If you fancy yourself a steak aficionado the teres major steak may be already on your radar, but if not, what is this intensely beefy steak? Here I'll discuss this extraordinary cut of meat, and you will trust me when I say this is a steak you have to try!
The teres major is a tender and flavorful cut of steak that you don't want to miss out on!
Although we’ve featured so many different cuts, it feels as if we have just scratched the surface! Unless you have a very skilled butcher, you’ve likely never heard of the teres major steak.
If you’re a meat connoisseur, or a steak lover in general, it is one to add to your list of cuts to try. However, before you go out and attempt to get your hands on a teres major steak, there are a few things you should know!
What is the Teres Major Steak?
The teres major steak is a fairly rare cut that comes from the shoulder or ‘chuck’ of the cow. Most people are familiar with a chuck roast, but the teres major is much more tender. It is actually a specific muscle from within the chuck.
It is rather difficult to properly extract this small cut of meat. You will rarely see a teres major steak that weighs more than 10-12 ounces (hence the need for a very skilled butcher).
The teres major steak is the second most tender cut from the cow, after the tenderloin. In fact, it is often referred to as the petite tender, mock tender, or shoulder tender.
Despite its uncommon nature, this steak is a cheaper option compared to a tenderloin or filet mignon. So, if you have time to plan ahead and order a few, it will be the most bang for your buck!
The easiest way to get your hands on one of these steaks is to order it from a reputable online butcher shop. (Unless you have the hook up with an experienced local butcher.)
What Does the Teres Major Steak Taste Like?
Despite coming in second to the tenderloin in tenderness, the teres major comes in first for flavor! This cut of steak is from an area of the cow that sees a lot of movement, the chuck primal.
This means it experiences more blood flow and as a result, it develops a more complex flavor. Think true beefy-rich flavor in a tender cut that cooks up beautifully!
Unlike other cuts, the active nature of this section of the cow does not toughen the meat. This particular muscle sits just below the cow’s leg and is full of fat while lacking the sinewy connective tissue.
When cooked properly, it slices like butter. It does best with very simple seasoning, a little salt & pepper is usually all it takes.
The rendered fat permeates the meat and adds all the flavor you need. People often say its flavor and texture remind them of a combination of tenderloin and filet mignon.
So, if you are on the hunt for an inexpensive cut of steak that tastes gourmet, this would be my number one choice. Order a few to keep in the freezer, and you’ll be in steak heaven without breaking the bank!
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📖 Recipe Card
Teres Major Steak: Pan Seared Mock Tenderloin
- 12 oz teres major steak
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- ½ tablespoon beef tallow (or use oil with a high smoke point)
- Season the teres major steak with salt and pepper the night before if possible. Leave your steak uncovered and refrigerate to dry brine with the seasoning in place. Otherwise, season your steak and allow to warm to room temperature for an hour before cooking.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Bring a cast iron skillet (or an oven-safe skillet) to medium-high heat with the beef tallow. Once the tallow is melted and is shimmering in your skillet, place the teres major into your skillet.
- Sear for 2-3 minutes per side (I use tongs to try and place the steak so that all sides get seared as evenly as possible). Transfer the skillet with seared teres major into your preheated oven and finish until the internal temperature is 130-135°F (54-57°C) for medium-rare.
- Remove from the oven when done and tent loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Allow your steak to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Additional seasoning suggestions would ¼ teaspoon garlic or onion powder, paprika or smoked paprika, as well as optional herbs like oregano or ground sage.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!