In Bryan's Words
The beauty of the porterhouse has always been the ability to sample two cuts – the New York and the Filet. And the only way I could see making that combo any better, is encasing the whole thing in fat.
But before I get too far ahead of myself, a quick lesson on cutting specs. As I’ve lamented before, today’s age is entirely different from when I was growing up, and a butcher had the ability to speak directly with the slaughterhouse and call out what he/she wanted. Today, there’s a tightened pipeline of suppliers that we as a Federal Establishment can buy from, and these suppliers have strict guidelines on how you can order beef. When ordering shortloins (what the porterhouse is cut from), we call out a spec of 0x1 – this means that there is very limited fat left on the primal. There is enough fat to give a good protective covering during the aging process, and a smaller waste factor overall. But what we’ve done here is switched to a 2x4 spec – meaning the slaughterhouse leaves significantly more fat on the shortloin. Why would I do this? Because of the type of fat that surrounds this particular primal. The shortloin, and especially the filet portion of it, are surrounded by kidney fat, otherwise known as suet. Though this sounds crazy, suet is actually a much more flavorful type of fat, and its for this reason that I’ll take these porterhouse with the surrounding fat, but not, for example, ask for additional fat on the prime rib (even though I have done that, it’s a story for another day).
The additional difference you’ll see with this particular cut is that the “tail” of the porterhouse is left on. Normally this is removed, since you only have a small potion of meat at the tip, connected by a large section of fat. But in my eyes, the more fat, the better. What you’ll see happen with a steak like this, is that as it cooks and the fats begins to melt, imparting unbelievable flavor.