March 23, 2021
All the carnivores out there will probably be well-acquainted with rib-eyes and sirloins but we’re here to introduce you to a lesser-known but incredibly delicious cut of beef: the Petit Tender. Affordable, versatile and tasty, get ready to fall in love with this cut of beef—plus it works well in so many recipes and situations, whether you want to make it fast, family friendly, or for a feast.
Make It Tonight: Petit Tender
Historically, a Petit Tender is what’s been referred to as a ‘Butcher’s Cut’. This term references cuts of meat that were not generally sold commercially because they are either unpopular or not valuable enough (because there is only a small amount per animal) and so they were taken home by the butcher. When it comes to the Petit Tender, the butcher is getting a pretty sweet deal. Today, there is much more interest from customers in unique cuts of beef—and ones so good the butcher reserves them for herself—and so the Petit Tender has emerged on shelves.
What is a Petit Tender?
One of the things that makes the Petit Tender so elusive is that it goes by many different names. Although “Petit Tender” is the most common, it can be referred to as a Butcher’s Steak, Chuck Shoulder Tender, Shoulder Tender, Bistro Filet and sometimes even by its Latin name Teres Major.
This enigmatic cut comes from the shoulder area, which is where you’ll find other cuts known for their rich, beefy flavour from slow-cook roasts to juicy steaks such as the Flat Iron.
What makes the Petit Tender so special is that it’s the most tender muscle after the filet mignon or the tenderloins but it’s about half the price of both. Can you see now why the butcher is so happy about it? The reason it’s so rare is because historically it required more effort to remove the Petit Tender from the whole shoulder area.
How to cook a Petit Tender
Once you’ve got your hands on one, it’s time to start thinking about how to cook the Petit Tender. It goes without saying that a cut this tender and juicy should not be cooked too much past medium rare to make the most of its delectable flavour.
To prepare the Petit Tender, trim off any silver skin and remove any excess fat if you wish. This is a lean cut that has a decent marbling through it and so it doesn’t need much seasoning or marinating. If you do want to add a little extra flavour before cooking, a sprinkle of salt and pepper or a dry rub will enhance the flavour without overpowering it. Like any good steak, the Petit Tender can speak for itself and doesn’t need to be played around with too much. For best results, we recommend getting it on a hot grill or cast iron skillet. You can also cut your Petit Tender into medallions, like a Filet Mignon. This tender mini roast is also outstanding when cooked in the oven, and then served in generous slices, as in our Roasted Petite Tender with Tomatoes & Blue Cheese Aioli, or the Roasted Petit Tender with Green Beans, Carrots and Yorkshire Pudding.
Petit Tender also makes excellent Hungarian Goulash on Egg Noodles.
Whatever you do, treat this prime cut with respect! Make sure to make use of your meat thermometer to ensure it’s at the perfect temperature and don’t forget to rest the meat for up to 10 minutes before tucking in—it will make it taste better, we promise.
Roasted Petite Tender with Tomatoes & Blue Cheese Aioli
1 1/2 lb petite tender oven roast
salt, to taste
canola or other vegetable oil, for cooking
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme or Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp grainy or Dijon mustard
1-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese
1-2 Tbsp milk or cream
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Pat the beef dry with paper towel and season with salt. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add a generous drizzle of oil and brown the roast on all sides.
Meanwhile, combine the garlic, thyme and pepper in a small bowl.
Turn off the heat and brush the meat all over with mustard; sprinkle with the spice mixture.
Scatter the tomatoes around the meat in the pan, and drizzle with a little more oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 145˚F.
As the meat rests (for 10 minutes), stir together the mayonnaise, blue cheese and cream, mashing the blue cheese into the mixture with a fork, and serve with the sliced beef and tomatoes.
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