Cut of the Month: Sweetheart Steak

The Lobel family of Lobel’s Prime Meats in Manhattan and Lobel’s of New York online butcher shop are fourth- and fifth-generation butchers. With our Cut of the Month series, we will bring you their wealth of knowledge and expertise on specific cuts of meat, including their unique characteristics, preparation methods, and how to select the best cut.

Try searching anywhere else for this cut and you won’t find it–it’s a Lobel’s exclusive! The Sweetheart Steak is a 20-ounce boneless strip steak or boneless rib steak that has been butterflied into the shape of a heart.

Romance is about Butterflies

Contrary to popular belief, romance isn’t about the birds and the bees–it’s about butterflies. Butterflied steaks, to be exact.

What is butterflying? It’s a butchering technique in which one cuts laterally through the thickness of a boneless cut of meat leaving a “hinge” so that the meat can be spread apart, resulting in a cut that is half the thickness of the original. Imagine what a butterfly looks like with its wings closed, then what it looks like when they are fully opened. That opening is essentially what the butcher does to the cut of meat and this is where the term originates.

To better understand the concept of butterflying, you can watch Evan Lobel demonstrate how to debone and butterfly a leg of lamb on Martha Stewart’s Cooking School:


Strip or Rib?

Two different beef steaks lend themselves well to being butterflied into the shape of a heart—a boneless rib steak and a boneless strip steak. Since both are shaped somewhat like an elongated half-circle with a point toward one end, they open up nicely into a heart-shape when butterflied.

Which steak you choose is purely a matter of preference. The rib steak is cut from the rib, while the strip–also called a shell steak or New York strip–is cut from the strip loin or shell. Both have fine marbling, beefy flavor, and toothsome texture.

How to Cook a Sweetheart Steak

Although a 20-ounce steak might seem like a fairly hefty cut, remember that the Sweetheart Steak has been butterflied to half its thickness. Therefore, when cooking, it’s more akin to cooking two conjoined 10-ounce steaks. That’s also why this steak is perfect for a romantic dinner for two—once cooked, you have two perfectly portioned 10-ounce steaks.

With that in mind, try following Lobel’s Guide to Cooking the Perfect Steak. Then simply finish your steak with a drizzle of truffle oil, a dollop of compound butter, or your favorite sauce.


Have you ever tried Lobel’s Sweetheart Steak? Have you ever butterflied a steak into the shape of a heart? What do you think the most romantic dinner entree is?