Nose-to-tail dining has long been hailed by chefs as a sustainable, cost-saving measure, and consumers are agreeable to the concept. Nearly a quarter of consumers say they’re now eating cuts of beef that they didn’t eat a year ago, and three in 10 diners say the same of pork cuts, shows Technomic’s2017 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report.
Younger consumers are especially open to eating alternative cuts of beef and pork at restaurants. Here are six underutilized meat cuts that consumers of all ages say they would eat at restaurants at least occasionally if they were offered.
1. Chuck steak
Nearly two-fifths of consumers (37%)—and 44% of men—say they would eat chuck steak at least occasionally if it was offered at a restaurant. Chuck steak comes from the shoulder area of the cow and is often used for pot roast, which is making a comeback at restaurants.
2. Pork skirt steak
Pork skirt steak is a juicy piece from near the bottom of the belly, where the equivalent skirt steak is found on a cow. Nearly a third of consumers (32%) express interest in eating pork skirt steak at restaurants, and this percentage is higher among men (37%).
3. Beef shank
Nearly three in 10 consumers (27%) say they would eat beef shank—sourced from the leg—at restaurants. Emerging Glendale, Calif.-based chain Max’s Restaurant added Beef Sinigang Soup last year, made with beef shanks simmered in a tamarind sauce with onions and tomatoes.
4. Pork crackling
Crackling is the crispy pork skin, also known as pork rinds, or—when it’s deep-fried in Latin preparations—chicharron. A fifth of consumers (21%) say they would eat pork crackling at restaurants. Jacksonville, Fla.-based chain Woody’s Bar-B-Q began testing a bar menu last fall that featured fried pork rinds.