Are “center cut” steaks really from the center of the cut? What happens to the rest?

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“Center cut” steaks, chops, osso bucco, etc, really are from the middle of the cut.  The term isn’t used to describe a single slice at the exact center of the cut, but slices only from the middle.

Steaks, chops and osso bucco cut from the middle are more uniform than steaks that are cut from one end to the other, as legs, striploins, etc tend to be thicker in the middle and thinner at the ends.  This means they all look the same and cook the same, which is very desirable to some chefs.

What happens with the rest of the meat?  It can depend on the butcher and on the cut, but rest assured that it doesn’t get thrown away.

For premium steak cuts like tenderloins, the ends might be used to cut smaller steaks, medallions, kebab meat, etc.  In the case of legs, they might instead cut the meat off the bone for stew meat.

– Question Submitted by Don

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