Teres Major

Teres what? When I first read this out loud, it came out sounding Spanish, but it’s really pronounced like it rhymes with “berries.” Luckily, the butcher I was talking to was very patient, and she taught us a lot about beef.

First – Teres Major. It’s a cut of meat that comes from the shoulder of the cow, and some say that it is second in tenderness only to tenderloin. It’s definitely smaller than the tenderloin, but we agree with the claim on tenderness. It was a great cut of meat, with more flavor than tenderloin and more frugal, too.

When we cooked it, the grand idea was to make steak au poivre, but nothing went according to plan. So, as you can see from the picture, au poivre became a brandy cream sauce that we drizzled on top. It was great, but there’s no way we could remember what we did to post a recipe – sorry. We can offer good advice, though- buy some Teres Major and eat it.

IMGP5363

We learned other things from the butcher, too:

(1) It’s pretty common nowadays to see a proud exclamation that a restaurant or store features “Certified Black Angus” beef. That’s not that big of a deal. Black Angus are cows that are really easy to raise- they get fat quickly, they’re lazy and easy to put in one place, and they’re docile. They don’t have as much flavor as other breeds.

(2) Ornery cows grow slower, and they’re more difficult to raise because they won’t stay in one place. These cows have a lot more flavor.

(3) Black haired cows sun burn easier than red hair cows. This, apparently, can affect the taste.

So, next time you’re in a fancy steak house, and the beef doesn’t taste quite perfect, call the waiter over and complain that the steak in front of you clearly came from a sun-burned docile cow. Instead, request an ornery, decently tanned cow for your replacement steak.

***

For Teres Major Recipes:

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6 responses to “Teres Major

  1. Ummmm….

    Ever heard of Wagyu Cattle here in The States? A quick Google Image search to compare and contrast CAB and Wagyu should easily solve your misinformation.

  2. Thanks for your comment. You make a good point about Black Angus being more marbled and tender – that goes along with the breed’s docile/lazy character, and is definitely what many beef lovers in America seek from a steak.

    However, our butcher was talking about flavor, an attribute wholly separated from the steak’s texture, and also highly subjective. Following, unsurprisingly, Anthony Bourdain’s advice, we try and seek out interesting flavor instead of a steak’s tenderness.

    The bottom line: pick a steak based on what you like best. If you prize that tender texture, the steak will inherently taste better to you as well. That said, We also recommend trying different breeds and seeking out cuts other than those that are most tender to explore the full range of beef’s potential.

    For further reading:

    Breed attributes: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/400/400-803/400-803.html

    Pros and Cons of Certified Angus Beef: http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2008/09/angus-anguish-is-angus-beef-worth-money.html

    More Background: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2219/whats-the-big-deal-about-aged-beef-and-angus-beef

    Claims from a Producer: http://www.lacensebeef.com/black-angus-beef.aspx

  3. certified black angus cattle are the best marbled most tender you can get in the states . your info is suspect

  4. A great steak. I manage a meat shop, and can say that this is my fav. Only two on a cow. I remember taking this cut home after striping it off the clod before it was a retail item. Only being 28 and in the biz for a mere 10 years its the new kid on the counter. prices have increased ten fold in the last two years and aint stoppin!

  5. interesting…and also in the word, “interesting” is the word: “teres”….hmmm…

    its on special this week with my purveyor; cant wait to try. will do it au poivre just for you!! 🙂

  6. Moo – Remember Jack F. saying there is a reason Patches and the like were at the bottom of the food chain!

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