Steak lovers can choose from a variety of premium beef cuts, but the New York strip steak stands out as a menu classic. With its tender texture, robust beefy flavor, and boneless convenience, the New York strip satisfies steakhouse patrons and home grillers alike. But ever wonder why it’s named after New York? If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The New York strip steak is named after New York City because it was one of the most popular steaks served in the iconic steakhouses and butcher shops of New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the fascinating history behind the New York strip steak’s name and popularity. We’ll also look at how it’s defined, how it compares to other premium steaks, how to cook it, and where you can find the best New York strips today.
The Origin and History Behind the Name
The strip steak arose as a top-quality beef cut in the late 1800s
The New York strip steak, also known as the strip loin or simply the strip steak, has a rich history that dates back to the late 1800s. During this time, as the beef industry grew and developed, butchers began to experiment with different cuts of meat.
The strip steak was born out of this experimentation, as butchers discovered a portion of meat from the short loin that was exceptionally tender and flavorful.
Due to its ideal marbling and tenderness, the strip steak quickly gained popularity among meat enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Its reputation as a top-quality beef cut began to spread, and it soon became a sought-after choice for steak lovers.
Delmonico’s popularized the cut in New York City fine dining
While the strip steak was gaining recognition, it was a famous New York City restaurant called Delmonico’s that played a significant role in popularizing the cut. Delmonico’s, known for its fine dining and innovative menu, featured the strip steak as one of its signature dishes.
As word spread about the exceptional taste and tenderness of the strip steak served at Delmonico’s, it became a staple on the menus of other high-end restaurants in New York City. The restaurant’s influence helped establish the strip steak as a coveted choice among discerning diners.
New York City butchers and steakhouses made it famous countrywide
The fame of the strip steak didn’t stay confined to New York City for long. As the popularity of the cut continued to grow, butchers and steakhouses across the country began to offer it on their menus.
New York City’s reputation as a culinary hub and trendsetter played a significant role in spreading the fame of the strip steak.
Steakhouses in New York City, such as Peter Luger and Keens, became renowned for their exceptional preparation of the strip steak. These establishments became destinations for steak lovers from all over the country, further cementing the strip steak’s reputation as a must-try delicacy.
Today, the New York strip steak is a staple on menus in steakhouses and fine dining establishments nationwide. Its name pays homage to its origins and the role New York City played in its rise to fame.
What Makes the New York Strip Steak Unique
The New York Strip Steak is a popular cut of beef known for its exceptional flavor and tenderness. There are several factors that contribute to its uniqueness:
It comes from the short loin primal cut
The New York Strip Steak is cut from the short loin, which is located in the upper part of the cow’s back. This area is known for producing some of the most tender cuts of beef. The short loin is a muscle that doesn’t do much work, resulting in a meaty texture that is both tender and juicy.
The muscle gives it great tenderness
The muscle in the New York Strip Steak is relatively small and doesn’t have a lot of connective tissue, which contributes to its tenderness. This makes it a popular choice for grilling or pan-searing, as it doesn’t require long cooking times to break down tough fibers.
The result is a steak that is both easy to chew and incredibly flavorful.
It has a signature NY strip bone shape
One unique characteristic of the New York Strip Steak is the shape of its bone. The bone is shaped like a long, thin strip, giving the steak its name. This bone not only adds visual appeal to the steak but also helps to enhance its flavor as it cooks.
The bone acts as a conductor of heat, helping to distribute it evenly throughout the steak.
Flavor is robust, mildly marbled, and beefy
The New York Strip Steak is known for its robust flavor. It has a moderate amount of marbling, which adds juiciness and enhances the beefy taste. The marbling also contributes to the steak’s tenderness, as the fat melts during cooking, keeping the meat moist and flavorful.
The New York Strip Steak is often described as having a rich, savory flavor that is hard to resist.
How the New York Strip Compares to Other Iconic Steaks
More tender than ribeye but less marbled
The New York Strip steak, also known as the striploin or top loin, is a popular cut of beef that offers a unique balance of tenderness and flavor. While it may not be as heavily marbled as a ribeye, it makes up for it with its tenderness.
The strip steak comes from the same region as the ribeye, but it is cut from the opposite side of the bone. This results in a leaner piece of meat with a slightly firmer texture. However, don’t let that fool you – the New York Strip is still incredibly tender and juicy when cooked to perfection.
According to a study conducted by the American Meat Science Association, the New York Strip scored high in terms of tenderness compared to other cuts of steak. The research showed that the strip steak had a lower shear force, indicating a more tender texture, compared to the ribeye.
Larger and meatier than filet mignon
When it comes to size and meatiness, the New York Strip steak outshines the delicate filet mignon. The strip steak is known for its generous portion size, making it a favorite among steak enthusiasts who crave a hearty meal.
Its larger size allows for a satisfying, meaty bite that is sure to please any carnivore.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a typical New York Strip steak can range from 10 to 16 ounces in weight, making it significantly larger than the average filet mignon, which tends to be around 6 to 8 ounces.
So, if you’re looking for a steak that will satisfy your hunger, the New York Strip is an excellent choice.
Boneless unlike T-bone and porterhouse
One of the distinguishing features of the New York Strip steak is that it is boneless. Unlike T-bone and porterhouse steaks, which come with a bone in the center, the New York Strip is purely boneless.
This makes it easier to handle and cook, as you don’t have to worry about the bone affecting the cooking process.
However, it’s worth noting that the bone in T-bone and porterhouse steaks can add additional flavor to the meat. So, if you’re a fan of that rich, beefy taste that comes from cooking meat on the bone, you may want to consider trying a T-bone or porterhouse steak instead.
More uniform in shape than cowboy ribeye
Compared to the cowboy ribeye, which is known for its irregular shape and large bone, the New York Strip offers a more uniform and consistent shape. This makes it easier to cook evenly and ensures that every bite is equally delicious.
The cowboy ribeye, also known as a bone-in ribeye or tomahawk steak, is prized for its impressive presentation and intense flavor. However, its irregular shape can make it challenging to cook evenly. On the other hand, the New York Strip’s uniform shape allows for more predictable cooking times and results, making it a reliable choice for both amateur and professional chefs.
Cooking and Serving the Perfect New York Strip
Let the steak reach room temp before cooking
To ensure that your New York strip steak cooks evenly, it is important to let it reach room temperature before cooking. This allows the steak to cook more evenly, resulting in a juicy and tender piece of meat.
Simply take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Use dry heat cooking methods like grilling or broiling
When it comes to cooking the perfect New York strip steak, dry heat cooking methods like grilling or broiling are often recommended. These methods allow the steak to develop a delicious crust on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy.
Grilling the steak over high heat or broiling it in the oven are both great options for cooking a New York strip.
Don’t overcook beyond medium rare
The New York strip steak is best enjoyed when cooked to medium rare. Overcooking the steak can result in a tougher texture and less flavor. By cooking the steak to medium rare, you will retain its juiciness and tenderness.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure that your steak reaches an internal temperature of around 130-135°F (54-57°C) for medium rare.
Let it rest before slicing against the grain
After cooking your New York strip steak, it is important to let it rest before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak. Let the steak rest for about 5-10 minutes, then slice it against the grain.
Slicing against the grain helps to break up the muscle fibers and makes the steak easier to chew.
Serve with compound butter or sauce on the side
To enhance the flavor of your New York strip steak, consider serving it with compound butter or sauce on the side. Compound butter, which is butter mixed with herbs, spices, or other flavorings, can add a rich and flavorful element to the steak.
Similarly, a delicious sauce like a red wine reduction or a peppercorn sauce can complement the steak and take it to the next level. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite combination!
Where to Find the Best New York Strips Today
When it comes to indulging in a mouthwatering New York strip steak, it’s important to know where to find the best cuts. Whether you’re a seasoned steak connoisseur or a curious foodie looking to try something new, there are several places you can turn to for a top-notch New York strip experience.
Order from high-end online meat purveyors
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to get your hands on the best New York strip steaks is to order them from high-end online meat purveyors. These companies specialize in sourcing the finest quality cuts of meat from reputable farms and delivering them straight to your doorstep.
With just a few clicks, you can have a premium New York strip steak delivered to your home, ready to be cooked to perfection.
Check your local butcher shop or meat market
If you prefer to shop locally and support small businesses, your local butcher shop or meat market is a great place to find high-quality New York strip steaks. Butchers take pride in their craft and often have a wide selection of cuts to choose from.
They can also provide valuable advice on cooking techniques and seasoning options, ensuring that your New York strip steak turns out amazing every time.
Try the house New York strip at upscale steakhouses
For a dining experience that combines ambiance and exceptional cuts of meat, upscale steakhouses are the way to go. These establishments take great care in sourcing their beef and often offer a signature New York strip steak on their menu.
By ordering the house New York strip, you can enjoy a perfectly cooked steak prepared by professional chefs who know how to bring out the best flavors and textures.
Select the thickest, most marbled New York strip at the grocery store butcher counter
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option without compromising on taste, your local grocery store butcher counter can be a surprising gem. They often offer a range of New York strip steaks at different price points, allowing you to select the thickness and marbling that suits your preferences.
Take your time to inspect the steaks and choose the best-looking one that catches your eye. With a little seasoning and proper cooking technique, you can turn a grocery store New York strip into a delicious and satisfying meal.
No matter where you choose to find your New York strip steak, be sure to handle and cook it with care to fully enjoy its rich flavor and tender texture. Experiment with different seasonings and cooking methods to find your perfect steak.
So, go ahead and treat yourself to a mouthwatering New York strip steak – you deserve it!
With its distinctive long, broad shape, tender texture, and timeless appeal, the New York strip steak has secured its place as one of the most beloved and recognizable cuts of steak. While ritzy steakhouses popularized the New York strip, its versatility and cooking ease make it a weekday dinner win for home cooks as well. The next time you’re craving the satisfying flavors of a perfect medium-rare seared steak, New York’s signature cut deserves a spot at the top of your list.