Prep School: A Know-Your-Steaks Glossary
Don’t be a meathead. Learn the terminology and become a connoisseur.
Aging: The process that changes beef in two ways: Moisture is evaporated from the muscle, creating a greater concentration of flavor, and the beef’s natural enzymes break down the connective tissue, leading to a more-tender piece of meat.
All Natural: A USDA classification for meat that has been “minimally processed with no artificial ingredients.” All Natural beef may, however, contain antibiotics and growth hormones. Most beef qualifies as All Natural, according to the USDA’s guidelines.
Angus: A fast-growing, reliably tender, and nicely marbled breed of cattle that performs well on a corn-based diet. It is the most common breed of cattle in the United States.
Grain-fed: An animal that has been fattened up with grain-based feeds made of soy or corn in the last 4 to 6 months before slaughter.
Grass-fed: A free-range, pastured cow that consumes only plants. This diet creates leaner meat.
Marbling: The white flecks of fat interspersed within the muscle tissue. The more marbling, the juicier and more tender the cut of steak.
Wagyu: Any of several breeds of cattle (such as the trademarked Kobe) originating from Japan and genetically predisposed to produce exquisitely marbled steaks.
We love steak, any way you slice it. In Indianapolis, there’s a steakhouse to cater to every occasion and level of sophistication, and after months of dining like wealthy cavemen, we present them to you here, in juicy detail. A la cartes include a primer on the king cuts (for those who don’t know a porterhouse from a portobello), tips on the best cheap chops in town, a cattle call of beefy terms, and a stab at defining that common condition among steak-lovers—the meat sweats. You want a piece of this? Dig in.