• Strip Loin

    Strip Loin

    NAMP #180

    Technical Description – Strip loin is prepared from the anterior portion of the loin with the tenderloin and all bone removed. Average fat covering shall be 6 mm (1/4"). The flank is trimmed off in a straight line, leaving predetermined tail lengths* of 0 mm x 25 mm (0" x 1") tail, 25 mm x 25 mm (1" x 1") tail, 25 mm x 50 mm (1" x 2") tail, and 50 mm x 75 mm (2" x 3") tail. The strip loin weighs between 5.5 – 6.5 kg (12 – 14 lb).

    *NOTE: The “tail” refers to the amount of beef product that extends from the edge of the loin eye to the end of the loin. Tail length is measured in the following manner: A beef cut with a tail length specified as 3x4 means the tail measures 75 mm (3”) at the loin end and 100 mm (4”) at the rib eye end. Tail lengths are universally stated without units of measure, which are understood to be in inches, such as 2x2; 2x3; 1x2 or 0x0 (i.e., no tail).

    Strip loins are supplied individually vacuum sealed and are packed 5 – 6 loins per case.

    In addition to the grade of the product, the amount of tail left on a strip loin is reflected in its price points. Generally, the shorter the tail, the higher the price point. Strip loins can be ordered with tail lengths of 1x1, 0x1 or 0x0. Finger and chain meat are either removed or retained and the product can be ordered with back strap off as an option (also resulting in a higher price point).

    Prime- or AAA-branded strip loin programs are more expensive than AA- or A-graded products. Most retailers have a AAA program in their meat operations and, in some cases, retailers incorporate branded AAA programs, which require the top 2/3 of marbling. These top-tier programs are an excellent way to maintain a consistent, high quality product, especially for the middle cuts such as the sirloin, loin and prime rib.

    As the price of beef fluctuates and sometimes is very expensive, retailers may incorporate a AA or A program into their operations to meet the price needs of many customers. Not everyone is willing or able to pay for the premium AAA-branded programs. Remember that AA and A beef, when treated properly and aged properly, will perform very well and be an excellent option for many customers at the meat counter. These grades meet all the criteria of AAA- and Prime-graded programs with the exception of their lower level of marbling.

    Strip loins should be aged a minimum of 2 weeks before grilling or roasting. Some retail operations age their strip loins and other middle cuts a minimum of one month or more.

    Dry aging strip loins is an excellent option for product differentiation. Remember that dry aging programs also create a greater yield loss (moisture loss and dark edges have to be removed before processing into steaks and roasts) and menu prices will need to reflect the yield loss.

    Proper carving and preparation are essential with this full-muscle product. Otherwise. the operator should consider using a portion control product.

    The strip loin yields excellent tender roasts or steaks.

    Cooking Methods
    Sauté/Pan Fry
    Oven Roasting
    Braising, Simmering, Stewing or Pot Roasting



  • Strip Loin Steak

    Strip Loin Steak

    NAMP #1180

    Technical Description – The strip loin steak is prepared from a regular boneless strip loin with the back strap and excessive finger bone tissue and cartilage removed. The fat cover averages 6 mm (1/4"). There is a natural depression on the strip loin (referred to as the Saddle area) where exterior fat coverage will be greater than 6 mm (1/4"). Strip loin steaks are of a uniform thickness and tail length does not exceed 50 mm (2"), although commonly trimmed at 25 mm (1"), as measured from the extreme outer tip of the loin eye muscle.

    The strip loin steak has a reputation for being a true meat counter favourite and is considered by many retail customers to be the most popular and versatile of all the steak classics. Strip loin steaks have been part of the product mix of most retail meat counters as long as meat has been sold in retail meat operations. This steak has an excellent blend of firm texture and fine marbling that delivers exceptional flavour and tenderness. Strip loin steak specialties often include toppings and sauces like peppercorn sauce, wine reductions and seafood blends to add variety to the menu mix. Often recommended to guests looking for a slightly leaner, less rich dining experience.

    Cooking Methods



  • Strip Loin Medallions

    Strip Loin Medallions

    NAMP #1180B

    Technical Description - Prepared from a boneless strip loin, the strip loin petite roast is best suited when heavy 6.5 kg (14 lb) and up strip loins are utilized. The heavier strip loins are more difficult for the packer to sell and often are discounted and can be purchased for less money by retail meat operations. The tail is trimmed to a 0x0 specification, the back strap is removed and the cut is then evenly split lengthwise to produce 2 split strip loins, which can then be effectively portioned into small (petite) roasts, medallions or steaks.

    Strip loin medallions are a unique and innovative approach to adapting and meeting the needs of retail meat customers who are seeking a great steak experience. The medallion cut provides an improved portion size, creating a thicker steak that makes it easier for many customers to achieve a rare or medium rare doneness when cooked or grilled versus a full-face strip loin steak.

    Medallion cuts command a higher price point per kilogram (pound) on the sticker but are often perceived as less expensive, since two medallions are lighter - or at the most similar in weight - as compared to a single full-cut strip loin steak. In this case, the medallion is perceived as a higher value since it will feed two people instead of one - allowing for each medallion to be enjoyed at different doneness levels, if desired.

    One of the reasons for hesitancy with a medallion program is that consumers may be unfamiliar with the shape of the medallion. This may be overcome with tying or netting, or it might be wise to introduce a medallion program in your service meat case so meat personnel in your operation can explain the benefits of strip loin medallions to their customers.

    Beef is up to 16 % larger than it was 20 years ago and this is reflected in larger strip loins. The advantage to split strip loin roasts and medallions is that thicker 160 – 180 gram (6 – 8 ounce) steaks can be cut from the split sections. This creates a steak that is easier to grill to a rare or medium rare doneness. Split strip loin roasts are easier to portion with better yield results.

    Cooking Methods
    Oven Roasting



  • Strip Loin Bone-in

    Strip Loin Bone-in

    NAMP #175

    Bone-in strip loins are not often ordered by retail meat operations, but it is important to know that this product is available to retailers. Meat operations that have a dry-aging beef program might find this product to be ideal as the bone and fat protect the meat during dry aging, and there will be less yield loss compared to dry-aging a boneless strip loin. Bone-in options would also reduce the dry-age loss on the tenderloin side of the short loin.

    One option for the retailer is to order a whole short loin, harvest the tenderloin for another purpose, and then manufacture and dry-age the bone-in strip loins in house. This allows the tenderloin to be sold separately. Bone-in strip loin steaks can be a popular product in some retail operations and they are sometimes known as Shell Loin Steaks (an acceptable name by the CFIA).

  • Strip Loin Steak, Bone-in

    Strip Loin Steak, Bone-in

    NAMP #1179

    Bone-in strip loin steak is prepared from any beef short loin. The protruding edge of the chine bone shall be excluded so that no portion of the spinal groove is present. The bone-in strip loin steak is often referred to as a wing steak.

    Bone-in strip loin steaks may be used by a retail meat operation to create a point of differentiation in their meat counter. Another option for many retailers is to remove the bone from the wing end of the short loin after cutting T-bone and porterhouse steaks and creating a more profitable boneless strip loin option for their meat counter. Either option is suitable and could meet the needs of your customers.

    Cooking Methods


  • Short Loin, Short-Cut

    Short Loin, Short-Cut

    NAMP #174

    The short-cut short loin contains both the strip loin and the tenderloin. Meat operations have used the short loin for decades to produce bone-in porterhouse, T-bone and wing steaks. It should be noted that this is a very versatile section and if a retail meat operation runs out of strip loins or tenderloin, these cuts can be sourced from the short loin with the removal of the bones. This does take some practice, and with an understanding of the shape of the bones and good knife skills, it can be done proficiently.

  • Porterhouse Steak

    Porterhouse Steak

    NAMP #1173

    Technical Description - The porterhouse steak is cut from the large end of the short loin anterior to the gluteus medius and has meat from the strip loin on one side of the bone and tenderloin on the other. The resulting cut gives the porterhouse steak the distinction of having a larger tenderloin portion than the T-bone.

    Fat cover may not to exceed 6 mm (1/4") and tail length may not exceed 50 mm (2"). A porterhouse should maintain not less than 50 mm (2") of tenderloin at its largest diameter.

    Porterhouse steaks are a common cut in most retail meat operations. The first three or four steaks that contain a portion of the gluteus medius muscle can be called porterhouse; when there is no evidence of this muscle then the steak becomes a T-bone. Generally the tenderloin is a little bit larger in the porterhouse steaks because of the tapered shape of the tenderloin, which gets smaller from the posterior end to the anterior end of the loin.

    Cooking Methods


  • T-Bone Steak

    T-Bone Steak

    NAMP #1174

    Technical Description - The T-bone steak is cut from the large end of the short loin and has the meat from the strip loin on one side of the bone and tenderloin on the other.

    Fat cover may not exceed 6 mm (1/4") and tail length cannot exceed 50 mm (2"). A T-bone steak should maintain not less than 25 mm (1") of tenderloin at its largest diameter.

    T-bone steaks have long been a staple in most retail meat operations. This is a cut that most customers are familiar with and expect to see in the meat case during grilling season. Remember that these middle cuts are expensive and although they should always be part of your product mix during grilling season, cut as needed and do not over-produce. Shrink resulting from over-production of middle cuts is not a fiscally responsible process and will create margin problems in your meat department.

    When processing bone-in cuts such as the T-bone and porterhouse steaks, make sure you remove the bone dust from both sides of the steak. Bone dust creates bacteria challenges, which can cause the steak to darken prematurely and lose valuable shelf life. Customers also find the bone dust to be visually unappealing and this potentially creates lost sales.

    Cooking Methods



  • Tenderloin, Full

    Tenderloin, Full

    NAMP #189

    The full tenderloin weighs between 1.5 – 2.5 kg. (3 – 6 lb) and yields premium oven roasts and grilling steaks. The tenderloin may be ordered in several different trim options. However, the price point increases with additional trimming. The NAMP #189 Full Tenderloin is the lowest cost option for tenderloin, but requires a significant degree of butchery skill to prepare it for cooking.

    The tenderloin is the most tender section on the beef carcass and is generally the most expensive cut of the beef carcass.

    NAMP #189A- Tenderloin, Special Trim Wedge Fat In, Side Muscle On
    189A Tenderloin Side Muscle On

    NAMP #189A is the same as NAMP #189 Full Tenderloin, except that it is practically free of surface fat. The wing fat may remain. This option is a more expensive alternative due to increased trim.

    NAMP #190 - Tenderloin, Special Trim Wedge Fat Off, Side Muscle Off
    190 Tenderloin Side Muscle Off

    NAMP #190 is as described in item No. 189B Full Tenderloin, Special Trim Defatted, Side Muscle On, except the side muscle, or psoas minor, shall be excluded. In addition, the wing fat (fat lying between the main body of the Tenderloin and the illiacus muscle) shall be removed. The principal membranous tissue over the main body of the tenderloin, or psoas major, shall remain intact. This specification would require a higher price than the first two specifications because of the higher level of trim.

    NAMP #190A - Tenderloin Peeled, Side Muscle Off (PSMO)
    190A Tenderloin Full Side Muscle Off Skinned

    NAMP #190A is as described in NAMP #190, except the principal membranous tissue covering the psoas major is excluded. This is a premium beef product that requires little work by the chef and so demands a high price.

    NAMP #190B - Tenderloin, Full, Side Muscle Off, Centre-Cut, Skinned
    NAMP #190B is as described in item No. 190A except that the tenderloin tail (item No. 192A) and butt tenderloin (Item No. 191A) shall be removed. This item is sometimes referred to as a “barrel” cut and is the most expensive specification for whole tenderloin. It might be difficult to source this product because the packer would have difficulty selling the products that are removed to create what would be a centre-cut tenderloin.

    Tenderloin has long been the most expensive section of the beef carcass because of the tenderness of the cut. It is critical to handle tenderloin properly. Over-trimming creates lost profits and over-production creates shrink problems in your operation.

    Tenderloin often has a shorter shelf life in the meat case than other cuts, so it is critical to manage production to offset bloom problems that may occur through over-production.

    Meat theft can also be a consideration and cuts such as rib eyes and tenderloin are often the target of theft. It might be wise to keep these expensive cuts in the service meat case to help mitigate this risk.

    Cooking Methods
    Oven Roasting


  • Butt Tenderloin

    Butt Tenderloin

    NAMP #191A

    Technical Description – The butt tenderloin consists of the sirloin butt portion of the tenderloin. Surface and wing fat are trimmed practically free. The butt tenderloin is produced when the primal loin is split into the short loin and sirloin butt. When this is done, the tenderloin is cut into two portions. The butt tenderloin has the thick, top part of the tenderloin removed from the sirloin section, and contains the psoas major, psoas minor and illiacus.

    Butt tenderloins weigh roughly 1 kg (2 lb) and are supplied 10 – 15 loins per case.

    Tenderloin butts may be ordered with increasing levels of trim from NAMP #191 to NAMP #191A and NAMP #191B.

    Butt tenderloin is often less expensive than whole tenderloin, which prompts many retailers to choose the butt tenderloin over the whole tenderloin to meet the needs of their meat operations.

    Another reason that butt tenderloins are more popular in retail operations is that the tenderloin tip has been removed and is no longer an issue for the retail operation to deal with. The tip end of the whole tenderloin (the last 7 – 10 cm (3 – 4") creates challenges because decent looking medallions cannot be manufactured from it. That being said, tip ends can be used for kebabs, stir fry and, in some cases, sold as tenderloin tips which unfortunately usually all sell at a lower price than tenderloin roasts or steaks.

    Cooking Methods
    Grilling Roasting


  • Tenderloin Steak

    Tenderloin Steak

    NAMP #1190A

    Technical Description – Tenderloin steak is prepared from NAMP #189 Tenderloin, Regular Trim. Fat cover averages 6 mm (1/4"). The individual steaks are cut from a tenderloin with not less than 40 mm (1.5") of a uniform thickness.

    • There are various trim specifications available for tenderloin steaks and these increase in cost with the amount of trimming that is required to produce the product.
    • Trimming silver skin, cutting exact portion steaks and removing the side muscle takes substantial skill and should not be attempted without a comprehensive butchery background. A significant amount of money can be lost if processing mistakes are made with the tenderloin.
    • Bone-in tenderloin steaks have become increasingly popular and may be difficult to source.

    Remember that tenderloin steaks have a limited shelf life. Manufacture only as many steaks as you will need on a daily basis. Another option is to put whole butt tenderloins in the meat case and manufacture steaks after the butt tenderloin has been in the case for one day. This will keep an option of roast style tenderloin for the customers as well as a steak option which will create the potential for increased sales of tenderloin.

    Remember that tying the tenderloin for steaks will keep the tenderloin more cylindrical and create a visually appealing, professional looking steak that will cook more evenly when placed on the grill.

    Cooking Methods