Alternative Steaks For Food Service

May 29th, 2012

Over the past few years I have seen beef commodity pricing go through the moon. They have never recovered since 2000. Between the cattle ranchers limiting the kills and our ongoing increased exporting, I really do not see any relief coming our way in the food Service industry any time soon. To give you an example of what I am talking about, currently on my wholesale distributor sell sheet, USDA Choice Center Cut Strip Steaks are consistently circumnavigating the $12 per pound range. In 1995 they were on my list for $5 per pound. USDA Choice Center Cut Tenderloin Steaks are always hovering $22 per pound. Again, back in 1995 they were $13 per pound. Did we have it good back then or what ?

With these high prices being the “New Norm”, it can be extremely daunting to come up up with new creative culinary ways to make up profit shortfalls. Some chefs think that simply cutting their own steaks from primal pieces is the best solution. This cannot be any further than the truth. Between the trim that is not used to the over/under portioning to the expensive bi-products to the shelf life of product wrapped in plastic “Saran Wrap” , this is not the answer.

Portion Control from a USDA certified manufacturing facility the answer.

I am constantly visiting restaurant owners, chefs and food Service professionals up and down the East Coast showing them new and exciting steaks that not only eat great and extremely versatile, but profitable at the same time. We could talk all day about Flat Irons, Culottes, Hangers and Teres Majors which are all great alternatives, but truly a distant second to the 3oz Tenderloin Medallion.

In my facility, we fabricate the 3oz Medallion from the 6oz Tenderloin Tail which is a bi-product from the Filet Mignons that are processed daily. As we cut down the Tenderloin we are left with a 6oz tail. The first cut is the 3oz Medallion and the leftover tip is mixed in with my random weight Tenderloin Medallions.

Our 3oz Tenderloin Medallion has a pound price consistently around $8-$9 per pound resulting in our 3-3oz pack at about $5 per pack or $1.67 per piece. This item fits all three criteria listed above.

1. Great Eating
2. Extremely Versatile
3. Very Profitable

These can be easily grilled with shrimp or lobster tails for a Surf “N’ Turf or simply grilled as Filet Mignon Sliders. The ideas are not only endless but can be creative for all of your customers giving them a higher end item with a lower budget ticket while at the same time maximizing your profits.

What are some of your favorite alternative steaks ?

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