Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Denver Strip

Same Cow, No Matter How You Slice It?

ON a stainless steel table in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association test kitchen, a meat scientist named Bridget Wasser began dissecting a piece of beef shoulder as big as a couch cushion.

Her knife danced between long, thick muscles, then she flipped the whole thing open like book. After a tug and one final slice, she set before her visitor the Denver steak.

The three-quarter-inch-thick cut is an inexpensive, distant cousin of the New York strip. And it didn’t exist until the nation’s 800,000 cattle ranchers began a radical search for cuts of meat that consumers would buy besides steaks and ground beef.

The idea was simple. Dig around in the carcass and find muscles that, when separated and sliced in a certain way, were tender and tasty enough to be sold as a steak or a roast. “People know how to cook steaks,” said Dave Zino, executive director of the cattlemen’s Beef and Veal Culinary Center.

The Denver was invented after meat and marketing experts spent more than $1.5 million and five years on the largest study anyone had ever done on the edible anatomy of a steer. Read More

One of the great things that have been done with beef checkoff funds has been the muscle profiling research. Several new cuts of beef have been developed and available for some time now, like the Flat Iron steak. With more new cuts available soon, this research is adding value to our livestock and giving our consumers new and better eating experiences. The only way any of us stay in the cattle industry is if someone is eating our end product which is why all of us should support product development like this.

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