Beyond the Steak: Exploring Lesser-Known, Flavorful Meat, Chicken, and Seafood Cuts

Lesser-Known Meat Cuts: Enhancing Your Menu with Unusual Choices
Beef Products Jun 06
By Elaine Mikesell 1 Comment

Common meat, chicken, and seafood cuts often take center stage on menus across the country. Steaks, chicken breasts, and popular seafood choices like salmon and shrimp are frequently chosen by chefs for obvious reasons. However, there is an exciting list of lesser-known meat cuts available that can help to elevate your menu and wow your customers.

By exploring new meat cuts, chefs, cooks, restaurant owners, and hotel managers can innovate and create exciting dishes to impress diners and increase repeat customers. Although it might be tempting to stick to those tried and tested cuts, it often pays to think outside the box. Alternative meat cuts can help you to spark new tastes and textures that will keep your guests hungry for more.

Lesser-Known Beef Cuts

Impress your beef-loving customers with these lesser-known meat cuts that bring fresh flavor and excitement to your creative meat dishes.

Hanger Steak

The “Butcher’s Steak”, or an “Onglet,” this cut is sourced from the diaphragm muscle and boasts a rich, robust flavor. This the Hanger beef cut features a pronounced grain and tender texture that allows you to create truly memorable dishes.

Marinating the Hanger Steak for a few hours helps to enhance its flavor and tenderness. Opt for a simple marinade with soy sauce, garlic, and herbs to complement the steak’s natural taste. Consider creating a delightful Hanger Steak salad with a zesty chimichurri dressing, or serve it as the star of a savory beef stir-fry with vibrant vegetables and aromatic spices.

Flat Iron Steak

Derived from the shoulder area, the Beef Flat Iron Steak, is a lesser-known meat cut renowned for its exceptional tenderness. This tasty cut offers a rich, beefy flavor profile with a delicate balance of fat and lean meat.

Use Flat Iron Steak to create delectable beef tacos or savor it as the centerpiece of a steak sandwich paired with caramelized onions, melted cheese, and tangy aioli.

Denver Steak

A cut from the primal chuck region near the shoulder; this cut boasts excellent marbling, resulting in incredible tenderness and flavor. The Denver Steak features a rich beefy taste and remarkable juiciness that rivals more well-known cuts. You may also consider the Beef Denver Steaks Dry Age for an even more favourable option.

Denver Steak responds well to many cooking techniques, including grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. Strive for a medium cook for optimal juiciness. Why not elevate the dining experience with a perfectly cooked Denver Steak served alongside roasted vegetables and a flavorful red wine reduction?

Lesser-Known Pork Cuts

While pork chops and tenderloins have long been staples on restaurant menus, the lesser-known pork cuts below offer a new dimension of flavors and textures for your innovative meat recipes.

Pork Secreto

Also known as the “Hidden Cut” , this selection comes from the shoulder area of the pig. It boasts marbling and intramuscular fat, lending the meat a rich buttery flavor and succulent texture.

Serve thinly sliced Pork Secreto over a bed of creamy polenta, accompanied by roasted seasonal vegetables. Alternatively, use it in a savory stir-fry with vibrant bell peppers, onions, and a tangy Asian-inspired sauce.

Lesser-Known Chicken Cuts

Many unique chicken cuts possess savory flavors and textures not available in common selections. Try these cuts to take your chicken dishes to the next level. For over 50 years, Joyce Farms has offered these high-quality, lesser-known meat cuts to the best professional chefs and niche distributors, and now their unmatched excellence is available to Northwest Meat Company customers.

Chicken Oyster

Tucked away on the back of the chicken near the thigh, the chicken oyster is a small, tender piece of dark meat that often goes unnoticed. Despite its size, it is highly prized by chefs for its rich flavor and juiciness.

Elevate your chicken dish by incorporating pan-seared chicken oysters into a creamy pasta dish, combining them with sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and a luscious Parmesan sauce.

Chicken Liver

Also on the list of unique chicken cuts, the liver offers a robust, earthy flavor that can bring real depth of taste to your dishes.

Create a delectable chicken liver pâté, combining sautéed chicken livers with butter, shallots, and herbs, then spread it on toasted baguette slices for an elegant appetizer.

Chicken Feet

While chicken feet may seem unconventional, these lesser-known meat cuts are highly regarded in many culinary traditions for their gelatinous texture and ability to infuse broths and sauces with depth and body.

Enhance the umami profile of a traditional chicken broth by adding simmered chicken feet. The resulting broth is a great base for noodle soups or as a flavor-boosting ingredient in braised dishes.

Lesser-Known Seafood Cuts

While filets and shrimp are often the go-to choices in many dishes, a world of alternative seafood cuts offers unique flavors, textures, and culinary possibilities. Below are some underrated seafood cuts that can help to take your menu to the next level:

Fish Cheeks

Fish cheeks, a lesser-known cut often overlooked by chefs hoping to broaden their seafood variety in cooking, are incredibly tender and delicate portions on either side of the fish’s head. They offer sweet and succulent flavor; a true delicacy.

Clean the fish cheeks thoroughly, removing any scales or bones and lightly season them with salt and pepper. For an added twist, dust them with a coating of flour or cornstarch before cooking for a crispy texture.

Fish cheeks can be quickly sautéed, pan-seared, or even deep-fried. Cook them over medium-high heat to achieve a golden-brown crust while ensuring the interior remains moist and tender. Delight your taste buds with a plate of pan-seared fish cheeks, a refreshing citrus salad, and a drizzle of tangy aioli. Alternatively, incorporate them into a flavorful fish curry, where their tenderness and delicate flavor will shine through.

Lesser-Known Meat Cuts From Northwest Meat Company

At Northwest Meat Company, we guarantee the highest quality meats and stand behind every product we offer. Discover our wide range of lesser-known meat cuts and the premium meet selection of Joyce Farms Chicken products we’re now proud to offer. For more information about our alternative meat, chicken, and seafood cuts, we invite chefs, cooks, and proprietors to contact our team at Northwest Meat Company for your wholesale needs.

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