Teres Major…ly… WRONG!

4 Mar

I’d have preferred mustard.

Every once in a while we have to eat a litle crow.  I’m about to eat my serving.

A while back I wrote a blog about Flat Iron steak being the second most tender piece of meat in a beef cow.  Somebody commented, and I believe it was Ben Hartwell of Sebago Lake Ranch.  He commented that someone told him that the Teres Major was the second most tender cut.

I disagreed.  Now let me be honest.  In my 46 years as a butcher (and I modestly consider myself one of the best), I have never eaten a Teres Major.  Can’t even pronounce it.

I don’t really know why.  I just never had until Friday, March 2nd, when a chef friend of mine was a bit confused on the conflicting information about the very subject.  So he cooked up a Teres Major (also known as the Petite Tender) and I was completely blown away.  It was one of the most incredible pieces of meat I have ever eaten.  It was tender and I dare say a bit more tender than the Flat Iron.  But the texture, the flavor and the unique mouth feel were different than the Flat Iron.  So I have to truly say that I was wrong. 

Yes, wrong.
As I tell everyone in my classes, one of the things that make a great butcher is the willingness to learn, and to not have an attitude that because we have so much experience, we know it all..  We don’t!  We sometimes learn from our students.

So I am going to consider the Teres Major the second most tender piece of meat in a beef cow, and the Flat Iron the third most tender.  However, I will still highly recommend the Flat Iron as a truly fabulous piece of meat.  But not without including the Teres Major as well. 

Thanks, Ben, for raising the question.

Where it is on the person.

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2 Responses to “Teres Major…ly… WRONG!”

  1. Ben Hartwell March 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Now I really want to try this cut, I just hope my butcher is willing to do it.

  2. Paul List April 27, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Not to be a troublemaker, but……did you compare the two cuts from the same animal cooked the same way? If you had a flat iron and a teres major from different animals it’s hard to come to a ‘necessary’ conclusion.

    This reminds me of a comparison of ‘grass fed’ beef to ‘grain fed’ beef I saw done in a tv studio, in fact I saw the clip on Utube. The anchor woman had two peices of meat; one grass fed: one corn fed. She cooked them the same and tasted them and gave them to her co-workers to taste. They came to some conclusion or another about grass fed having a stronger beefier flavor but generally preferred the corn fed.

    She had picked up the meat at the grocery store. I thought to myself, ‘now here’s a real scientific comparison. No consideration for the many many other factors that make a peice of meat what it is by the time she bought it. Like what breed, how old, how long did it hang and cure, what gender, how long had each piece been on the shelf, or any other relavant information that would make the comparison credible.’

    But she was on TV so it must be true!

    I’m not suggesting that you’re not wrong, Cole. Far be it from me to keep you from your crow and grits but you may not be wrong. The comparison would take into account all these and other factors. In fact, tenderness at this finite variability may even vary from animal to animal.

    Just something to consider before you choke on all those feathers, although the fiber might help you digest all that red meat in your diet ;)

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