The Great Debate: Unraveling the Mystery Behind New England’s Steak Tips

Certain dishes have a way of sparking intense debates, stirring up passionate arguments about what truly defines the “authentic” version. Take chili, for example, where Texans fiercely defend their position on whether beans belong in the pot. And don’t even get us started on the regional variations of barbecue. But there’s another New England favorite that finds itself at the center of a surprisingly heated discussion: steak tips.

The term “steak tips” or “beef tips” might seem straightforward, but its true meaning is shrouded in ambiguity. Generally, it refers to bite-sized pieces of steak that are perfect for kebabs, grilling, or even air frying. However, the debate doesn’t revolve around how these cuts are prepared. Instead, it centers on which types of beef qualify as genuine steak tips. And let me tell you, even among New Englanders, there’s no unanimous agreement on the matter.

Steak Tips: A World of Possibilities

While there are countless ways to prepare steak tips, they consistently find their place on New England restaurant menus. One thing all steak tips have in common is a marinade that injects them with a burst of flavor. Unlike premium cuts of beef, steak tips aren’t content with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. They crave more.

The most prevalent cut of beef that falls under the steak tip umbrella hails from the sirloin. This choice makes sense, as the sirloin strikes the perfect balance of affordability and tenderness, ensuring a flavorful experience that won’t break the bank. However, don’t be surprised if you come across butcher shops selling flank steak or flap meat as steak tips. And for those willing to splurge a little, tenderloin steak tips might tantalize your taste buds with their enhanced tenderness and higher price point. The truth is, even within New England, no two restaurants can seem to agree on the definitive cut for this beloved regional dish.

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Beyond New England: A World of Definitions

The steak tip debate isn’t confined to New England alone. In California, if you were to stroll into a butcher shop and ask for steak tips, you’d likely be met with a perplexed expression before being offered tri-tip. Tri-tip, a triangularly shaped primal sirloin cut, is undoubtedly delicious—especially when cooked using the 2-zone method. However, it’s far from what you would expect when ordering steak tips in the northeastern United States.

Traveling down South, you’ll find a different definition altogether. In this region, beef tips are typically made from chuck roast, a tougher cut of meat that is often braised to overcome its inherent chewiness. So, as you can see, each region has its own interpretation of what constitutes beef tips.

Navigating the Maze

When it comes to steak tips, it’s essential to know what to expect in each region. While they may be a staple in New England, other areas have their own unique takes on this classic dish. If you’re looking for the most accurate definition, heading to New England is your best bet. However, be prepared for lively debates among the locals themselves—getting a consensus might prove to be quite the challenge.

For more information, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, the ultimate destination for steak tip enthusiasts.

This article was inspired by the original piece published on Daily Meal.