Whenever anyone comes into the shop and asks for a fillet steak I carefully lean into the counter and gently pick up the tender joint and place it, deftly onto the surface of the block. Then I pick up the steak knife and slice through the muscle with care and precision.
It's like transporting royalty - because I am so aware of how valuable this part of the beef is.
It's not, I have to say, my favourite steak, but I know the monetary value - and I would get shot if I damaged it in any way. This cut is definitely tender, succulent, melt-in-the mouth; and when cooked perfectly - nothing short of fabulous.
But who decided that the sirloin component of bovine was the best? Who claimed that this was beef royalty? Whereas flank, blade and clod remain the peasants? A life destined for stews and curries... Just as King Rib of Beef - roasting fame, is noble whilst poor Brisket is banished to the humble, cheaper end of the market, or worse - forgotten!
There's a reason that fillet, rib eye, and sirloin are cut from the 'choice' but I would love to know exactly who chose...