What are primal cuts?
The graphic above shows you the primal cuts of beef. Depending on where you get your information, there are 8-10 primal cuts. These cuts are named "primal" because they are the first cuts to the carcass.
Did you know that only 10-12% of the meat harvested from a steer is actually made into steaks? The rest of the meat is not tender enough for steaks and is instead made into ground beef and roasts. (And that's why it's so hard to keep steaks in stock!)
As you can imagine, the meat that is the most tender comes from the muscles that are used the least. For example, the meat from the round cut is tougher and more lean, while the meat from the loin cut is extremely tender. The loin is where the most delicious steaks come from, including the T-bone, New York strip, and the fillet (also known as the tenderloin).
Have you ever heard of a Tomahawk steak? You may have seen a photo of one of these specialized steaks on one of your foodie friend's Instagram pages. The Tomahawk is cut from the rib portion of the animal and is a bone-in ribeye which is attached to a rib bone of varying lengths. Some of the Tomahawks can be cut with 8 inches of rib bone attached, which makes for a pretty impressive picture!
Fun fact: Did you know that the T-bone steak is actually comprised of two different steaks attached to the lumbar vertebra? The two steaks that make up the T-bone are the fillet and the New York strip.
Max's favorite steak is the T-bone and Ashley's is the ribeye. What's your favorite?