Uncommon Cuts of Meat and Poultry

The world is going crazy over frozen meats and trying out new cuisines. Restaurants, professionals, and home cooks look for uncommon cuts to prepare culinary ecstasy. While we credit the recipe, how a slice of meat is cut has a significant role in flavors and textures that tantalize our taste buds.

Keep reading to discover the versatility of meat cuts that add to culinary gems hiding in plain sight.

5 Uncommon Cuts of Meat and Poultry

The following cuts are unique and uncommon, but frozen meat suppliers have started exporting them due to their demand.

Beef Cheeks

Beef cheeks are cut from the cheeks of cows. They are tough and fatty when cooked quickly but become incredibly tender and flavorful when slow-cooked. This cut is best for preparing stews, braises, and pot roasts.

Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder can be roasted, smoked, or braised. The cut is well-marbled with fat, which helps to keep it moist during cooking. Pork shoulder is perfect for pulled pork, carnitas, and Italian pork roast.

Flat Iron

Flat iron is cut by removing the connective tissue from the beef shoulder. It is the most tender cut of beef, just after filet mignon. The steaks made of flat iron are affordable, costing only about half as much as filet mignon.


It has multiple names across the globe, like Top Sirloin Cap, Rump Cap, or Coulotte. It is an art to cut it from the bottom area of the top sirloin; hence, most butchers keep it with the top sirloin, and you can’t taste the fat cap, which adds a lovely essence and keeps the meat moist and tender.


It is also known as Santa Maria steak or California cut. As you can guess from the name, it has a triangular tip cut from the bottom sirloin of beef. Tri-Tip is flavorful and typically grilled or roasted and sliced for tenderness.

Flavors of Lesser-Known Cuts of Meat and Poultry

The above-mentioned cuts can add up to some delightful cuisine. Here are some specific dishes you can make from the cuts.

Beef Cheeks:

  1. Red Wine Braised Beef Cheeks: Tender beef cheeks simmered in a rich red wine sauce infused with aromatic vegetables and herbs.
  2. Beef Cheek Tacos: Flavorful shredded beef cheeks seasoned with spices, served on warm corn tortillas with a medley of toppings.
  3. Beef Cheek Stew: A hearty and comforting stew featuring tender beef cheeks, potatoes, carrots, and a rich broth, perfect for a cozy meal.

Pork Shoulder:

  1. Pulled Pork: Succulent shredded pork, slow-cooked and perfectly seasoned, ideal for sandwiches, tacos, and barbecue platters.
  2. Pork Carnitas: Crispy, golden-brown pork cubes simmered in lard or oil, infused with Mexican spices, perfect for tacos, burritos, and nachos.
  3. Pork Shoulder Roast: A hearty and flavorful roasted pork shoulder featuring tender meat, crispy crackling, and a rich gravy, ideal for a Sunday roast or special occasion meal.

Flat Iron:

  1. Flat Iron Fajitas: Sizzling strips of flat iron steak, seasoned and grilled to perfection, served with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.
  2. Flat Iron Steak Sandwich: A hearty and satisfying sandwich featuring tender flat iron steak, melted cheese, and your favorite fixings.
  3. Flat Iron Steak and Potatoes: A classic combination of tender flat iron steak, roasted potatoes, and a simple pan sauce, perfect for a weeknight meal.


  1. Picanha Churrasco: A Brazilian barbecue staple featuring a juicy and flavorful picanha steak grilled over an open flame.
  2. Picanha Steaks: Succulent and tender picanha steaks, grilled, pan-seared, or roasted to perfection, ideal for a satisfying meal.Picanha
  3. Pica Pau: A Portuguese dish featuring thinly sliced picanha steak, seasoned and grilled, served with a tangy sauce of onions, tomatoes, and peppers.


  1. Tri-Tip Roast: A tender and flavorful roasted tri-tip featuring juicy meat, crispy crackling, and a rich gravy.
  2. Tri-Tip Steaks: Quickly grilled or pan-seared tri-tip steaks, cooked to medium-rare or medium.
  3. Tri-Tip Sandwiches: A delightful combination of thinly sliced tri-tip, melted cheese, and your favorite toppings on crusty bread.


Whether you’re a seasoned chef or an adventurous cook, these cuts are waiting to reach the kitchen table and become a delicacy. The cuts are difficult to find in local markets and need special instructions. But with the frozen meat export market, the scenario has changed a lot, and every meatatarian can have a bite of their favorite cut.

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