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There’s nothing quite like an excellent steak for a festive occasion. Coulotte steak is the cut that may just guide you to your most flavorful celebration yet.
Beef tenderloin, prime rib, and rib-eye are some of the most popular steaks for the holidays. But in the past two years, more and more Americans are longing to try new cuts, experimenting with preparation and flavors. Coulotte steak is a dark horse that’s been popping up not only at family feasts, but also restaurants around the country.
Few places have presented a more elegant welcome to coulotte than Staple and Fancy, an Italian restaurant nestled in the heart of Seattle. For the 2021 New Year’s Eve celebration, Staple and Fancy wowed with a four-course meal.
The $95 price point provided a shareable shigoku oyster platter, followed by pappardelle or strozzapreti. While ricotta cheesecake or spiced chocolate mousse terrine was a scrumptious end to the meal, the main course stole the night.
Wagyu coulotte steak was an unexpected option, and the perfect complement to ring in the new year.
But don’t worry if you don’t have $95 to spend or live in Seattle. You can enjoy coulotte steak in your home. Here’s your guide to selecting the best steak, how to prepare it, and the best cooking method. I’ll also review where to buy the best culotte steak, plus share some great recipes.
What Cut Is a Coulotte Steak?
A coulotte steak is a cut of beef that’s so often ignored. While many cuts are prized for their tenderness and marbling, coulotte deserves more recognition. The cut comes from the cap muscle of a cow. The cap muscle is part of the top sirloin butt. It comes with a flat cap which is sometimes used in cooking and sometimes stripped away.
What are the other names for coulotte steak?
You may recognize it under its many other names. Other names for coulotte, depending on the variety, include fat rump, top sirloin, and rump cap, and picanha. As such, it’s a little more widely used than you might think. At the same time, I argue that it’s greatly underappreciated. In many ways, it’s the bottom sirloin butt steaks that you see more frequently. Still, there’s a lot to admire about coulotte steaks.
Is a Coulotte Steak Good?
Perhaps because there are so many excellent cuts of steak, coulotte is often overlooked. And while there’s no doubt that T-bone, Porterhouse, Ribeye, and Filet Mignon will top best steaks lists, there’s room for more cuts.
Is coulotte steak tender?
When prepared correctly, coulotte steak is both tender and flavorful. You’ll notice a saturated color and a thick presentation. It has natural marbling near the top, with a pronounced beef flavor. Preparation is important, however. Cooking this cut of steak the wrong way mar the tenderness.
Is coulotte steak lean?
If you’re concerned about your steak’s nutritional value, coulotte is an interesting choice. While the top fat layer features marbling, the cut below it is quite lean. While juicy and succulent, it’s not as fatty as many other cuts. 1 entire petite roast (571 g) provides 1,215 calories. A 3-ounce serving is around 200 calories. It’s not the leanest cut of meat, but far from something like a ribeye.
What is coulotte steak used for?
Coulotte steak can be prepared in many ways. It’s far more versatile than many think. You might see it eaten alone as a roast, added to a stew, or as a main component of a hearty stew. Kebabs are also an excellent way to feature this cut of steak. You can even use it for sandwiches and in other unexpected ways. But it’s important to understand how to prepare coulotte steak– and how it compares with other cuts you may be familiar with.
How Does Coulotte Compare with Other Steak Cuts?
Coulotte is often compared with other cuts of steaks, and rightfully so. To help you understand if coulotte is the best cut for you, here are the main differences between coulotte vs other popular cuts of steak. Coulotte is most commonly compared with New York Strip.
Coulotte Steak vs Bavette Steak
Bavette comes from the French term that roughly translates as a flap or bub. A bavette steak has the same wide grain and coarseness as skirt steak but is more marbling. Comparatively, coulotte steak is a much thicker steak and is also more tender. It has a softer, less coarse texture.
Coulotte Steak vs Flank Steak
While flank steak is often classified as skirt steak, flank steak has some advantages. Flank steak is a very lean cut of beef that comes from the underside. It’s a unique cut that is thicker in the middle and tapers to become thin at the edges. While it can be tough, it does well when carefully prepared. The main difference between coulotte vs flank steak is that coulotte has present marbling and a top layer of fat. Coulotte is evenly thick throughout and has a more robust beefy flavor.
Coulotte Steak vs Tri-Tip Steak
Tri-Tip, like coulotte, has many names. You may also know this cut of steak as bottom sirloin or triangle steak. Tri-tip steak is one of the most affordable cuts and is most commonly used as an alternative to brisket. It’s a much thicker cut and is tough when not prepared properly. It’s harder to work with than coulotte and a bit less versatile. However, there’s no denying that it’s cheap and can be beefy and flavorful if done properly. Tri-tip is also superior for its ability to cook more quickly and caramelize on the outside.
Coulotte Steak vs Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon is one of the most popular cuts, and for good reason. Filet mignon is one of the most tender cuts. At the same time, filet mignon is quite lean, and it’s not as flavorful as some other options. Coulotte, while less tender, presents with marbling and a more robust beef flavor.
Coulotte Steak vs Hanger Steak
Hanger steak is also known as butcher’s steak, comes from the diaphragm of the cow. It’s tender and often used for tacos and sandwiches but is very hard to find. It’s easier to cook and prepare vs coulotte steak, though it doesn’t have the same marbling and isn’t as beefy.
How to Prepare Coulottee Steak
If you’ve ever had coulotte steak and found it tough, it’s not the steak, it’s you (or whoever prepared it). While cooking coulotte steak properly is important, so is your initial preparation. Give yourself the best chance of a great finished result by following my advice.
Step One: How to cut Coulotte Steak
If you have to butcher yourself, it’s a tricky process. The top sirloin cap should be rotated so that you can cut across the grain. Cutting across the grain is important to ensure a consistent cut and tender texture. While coulotte steak can be tender, it still isn’t rich in marbling like ribeye. Leaving all the fat on ensures more flavor, but it can also be tricky to work with. The most common way to prepare coulotte steak is by trimming the cap until you have about a quarter-inch of fat on top.
Step Two: Coulotte Steak Marinade vs Dry Rub
Next, it’s time to add flavor. Dry rubs are very common, but some recipes opt for marinades as well. Your dry rub should include some salt and a little heat. A marinade is more commonly used for grilling. Marinades are added for grilling to add moisture and keep the meat tender. However, if a coulotte steak has been butchered properly, then it should retain its moisture for both cooking methods. I’ll include recipes later in the guide to clarify the issue. Seasoning generously is important, however, to bring out the flavor of this steak.
What Is the Best Way to Cook Coulotte Steak?
That begs the question: what is the best way to cook coulotte steak? Search and you’ll be bombarded with recipes but rarely a definitive answer. Something I love about coulotte steak is that it’s versatile. It can be grilled, broiled, pan-seared, and even air-fried. I think that pan searing in a cast iron is always a great way to go. Grilling can help the steak develop a crispy, beefy flavor, but you do risk losing some tenderness. But no matter the method you select, you must do it wisely.
What should the internal temperature be for a coulotte steak?
The USDA recommends a minimum temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for food safety. However, if you like your steak rare, you may not be pleased with that recommendation. See the chart below so you can achieve the desired result. Click Here To Read if Rare Steak is Safe.
|Rare||125 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Medium Rare||135 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Medium||145 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Medium Well||150 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Well Done||160 Degrees Fahrenheit|
To ensure tenderness, I think you’re best off cooking to around medium. Well done can reduce the tenderness and the beefy flavor that coulotte is known for.
How to Grill Coulotte Steak
You should always grill coulotte steak at medium to medium-high heat. 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature. Use direct heat and grill for 3 t0 5 minutes on each side until you achieve a nice exterior char. Reduce temperature and grill until you achieve the desired internal temperature. You can cook as one steak or as kebabs. Your grilling total time is dependent on how well done you want your steak to be.
Suggested Coulotte Steak Recipes
How to Broil Coulotte Steak
Broiling wouldn’t be my top choice for cooking coulotte steak. That said, if you’re in a hurry, it can work. You’ll want to lightly marinate your steak if you’re broiling, You can also use a dry rub and add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your broiling pan. Make sure the pan is nonstick or use something like foil. If you have temperature adjustments on your broiler, about 450 degrees Fahrenheit is a sweet spot. Broil a few minutes (2 to 4) per side and check the steak’s internal temperature.
Suggested Coulotte Steak Recipes
Broiling is the least popular method. Season with a dry rub as desired, using salt and pepper. Place two tablespoons of olive oil in your pan. Add a steak or wine sauce on the side. You can also cut into strips for Coulotte Tacos.
Cooking Coulotte Steak in Oven
An option that isn’t used quite as often is cooking coulotte steak in the oven. If you have extra time, this can be a great option. You won’t get the same crisp exterior of other methods, but you’re more likely to end up with a tender result. Apply a dry rub of salt and a little heat. Let the dry rub sit in the fridge overnight to ensure robust flavors. If you’re cooking in the oven, there’s no reason to use a marinade.
Roast at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking time for a typical sirloin cap at this stage will be around 35 minutes. Once the internal temperature reaches 105 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on whether you’ll want a medium-rare or more well-done result. After cooling for 5 minutes, slice across the grain into four to five even slices. Finish by pan-searing, preferably in a cast-iron skillet if you have one. Cooking time ranges from 1 to 3 minutes per side.
Suggested Coulotte Steak Recipes
Pan Searing Coulotte Steak
You can also pan-sear your coulotte steak in a cast-iron skillet. Steak should be cut into even strips, cut across the grain. A light marinade, light butter, or olive oil marinade with herbs will do the trick. Heat your skillet to medium-high heat and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side. The risk for overcooking is high, so this takes both attentiveness and skill.
Suggested Coulotte Steak Recipes
Coulotte Steak in Air Fryer
Looking for an unconventional cooking method? While I wouldn’t recommend an instant pot for coulotte steak, you can prepare it in an air fryer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit before flipping and cooking the other side for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. 7 minutes on each side will be on the more well-done side. However, when you’re using an air fryer, the goal is to achieve a crispy exterior but retain the moisture inside.
Suggested Coulotte Steak Recipes
How Do You Find the Best Coulotte Steak?
That said, not all coulotte steaks are of equal quality. Generally speaking, you need to pay attention to steak grading. USDA graded steak includes prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, utility, cutter, and canner. Prime and Choice are preferable for the best outcome. I also like to look at meat sourcing if at all possible. With coulotte, you may have fewer options. If I can find a steak that’s been humanely raised or grass-fed, those are both pluses.
What is Wagyu coulotte steak?
Wagyu is as high quality as you can get for coulotte steak. With this cut, you’ll get a generous fat cap and more generous marbling. This is coulotte at its best. Tender but flavorful, if you have the extra money, it definitely should be considered. You may see it also described as Kobe steaks. Wagyu is originally from Japan though there are now American Wagyu and Australian Wagyu.
What is Akaushi coulotte steak?
Akaushi is another premium cut if you can get your hands on it. Akaushi coulotte steak comes from the “Emperor’s Breed” of Japanese cattle. This once exclusive meat can now also be purchased within the US as well. These steaks (any cut) are buttery, succulent, and considered among the best available. They are also exorbitantly priced.
What is Angus coulotte steak?
Angus coulotte steak is a great option if you want more flavorful marbling without as premium of a price tag. Angus steak originated from Scottland and is now widely available in the United States. It’s not as buttery or succulent as Wagyu or Akaushi, but it’s still a great introduction to coulotte steak.
Where Do I Buy Coulotte Steak?
Unfortunately, many places don’t sell coulotte steak. Sometimes you can go to a local butcher and request a cut.
But if you’re struggling to find any, there are some places you can buy coulotte steak online. Some cuts, like Wagyu, are understandably expensive. However, you can also find coulotte steak at a reasonable price. To select the best places to buy coulotte steak online, I considered the following:
- Price For Value
- Meat Sourcing
- Meat Quality
- Includes Fat Cap
- Customer Service
- Company Reputation
As you can imagine, there aren’t that many online locations to buy coulotte steak. That said, I do have a few recommendations.
Best Grass-Fed: Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative
Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative is a unique company with a great mission. All bees are grass-fed, non-GMO, and raised on lands without pesticides. They source from small-batch farmers with as sustainable practices as possible. Their 2 to 2.5 pound Grass Fed Coulotte is a good price.
Best Subscription: Butcher Box
Butcher Box carries excellent options for coulotte steak (under the name picanha). The meat delivery service offers single purchase gift boxes as well as meat delivery options. They sell 100 percent grass-fed beef that’s antibiotic-free and pasture-raised. Learn More Here.
Best For Wagyu Coulotte: Snake River Farms
Longing to try Wagyu? Snake River Farms teams with local ranchers for thoughtfully sourced, high-quality meat. Their sourcing standards and commitment to supporting local communities are both bonuses. Click Here For American Wagyu.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: If you’ve never heard of coulotte steak, it’s understandable if you don’t know how to pronounce it. Click here to learn.
Answer: What we call top sirloin in the United States is classified as a D-Rump. Top sirloin is also coded as 2100 I by the Handbook of Australian Meat.
Answer: Hotel steaks are a type of strip steak, Hotel steaks come from the shorter loin. The good news is that this cut is fairly tender. This is a lean cut and not as flavorful as some. However, it’s also cost-effective and works well for a recipe like tacos.
Coulotte steak will never be as tender as the finest filet mignon. Coulotte steak also doesn’t have as abundant marbling as ribeye. At the same time, it does offer a well-marbled fat cap, a unique beefy flavor, and tenderness. Prepare it with care and season well for the best results.
Final Buying Recommendations: Coulotte Steak Near You
Some restaurants serve coulotte steak if you don’t want to cook. While you won’t necessarily buy the highest quality coulotte, it’s a nice way to get introduced to the cut. You can search “Coulotte Steak Near Me” on Google for results. Sadly, Cheesecake Factory used to have a Coulotte Chargrilled Steak dinner but has since discontinued the dish.
Cotsco Coulotte Steak
Your local Costco is also a source. You can deliver a 21 lb steak from their website if you want to stock up. Likely, this won’t be carried in your store but you can always ask. It’s not my top choice since it’s only USDA choice, but it is practical and comes with the top cap fat on. Buy Here.
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