Saturday, May 23, 2009

The new "Tomahawk" beef cut

As the bulge in my trackie-dacks attests, not since I invented a thing called the "Eight-Sided X Steak" have I been as excited about a cut of beef as the new "Tomahawk". Unlike today's batch of rural advertorial types, I don't simply adapt a press release and pass it off as my own work in order to sell the odd quarter-page of advertising space. No. Here at Mother Foccacia you can read every glorious blood-dripped word from the blurb yourself.

22 May 2009

MLA releases the 'Tomahawk' – a cut that hits you right between the ribeye

A new experience in shared eating known as the ‘Tomahawk’ was launched by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) this week in Adelaide.

The Tomahawk is one of the largest rib eye steaks in Australia, weighing from 1.3 to 2.5 kilograms, and takes its name from the 30 centimetres of rib bone that is left on the meat while cooking.

According to Bill Lindsay, MLA’s South Australian Business Development Manager - who co-hosted 87 of Adelaide’s finest chefs and food media at the lunch launch - the steak is designed to be brought to the table, then carved and shared between four to six people.

“We hope that chefs will take it up as a piece of theatre and some fun in their restaurants,” Mr Lindsay said.

“Because it is a new concept, consumers should ask their butchers and restaurants to order the special cut. It would make a great conversation piece for a dinner with friends.”

Lachlan Bowtell, MLA’s Marketing Manager – Trade, said it was a case of tackling the current economic climate head on.

“With the Australian foodservice sector experiencing a bit of a downturn due to the global economic crisis we are taking the bull by the horns (or the ribs) and adding some excitement to the beef scene.

“We already have a firm commitment from South Australian several outlets looking to menu the item, along with wholesaler support. We are also talking to a number of processors to get the specification in the boning room changed to accommodate the increased bone length, and so far we have received some real encouragement by two processors in particular.

“So in these times of ‘a selling down’ attitude in foodservice, we have done the opposite with a novelty steak giving the customer what they want – nutritious, delicious beef coupled with a unique experience.”


  1. 'Novelty steak' seems a disrespectful term for such a wonderous, almost Holy creation.

    Argghhllllarghhlllarghhllll [SFX Homer droooling]

  2. You're drooling on me Yobbo.

    If you wanna see the pickies, head to the media release section of


  3. Damn. I gots to get me one of these. But I'm not sharing.

  4. Could we film that Birmo, i could edit it to look like some caligula-esque orgy of over indulgence to get our traffic up.
    I've always loved rib on the bone so this is the natural next step

  5. Bedes, help me out with my bovine anatomy... it seems to me that this is from further along the beast than the usual ribeye, hence the rib is so much bigger. So would that make it a scotch fillet with the bone still attached?

  6. Nice question Abe. That might be correct, I don't know. But 30cms isn't all that big for a rib regarding a fully grown steer so it's still probably around mid-ships.

    I'd need a butcher to confirm this, but there's a standardised rib cut called H.A.M. 1601 which arrives at shops from the slaughterhouse. Now, by the time 1601 gets there, the bone's usually been cut to about two-inches beneath the rib-eye, and the rest of the ribs underneath HAM 1601 are flogged as a seperate item. What I think the Tomahawk is about is individualising a frenched cutlet (ie, removing intercostals) and keeping the bottom half in the game. I think the way that shot's been set up, they've dragged a lot of the meat forward to camera. Usually, that primal cut is 5th to 10th rib so maybe you're right and they've gone forward.

    I'd prefer to think they've gone bigger though and that the piece has come from an older and larger animal.

    I'll report in due course. Bedes

    PS the more I think about it, I think your read is right Abe. I'm thinking it could be a 3rd/4th rib striploin - not so much because of the size of the bone though, but because of the weight of the meat they're talking about. 1.3 to 2.5kg is almost enough for two at our place. Anyway, I'll get in touch with them

  7. Cheers Bedes. Yeah the size (weight) had me a little puzzled. If I hear that they're starting to sell them at the Great Western in Rockhampton, I'm jumping on a plane.

  8. I've just remembered, there's a place in Wagga that's been selling these for a couple of years under the name 'Cattleman's cutlet' - Anyway, there's a photo of a chick with one in her hand at:,22606,25497129-2682,00.html


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