Alternative Cuts Of Beef

What you should be eating instead of filet migno

There is a general rule when it comes to steak: Tenderness and flavor exist in inverse proportions.

But for those who want it all (and really, who doesn't), consider the teres major, a cut of beef that ranks high in both categories, and comes at a much more digestible price point than its relative, filet mignon.

Part of the shoulder, teres major is the second most tender muscle in the cow's body–which has given it nicknames such as "faux filet" and "shoulder tender." It takes a skilled butcher to extract the teres major, which partially contributes to the cut's obscurity.

However, the lower price and unparalleled flavor have prevailed recently, and the cut is appearing at restaurants around the country. At H. Harper Station in Atlanta, chef Evan Cordes prizes the teres major, which he sources from Painted Hills Farm. "Unlike mignon or rib eye, it can stand up to bolder sauces, but it still has all of that tenderness," he says.

In Denver, at Charlie Palmer's just-opened District Meats, the teres major is just one of several alternative cuts of meat that dominate chef Jeff Russell's menu. His tips for cooking it at home: Keep it simple. Cook it on a hot grill until medium rare, let it rest and slice it into medallions.

It's time to toss out your steak rule book.

Editor's note: District Meats has closed.