I had to ask the question too when I first saw it in the freezer at a local butcher. What’s a teres major? Or in this case, it was labeled as bistro teres major:
One of the meat cutters told me that I’ve probably already had it and never knew. He said local restaurants serve teres major all the time as steak modiga or ask him to carve them up into medallions.
I decided to do a little more digging. According to Grasslandbeef.com:
“The teres major is a seldom used muscle in the shoulder that is second only to the tenderloin filet in tenderness. This muscle requires skilled craftsman to extract, but yields a wonderful dining experience and is a new leader in trendy white table cloth restaurants.
The teres major steak is also referred to as a shoulder tender. If sliced into medallions, they are appropriately named petite tender medallions.”
It can also be found under the name petite shoulder tender or petite tender. It is very similar to beef tenderloin in that it is both very lean and uber tender. It needs a little flavor added, much in the same way a filet is wrapped in bacon, due to how lean it is. Let’s face it, fat tastes good. For this, I have just the thing and it doesn’t involve bacon:
Andria’s Steak Sauce is the ideal brush on steak sauce in my opinion. It’s the perfect combination of saltiness and garlic with a certain something I’ve never been able to quantify, but have always craved since having it for the first time close to 20 years ago. It’s not a sauce like A-1 that you dip a steak into and completely mask the flavor. Andria’s is to be brushed on while cooking or used as a marinade to enhance flavor. Click here to find out how to get some. You won’t be disappointed.
Let’s start with the teres major. I simply pulled the steak from the fridge, applied salt, black and white pepper to both sides and let it come up to room temperature:
Why black and white pepper? Because both types of pepper hit different areas on the tongue and thus using both adds a little depth to the flavor profile.
I decided to do this on my Char-Broil Big Easy which is an infrared gas grill and cooks a very mean steak. I cranked it up to high, lit the grill, and let it heat up while the steak came to room temperature and then threw the teres major on:
Before we go any further. If your gas grill is not acting right (too hot, too cold, not lighting quickly), don’t junk it for a new one. The economy is tough. Instead contact the fine people at GrillPartsSearch.com and fix the one you have. Usually there’s a quick fix to just about any problem. And the money you save will buy a LOT of Teres Majors.
Here is a close up of the teres major on the grill:
I closed the lid for four minutes of grilling and then I rotated it about 45 degrees but did not flip it over to get those cross hatch grill marks:
I closed the lid for another four minutes and then flipped it over and brushed on a little Andria’s Steak Sauce:
Normally, I get much deeper cross hatch action, but it was a really cold night and the grill didn’t get as hot as fast as it normally does on a warm summer evening.
After I brushed on the Andria’s Steak Sauce, I closed the lid for 4 minutes and then rotated 45 degrees:
After another 4 minutes of grilling, I flipped it over and applied more Andria’s:
I left the steak on the grill for another 4 minutes or so, for a total of 20, to caramelize the Andria’s Steak Sauce a bit and then plated it. I took this shot to get an idea how cold it was outside. The steam coming off the steak was intense. I don’t know what setting to capture that effect perfectly, but this will have to do:
I brought it in the house to rest while I sipped a little red:
After a few minutes resting, while I tried like hell to get the glass of wine and the Christmas ornaments into the picture, I sliced the teres major:
If that picture above doesn’t send you out to your local butcher to get a teres major, how about this one:
So how was it? As I say in the title, it was outstanding. I grilled that steak on Sunday night, and then on Monday night, when I had the guys over for Monday Night Football and some home tailgating, I made two more to serve as appetizers:
One I did with the Andria’s Steak Sauce and the other I brushed with a jerk paste to spice things up. Both were well received:
These guys thought it was great:
I can’t put into words how delicious and tender the teres major is. It totally blew me away. I’m already thinking of ways to kick it up in the future. Maybe a little olive oil and fresh rosemary? Brush with a little red curry paste? The options are endless.
One curious thing about the cut is that if puffs up during the cooking process. It has to be 50% thicker when it goes on the plate from when it goes on the grill. So it may not look all that thick when you pick it out, but by the time it comes off the grill, it will be.
All of this begs the very obvious question. Where do you find teres major? Your local grocer might carry them from time to time in vacuum packed packaging from time to time. Otherwise, you need to go to your local meat cutter. You should be going there anyway. You’ll thank me later.
If you have any questions about this cut or this grilling recipe, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.