The Not-So Starving Student—Exotic Beef 101

While for most AU students, splurging on the perfect slice of steak may seem far-fetched, especially with rising tuitions.  However, that doesn’t mean that one day there won’t be an opportunity to test out these succulent gourmet beef options.  As a big fan of steak, myself, I’ve found that the perfect slice of steak can be life changing.  For one, after sampling a piece of melt in your mouth New York Steak from a Las Vegas buffet, I never wanted to go back to the boring, overcooked beef that I make in my kitchen.  Regardless of whether you’re passionate about steak or beef in general, there’s still a lot to learn to “beef” up your knowledge in this area.  Perhaps one day AU students will find themselves indulging in these treats—as a graduation gift perhaps?

Japanese Kobe beef steak

One of the most well-known grades of beef in the world is the Kobe beef.  There are a limited number of cows produced each year that can qualify as Kobe beef.  The cows originate from the Kobe area of Japan but was historically transported from China.  Through years of crossbreeding, the perfect breed was born, with an impressive quality of protein thanks to the special diet the cows consume.  Unlike other beef cuts, the Kobe distinctly varies in its color and level of marbling.  The marbling is a reflection of the fat content of the beef that gives the Kobe beef its distinct buttery flavor.  The passion for high-quality cuts of Kobe beef is so strong that there are export committees and certifications available to ensure the quality and reduce the mislabeling of various cuts of beef as “Kobe”.  In today’s gourmet cuisine, the Kobe name in itself, when attached to beef, signifies utmost quality and exclusivity, thus it makes total sense to regulate the use of this title for cuts of beef.

Filet Mignon

Another cut of beef I am thoroughly passionate about is filet mignon.  The filet mignon, or “tender filet” in French, is a cut of beef from the tenderloin.  Particularly, it is the end portion of the tenderloin.  Undoubtedly, tenderloin is essentially the most delicate cut and thus the most expensive compared to other cuts of beef.  When cooked properly, this juicy piece of tenderloin is a delicacy in many restaurants.  Unlike the Kobe beef, the filet mignon is much less marbled and sometimes less flavorful depending on the cooking style.  Thus to help enhance flavor, oftentimes sauce is served alongside the beef.

Strip Steak

In most steakhouse menus, the strip steak places first on the list of most costly items on the menu.  There are many names for this cut of beef including New York strip, Kansas City strip among many more nicknames depending on the style of cuisine used.  The strip steak differs from filet mignon in that rather than using the tenderloin, the cut of beef originates from a major muscle in the cow.  Unlike the Kobe beef, the strip steak is lean and low in fat content.  There is however, a small degree of marbling that help add juice and flavor to the steak.