of steak that I've not seen discussed on CH. Its name engenders immediate confusion. In my area it is sold as "Delmonico", but it is NOT a ribeye or a strip (the cuts more widely called Delmonico). It is instead the tip three inches of the chuck where the portion known as "chuck tender" meets up at the anterior end of the ribeye portion of the loin ribeye. I can find no pics of it on the web, and its nomenclature is totally swamped with synonyms.
It has a diameter of about 4" (since it is the tapered end of the chuck fillet), always sold at least 1" thick. The muscle strands are bunched and chewy, but each fiber bundle of 2-3 mm separates readily. It's a loose chew, somewhat like the unrelated hanger steak; not at all like the homogenous compact chew of the thinner bundles of a strip steak. There are 2 or 3 small veins of connective silverskin and fat.
Does anyone know this cut? What is it called in your area?
There are only 2 cuts of this per carcass, one per side of the animal, from each apical end of the chuck fillet.
If anyone else eats this cut, and agrees that it's one of the best, could you share a pic or a better description so that we may be better informed?
Here's a nice site for pics of steak cuts, but "my Delmonico" is not pictured:
tri-tip is usually about 10x12x8" in a roughly triangular shape, about 2-1/2" thick at the largest part. usually about 3-4 #. Silver skin across the underside, and a 1/2" layer of solid fat on the outer side, with some marbeling between the fiber bundles.
tri-tip--it's what's for dinner tonight!
I was thinking that it might be the front end of the rib primal also (around rib 6) or maybe just in front of that, so a rib eye of sorts but not a "true" rib eye, which would have to come from between ribs 6 and 12. The "first" cut is the other (back) end, by the way - ribs 9-12. The cap, which I agree is the best piece of beef on the cow, maxes out at around rib 8 - forward of there it starts to get mixed up with a bunch of other muscles that aren't as good, and back of there it starts to decrease in size, practically disappearing by rib 12.
Maybe you are thinking of the culotte steak. I don't know much about it except it's part of the top sirloin and there are only 2 cuts per steer.
All of the steaks mentioned are good ones: Tri-tip, culotte (both from the sirloin) and the ribeye cap.
I called the butcher (a local-only chain) and found that the "delmonico" I'm talking about does indeed come from the chuck primal. "Primal" is the huge section that is cut and cryovac'd at the carcass cutter. It seems that most "middleman" butchers these days order primals from their suppliers, but at least that's better than the walmart rectangular nitrogen packed distributed cut.
I asked the local cutters, and then their supervising "butcher," for the NAMP (National Association of Meat Producers) number, which would have hopefully given us a standard number for a request at each local butcher. NAMP numbers seem to be used for standardized communication between suppliers to food service institution/restaurant buyers to guarantee clear communication. My local chain butcher did not know the NAMP #, nor did he know the anatomical name of the muscle in question. And that's okay: what these folks do is cut cut cut all day, from primals received, and label them according to their local names of each cut.
But, it is clear that the steak in question is cut from the Chuck primal at the area right next to where the Ribeye primal would meet up to the chuck.
So, if those of you with a good relation with a butcher want to give it a try, then talk to them. The muscle structure is very similar to the ribeye cap, perhaps even the same muscle, but less fat-lubricated at this section. Don't be turned off by the fact that it is a "chuck" steak.
It would be neat if someone were able to find a focused butcher who was able to share the NAMP number with us.
Extra stuff: when speaking of the premiere ribeye cap: here's a link to make your jaws shake and tremble and your fingers clamp around an imaginary steak knife:
Lately I have cooked a few standing rib roasts and have become absolutely enamored with what is called the 'cap' in that link, but I have grown up calling it the deckle (my uncle is a retired butcher- his term). Damn- where has this thing been all my life? ;) (Answer- underneath my nose the whole time, though I never really appreciated it until now.). The intense flavor, the marbling, the luscious texture- it's all perfect. My new goal is to get one of those ribeye cap rolls, or, hell, make one myself- this way I won't have to trade with the other people at the table, pink interior meat for the deckle.