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Agricultural News

OSU's Jacob Nelson and Steak Discovery Team Market New Vegas Strip Steak

Thu, 26 Apr 2012 11:06:37 CDT

OSUís Jacob Nelson and Steak Discovery Team Market New Vegas Strip Steak
The cards are dealt for a beef steak discovery when a renowned meat scientist and big city culinary mastermind join forces with Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center.

"The Vegas Strip Steak is the latest and perhaps last steak to be found from the beef carcass," said Jacob Nelson, FAPC value-added meat processing specialist.

FAPC's Nelson along with Tony Mata, Mata & Associates, and Rick Gresh, chef at David Burke's Primehouse at The James Hotel in Chicago, Ill., make-up the steak discovery team.   

Mata's research in obscure and "off-the-path" muscles led to the find.   

"I failed on three other muscles before I stumbled upon this muscle," Mata said. "I decided the muscle looked intriguing as compared to the others I had not succeeded with."

With more than 30 years of beef carcass research and development, Mata approached Nelson and the FAPC with the possibility of a new beef carcass cut.

"Initially, the cut was labeled as undervalued," Mata said. "This muscle produces a steak that is on par with or better than today's most popular steaks."

The meat scientist-university duo worked to find commercialization opportunities.

"In a world full of ideas, validating an idea is a key task," Nelson said. "From coolers, freezers and cutting rooms to the on-site USDA inspectors, the staff and facility availability at the FAPC made this new steak find possible."

While the fabrication process was perfected, Mata also met with Chef Gresh to verify performance in the kitchen while establishing plating, serving and menuing of the steak.

"From a culinary standpoint, Chef Gresh knows beef," Mata said.

Following the discovery, the team contacted Steven Price, associate vice president for technology development of the Technology Development Center at OSU, for assistance in protecting the find.

"What we did to bring this cut to the industry is very similar to what has been exercised by the beef industry in the past with other value cuts," Nelson said. "The difference is the previous value cut models were funded by the beef industry through check-off programs. This project was funded by Mata, FAPC and OSU."

Since, the Vegas Strip Steak took center stage for the first time on April 17, 2012, for unveiling at the Protein Innovation Summit in Chicago, Ill.

"The Vegas Strip Steak was well received by the audience," Mata said. "They tasted it, loved it and applauded."

Intentions for the new steak are targeted for food service entities.

"Our intent is for this to be a food service item," Nelson said. "I highly doubt you will see this steak at your local grocery store."

Even with similarities to the New York Strip, pricing of the Vegas Strip Steak is expected to be competitive.

"I have a feeling this is the last new steak that will have real implications in the industry," Nelson said.

Currently, two suppliers are fabricating the cut and interested parties can be licensed to use the cut.

"Given the history of the beef industry, the discovery of a new beef steak that has never before been fabricated and marketed could appear to be an impossibility," Nelson said. "But the FAPC, together with Dr. Mata and Chef Gresh, have made this impossibility a reality."



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