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Apr 22, 2013 09:07 AM

Does prime porterhouse make sense?

The idea of a Prime Porterhouse does not make sense, at least it does not make sense to me.

A Porterhouse is made up of the vein end of a short loin and a piece of tenderloin. The tenderloin does not need help from fat and you are getting a less desirable section of the strip where being more marbled may help, but you're still getting a lot of the connective tissue.

That's my reasoning.

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  1. I grew up with a steak-loving father. We ate only prime. It was more commonly available then, and much more richly marbled than prime is now. Today's prime would barely make the choice designation of my childhood. Restaurants that served choice steaks were not considered "fancy".

    Yes, I guess I am old.

    9 Replies
    1. re: sandylc

      I'm not going to ask how old, but in 1950 choice and prime were rolled into one category. Choice became prime, hence the prime we get nowadays could have included what was considered choice prior to 1950.

      1. re: kuan

        If Choice from 1950 got promoted to Prime of 2013, what happened to 1950 Prime cuts? Did they disappear?

        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

          There was Prime, Choice, and Good. Good became choice, and the level below Good (whatever that was named) became Good. They simply moved everything up a level but there was no where for Prime to go so Prime remained Prime.

          1. re: kuan

            So modern Prime is Prime and Choice? Given the amount of amazing grills and home kitchens around today, I find it unfortunate that it is so difficult to find a well marbled steak that isn't Waguye or Kobe in a store. I not only like to eat steak, but enjoy cooking it as well. Steak does not need a recipe, so I struggle with the markup relative to say a homemade gnocchi dish.

            1. re: brlattim

              Yes, and to make matters more complicated there are three grades of Prime, three grades of Choice, and two grades of Select. It is not differentiated for the consumer.

              I will make a few calls and ask if there's a way to ID the meat.

              1. re: kuan

                Doesn't this belong in Home Cooking? I don't see how this has any bearing to Burch?

                1. re: Db Cooper

                  I've only ever participated in this forum. So sorry, but I was just replying directly to a question.

                  1. re: kuan

                    Thank you. I do remember Prime, Choice, and Good. We bought only Prime at the store, and good restaurants served Prime. A restaurant serving Choice was usually more of a family style restaurant or perhaps a diner.

      2. re: sandylc

        <It was more commonly available then, and much more richly marbled than prime is now.>

        That is strange. Something happened to the cattle?

      3. I think a porterhouse/tbone doesn't make sense PERIOD. But if you don't think marbling helps out with tenderloin you've clearly never had a well marbled piece.

        The main reason I hate porterhouse/tbone is that the two cuts of meat cook at different rates.

        The other is, like you said, you can't pick the specific part of the loin that is the 'best' part - if you get a good size tenderloin you're approaching the less desirable side of the strip...and when you have a good piece of strip the tenderloin gets tiny...

        It's a really silly cut if you ask me.