Entrecôte – a famous cut of beef steak
Entrecôte is a French term for a specific cut of beef steak between the ribs. Essentially, it’s a slender, boneless version of a rib-eye steak. Because of its reduced thickness—generally half that of a bone-in rib-eye—this cut is ideal for fast cooking methods, such as grilling or pan-searing. It’s also useful for those who are mindful of portion sizes.
If you’re seeking a steak that offers both tenderness and robust flavours, entrecôte should top your list. Sharing the same succulent and juicy attributes as a rib-eye, this steak is a prime choice for those who appreciate quality cuts. And it’s not just about taste; it’s about the experience of cooking it.
The thinness of an entrecôte calls for swift culinary action. There’s no time to dilly-dally when you’ve got an entrecôte in the skillet or grill. With a typical thickness ranging from just half an inch to three-quarters of an inch, entrecôte cooks quickly. A minute or two on each side may be all you need to achieve that perfect medium-rare. Timing is crucial for all meats that cook rapidly; even slight overcooking can make this delectable cut chewy and dry.
Now, what’s the story behind this steak? The cut originates from the beef rib primal, a specific section of the beef that lies just behind the chuck, containing the sixth to twelfth ribs.
In the past, the term entrecôte was exclusively used to describe steaks sourced from the central part of the rib primal. This narrow definition allowed for only two such cuts per side of beef, lending the steak a sense of enigmatic charm, even though the criteria were quite random.
Like any other meat cut, entrecôte requires proper storage for optimal freshness. If you’re not planning to cook it immediately, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. However, be cautious if you’re thinking about freezing it. Due to its thinness, entrecôte is susceptible to freezer burn, affecting its quality when you eventually decide to cook it.
Where can you find this much-talked-about cut? While speciality butchers may label it as entrecôte, other shops might mark it as thin, boneless rib-eyes. The naming might differ, but rest assured, these steaks—whether labelled entrecôte or not—are similar in flavour and texture, especially if they are cut from a boneless roast.
Entrecôte is not just another steak—it’s a gastronomic experience that caters to those who seek quality and speed in their meals. Whether for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this French classic deserves a spot on your menu. With its tender, flavorful meat and quick cooking time, it embodies the essence of French dining, adding a touch of elegance to your table.