Monday, December 20, 2010
Porterhouse vs T-bone
This gets confusing for me, and a 22oz prime graded porterhouse is going on the menu at work next week so I have been doing some research lately. I understand people dont eat steaks like this very often, but once in a great while you may find yourself in the position of a splurge and like many you may look to the steak to celebrate. These steaks are as high end as you get, eventually I am confident you will be in a position where you want to know. Both of the steaks are cut from the shortloin of beef, both contain the tenderloin (filet) on one side of the bone and the strip steak (New York) on the other. To further confuse things all Porterhouse steaks are technically also T-bones.
The New York is fairly uniform in shape and size from one end to the other, but the tenderloin (we have talked about this before) has a very serious taper from one end to the other. T-bones are the steak cut, with the bone, that encompasses both. To be a Porterhouse it has to be one of the cuts coming back towards the head, but depending on who you ask this can only include the first 4-5 ribs (keep in mind the tenderloin piece is getting smaller the further you go back). Furthermore the strip loin has a nerve/vein that will not break down during the cooking process, and it cant be easily removed. So to be a true Porterhouse steak you have to have one of the first five cuts, but the first 2-3 arent as good as the fourth. Any cuts that follow down the animal have to be labeled strictly T-bones. Some would argue that the nerve end is part of the deal, and most of the people that eat a Porterhouse are going to expect it.
All of that makes the Porterhouse steak the nicest money can buy. We are looking at aging techniques for our menu but for now will go "wet aged". Don't take that for more than a second to mean the T-bone isn't as good. Skips the nerve end, and is a bit more manageable as an eater, and less expensive. Still encompasses both of the money cuts of meat, just the filet in a less amount. I have found T-bones at my local grocer on sale at a really fair price on more than one occasion.
Again- if in doubt ask your meat cutter (thats the guy who stands behind the counter at your megamart- he isnt just there to get stuff out of the case), or find a butcher shop that would be happy to guide you. If you are a steak lover, or trying to impress just about any man I know you can do this at home for much less than it will cost you to go out and have it done for you. Not to mention the steak is more than plentiful for two people. If the bone section of my steak hits 4 oz, then the NY side of it is about 12-13 oz, and the filet section is still around 5-6 oz, that is a lot of meat. This is a 22 oz choice graded Porterhouse that I am doing a little research with, as we are still arguing about the hip end. Regardless it will hit the menu as an item that wont be my lead selling item, and has an extremely high food cost, but all of that is just fine with me.