After decades in the steak business, we’ve heard every question you can imagine. One remark we hear on occasion is that a customer doesn’t like steak with a lot of fat on it. They ask for help choosing a lean steak. Some customers have dietary concerns while others just grew up thinking if there was visible fat on the steak, it wasn’t a good cut. So, let’s “chew the fat” on fat.
First of all, don’t be embarrassed by your preferences. Just like you should drink a wine that you enjoy, the same is true for eating steak. Second, all of our steaks come trimmed of excess fat around the edges. So when we judge steak based on fat, what we’re really talking about is marbling. Marbling is the flecks and ribbons of fat in a steak that can actually look like marble. When steaks cook, the intramuscular fat renders and becomes very flavorful. So from a taste standpoint, marbling = flavor!
The degree of marbling depends on the breed and diet of the cow. Rube’s steaks come from black Angus beef, a breed known for its strong marbling characteristics. And the cow’s diet is also very important in what the steak looks like and tastes like. Cows raised in Iowa forage on grasses but are also finished on a diet of corn, which helps create that flavorful marbling. We don’t carry 100% grass-fed beef because you just can’t get that juicy, flavorful eating experience from an animal raised only on grass.
While all of our steaks come from corn-fed beef, some cuts of steak are leaner than others. Rube’s ribeye is very well marbled and is also our most flavorful steak. Side by side with a New York Strip, you can see that the strip does not have significant marbling throughout. That’s because the strip is a leaner cut of beef.
Here you see two lean cuts of beef - the top sirloin and the filet mignon. There is little marbling in either steak. However, both are delicious!
Our sirloins are all USDA Prime - it means they’re as marbled as any sirloin will be and also more tender than any other sirloin.
Although very lean, the filet mignon is our most tender steak. We offer filet mignon with or without bacon. Customers love our bacon-wrapped filet mignon! The bacon adds a boost of flavor to this exquisitely tender steak.
Ultimately, the choice to eat lean versus marbled is yours. And really, you can’t go wrong with a good quality steak. For a lean steak, choose a filet mignon, New York strip or top sirloin. Just make sure it’s USDA Choice or better to ensure tenderness. And consider trying different steaks and different preparation methods until you find your favorite cut of Rube’s steak!