This will be a regular series, in which our St. Paul Meat Shop butchers, Scott and Peter, answer your questions about meat! Sign up for our emails and never miss a post.
Q: What sort of cut is the teres major and how should I prepare it?
A: Teres major is a cut of beef that comes from the chuck section of the cow, right below its front leg. It is about the size of a pork tenderloin and happens to be the second most tender cut from a cow (after the tenderloin, of course). Fun fact: Teres major takes its name from the same spot in human anatomy. Whaaat?!
Teres major has a much richer flavor than beef tenderloin, however. Because this cut comes from a very active part of the cow's body, it experiences greater blood flow and thus develops more complexity. Normally, lots of physical activity leads to tougher meat. However, because teres major sits just below the cow's leg, it remains melty tender with all the added flavor benefits of the leg.
Treat this cut very simply. Salt and pepper it and then roast or grill it whole to your desired temperature (we like medium rare). Grass-fed beef tends to taste pretty great on its own, without much special treatment. Why? Typically, cows that are corn-fed fatten up quickly and get sent to slaughter around 8-10 months old. Grass-fed cows have more time to mature and develop rich flavor. At our butcher shop, we usually receive our cows (from Hidden Stream Farm in Elgin, Minnesota) when they're 28-30 months old.
**Note: Teres major is a rarer (but affordable) cut, which means our shop on Grand Ave carries a limited number of them every week. Something to keep in mind when you're planning dinner!