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Vegas Strip Steak: Tony Mata Discovers New Cut of Beef

(CBS News) -- To the multitude of meat eaters salivating for a new steak, Tony Mata is ready to serve. Mata has a Ph.D. in meat science and a business consulting the culinary industry. After several years of trial and error and support from the meat researchers at Oklahoma State University, Mata has a brand new discovery that he calls the Vegas Strip.

(CBS News) -- To the multitude of meat eaters salivating for a new steak, Tony Mata is ready to serve. Mata has a Ph.D. in meat science and a business consulting the culinary industry. After several years of trial and error and support from the meat researchers at Oklahoma State University, Mata has a brand new discovery that he calls the Vegas Strip.

It comes from an uninspiring area of the carcass that butchers tended to turn into ground chuck, but Mata insisted there was a jewel in all that fat, cartilage and gristle.  He told CBS News’ Dean Reynolds that if you used “standard butchering procedures, following the seam” on that piece of meat, there’s no way to get a good cut.

Mata's patented procedure, which he's trained butchers to perform in as little as 25 seconds, actually trims the bad from the good.

Rick Gresh is the executive chef at David Burke's Prime House in Chicago. He said new cuts of steak are very important.

“I think it's a pretty huge deal, especially since the last time a steak was invented was probably like 10 years ago,” he said, referring to the flat-iron steak, which, coincidentally, Mata also discovered.

Mata told Reynolds that “there’s a diversity of eating experiences in that beef carcass” and it’s that line of thinking that makes chefs happy.  

“I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and for me as a chef it really opened my eyes to look at all animals that way, and there's some great cuts out there that people don't know about,” said Gresh.

The chef said when the Vegas Strip is on the menu as a special it does “quite well” and he’s sold as many as 400 in one day.

With meat consumption dropping steadily for decades and with tough economic times a relatively inexpensive cut like the Vegas Strip comes along at just the right time.

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