In a growing trend amongst the culinary community, more and more chefs are ditching meat cut kings like filets and tenderloins and going after lower end cuts such as chuck and shoulder meat to challenge themselves in a culinary feat.
In an article on Thrillist, searching for the “ultimate meat-truth,” 17 accomplished chefs throughout the country were surveyed on the most overrated and underrated meat cuts. Five of the chefs said the filet mignon and beef fillet cuts were the most overrated.
"It's an extremely popular cut, but as a steak lover, it’s one of my least favorites. It’s a good cut for those who aren’t big on meat because it doesn’t have much natural fat (which I love, but I know some people aren’t into eating a chunk of steak fat). The flavor is just less robust and beefy than other cuts,” says Chef Laurent Tourondel, owner of two New York City restaurants.
While Chef Tourondel named Wagyu tri-tip as the underrated cut of meat, Chef John Besch of New Orealans, who also named the filet mignon as the most overrated cut of meat, advocated for more challenging cuts of pork shoulder, lamb shoulder and beef chuck.
"I use all three in my recipe for baeckeoffe (a meaty stew) in my new cookbook, Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way. The cheaper cuts of pork and lamb are completely transformed in this succulent stew,” he says.
Restaurant owner, Chef Brian Malarkey says the most overrated meat is grass-fed beef.
“I like my cows fat, with personality. No one talks about a grass-fed pig, but we all love our pork – same with duck, rabbit, and chicken. You can be organic and free-range and still eat well. Grain, barley, soy, corn, alfalfa – it’s still natural! Maybe I’ll start feeding my beef basil so they smell like my snails...,” he shares.
When asked about the most overrated meat, Chef Malarkey and Chef Tom Colicchio agree on rabbit meat for similar reasons.
"It's the pork of tomorrow! The duck of the future! They are very sustainable and oh-so-tender! Now we just need people to forget how soft and cuddly they are. Heard of grass-fed beef? I like carrot-fed RABBITS!!!” says Chef Malarkey.