August 20th, 2010

Cuts of Beef Simplified

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This just simply rocks.

If you’ve ever been baffled by what cut is what, this guide is for you.

Our friends at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Cattlemen’s Beef Board put this together to make life easier for us. Wasn’t that nice?

Keep it bookmarked so you can refer to it again and again.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Guide courtesy of BBQGuide.com.


June 28th, 2010

8 of the Most Expensive Cuts of Beef You Never Knew You HAD to Have!

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8 of the Most Expensive Cuts of Beef You Never Knew You HAD to Have!

You love steak, and even in a recession you want the best that money can buy.  But how much money are you really willing to drop to buy the “perfect” steak?

Let’s say you have an unlimited budget…what would be the best steak that your money could buy?  Here’s a list of the 8 most expensive types of beef.  The prices listed below are based on USDA Prime quality beef, but prices will vary according to your geographic location, the portion size, and grade of beef selected.

Not all beef is created equal.  If you want to eat the best steak of your life, it’s gonna cost you…and it’ll be worth every penny.

The Best of the Best

1)    Kobe Beef

This beef comes only from Kobe, Japan; therefore, costs more the further you travel from Japan.  What makes it so special?  Well, it comes from Wagyu cows that have been massaged with sake-fed grain fodder and given one beer a day.  This makes the beef tender, flavorful and wonderfully marbled.  You can find this in most of the top, high-end steakhouses in the U.S. like Japonais in Chicago.

At the Renga-tei Restaurant in Kobe, a cut of Wagyu, wrapped in rice paper and seared on an iron grill, then served with salmon and salad is $206.  Chef Varley’s “Triple Seared” Japanese Kobe in Las Vegas costs $33 an ounce.  So, an eight-ounce serving is $264.

www.jenius.com.au

2)    American Wagyu

This type of beef comes from Wagyu cows imported from Japan but raised here in the U.S.  They are rare (there aren’t very many of them) so they are expensive.  They, too, are tender and very flavorful.  You can find this type of beef at BLT Steak in New York City.  There, an American Wagyu 12-oz. ribeye runs $92.

3)    Tenderloin

Typically, the most expensive cuts of beef are taken from the most tender parts of the cow.  These are the parts that don’t get “overworked” in the animal’s lifetime.  Therefore, they’re tender.  Tenderloin is an amazing example of this.  Try The Tenderloin Room in St. Louis.

The “Pepperloin a la Tenderloin” dish at the Tenderloin Room (which consists of slices of specially seasoned, marinated tenderloin) costs $38.

4)    Filet Mignon

Now, this is exquisite.  Filet mignon is taken from the small end of the tenderloin (called the short loin) and is known as the “king of steaks.”  It can often be cut with a fork, it’s so tender.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  You can find delectable filet mignon at most any upscale steakhouse, but I prefer an at-home version delivered by the Kansas City Steak Company.  They’re widely known for their corn-fed beef – especially the filet mignon.

A 12-oz. filet at BLT Steak in NYC is $42.  Six 6-oz. filets from Kansas City Steak Company run $64.95.  Definitely a better buy.

www.kansascitysteaks.com

5)    Kansas City Strip

Strip steaks, taken from the short loin, are particularly tender, but not as tender as the tenderloin.  They can, however, but cut into thicker portions which is appealing to lovers of more rare beef.

Sometimes called New York Strip or Delmonico, you can find strip steaks just about everywhere!

www.ruthschris.com

6)    Porterhouse

Ahhh, the Porterhouse!  Part tenderloin and part strip steak, this hefty favorite divides the two with a bone that helps provide amazing flavor.  The Porterhouse has a larger side of tenderloin than on a T-bone. Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn, NY, is famous for its 2-person Porterhouse.  Newsday describes it as “Fibrous, mineral-sweet beef, crusty and tender.”  Yum!

A single Porterhouse at the Tenderloin Room in St. Louis runs $39.

www.peterluger.com

7)    T-Bone

The yin to the Porterhouse’s yang, the T-bone is a more conventional favorite, yet still pricey in upscale restaurants.  The fact that this type of steak comes from the short loin section of the cow (and, thus, the most tender) makes it expensive.  Find a great T-bone at Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses across the country.  A good bet.

8)    Bone-in Ribeye (Cote de Boeuf)

It’s the bone that gives this cut its flavor.  Leave the bone in and you leave the rich flavor intact.  The ribeye comes from the rib section of the cow, which gives it its hearty flavor.  Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Dallas, TX, has a bone-in beauty to die for!

www.tenderloinroom.com


January 22nd, 2010

Slap Your Granny Steak

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Okay, I hate the name. Slapping anyone’s granny sounds like a horrible idea to me. But that’s what it’s called so we’ll go with that.

This steak is apparently “so good you’ll wanna slap your granny.” You marinate your steaks in a yummy Worcestershire/soy concoction inside a bag until it’s good and infused with flavor. Then you grill them.

Hold onto your Hoverround chair, cuz this stuff is good!

Don’t those look brimming with flavor???

Here’s the skinny on this recipe from “Stay At Home Dad” over at Hubpages.com.  Enjoy! (And please, don’t really slap your granny. She’s a nice lady.)

Slap Your Grandma Good!

I am not an advocate of violence and I have never actually slapped my grandmother, but this steak recipe is so good I wanted to make sure the title would get your attention.

This recipe is a variation of the one my mom taught me. I have spent years perfecting it and my wife loves it. I have designated it my ‘go to recipe’ when I have done something to upset her. It is quick and easy and guaranteed to produce the best steak you’ve ever had!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Marinate time: 1-3 hours (depending on the cut of beef)

Cook time: 10-15 minutes (depending on the cut of beef and thickness)

The Marinade

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce (I think Lea & Perrin’s is best)

1/3 cup soy sauce ( I use Kikkoman’s)

1/2 cup A-1 steak sauce

3 Tbls. McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning

*A little fresh minced garlic is optional- but also very good!

I should say that I NEVER measure anything when I put this together. The measurements here are merely suggestions. My only advice is to go a little lighter on the soy than the Worcestershire. I use the soy to take a little of the ‘sweetness’ out of the Worcestershire.

Marinating in the Bag

The Steak

If you don’t have a favorite steak, I highly recommend the Ribeye. It isn’t the most expensive cut, but you cannot beat the flavor. This recipe is for two ribeye steaks- adjust accordingly if you are cooking more.

How to put it all Together

In a large zip lock bag combine all the ingredients and slosh around a bit to mix thoroughly. Add the steaks and zip the bag closed. Slosh around a bit more and be sure to coat each steak completely and refrigerate. For ribeyes, it is best not to marinate for more than two hours. I have marinated for 30 minutes if I am in a hurry, but a 1-2 hours is best.

You may need to experiment a little with the marinade times on other steaks. The following times are what I use when I splurge for more expensive cuts:

1-3 hours are best for strips

1-2 hours for Porterhouse and T-bones

30 minutes or less for Filets

I normally turn the bag over 2 or 3 times while they marinate, but it isn’t necessary. About 20 minutes before you put them on the grill, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature.

Time to Light the Grill

I use a Weber charcoal grill when I cook steaks. After you light the grill and allow the coals to begin to ash on each corner, push all the coals to the outside edge of the grill. I have found the best results when I cook the steaks over the center of the grill, not directly above the coals. I have heard this referred to as ‘indirect’ cooking. If you use a gas grill, preheat on highest setting, then reduce to low heat. You may need to adjust your cook times on a gas grill.

*I never cook steaks without baked potatoes. I recommend using large russets and I have a great way to prepare them while the steaks are cooking. I’ll let you in on my secret at the bottom of this post…

Grill set up

Cooking Tips and Times

After many years of trial and error, I broke down and bought a meat thermometer. It was the best $10 I ever spent.

For best flavor, do not remove any fat prior to cooking. Place steaks in the middle of the grill. We prefer our ribeyes cooked medium rare. For steaks cut ¾ inches thick, do not cook more than 5 minutes per side. I try to only turn my steaks once during cooking. ALWAYS use tongs to handle steaks. To insure juiciness, never pierce the steaks while cooking. Keep the lid on the grill as much as possible. After approximately 8 minutes, I use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Steaks will heat up to an additional 10 degrees after you remove them from the grill, so for medium rare remove the meat from the grill when the temperature at the thickest section reaches 135F. If you do not have a meat thermometer, DO NOT cook more than 10 minutes. You can always put them back on if they are not cooked enough.

On the grill

Suggested Temperatures for Doneness

145F for medium rare

160F for medium

170F for well done

Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Baked Potato Secret

For two large baked potatoes:

Pierce each potato through with a knife in 2-3 places

Microwave two potatoes for 5 minutes on each side (10 minutes total)

Wrap with aluminum foil and place directly on the coals about 10 minutes before the steaks go on

Turn the potatoes once about the same time you turn the steaks

There is no set amount of time to leave the potatoes on the coals, but a minimum of 20 minutes is what I recommend. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Hubpages.com.


December 21st, 2009

The 12 Meats of Christmas

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prime_lrg08_Detail

Sometimes holiday classic tunes need a little updating.  And what better way to spend the 12 Days of Christmas than with the ones you love?

The foods you love, that is.

So here it goes . . . cue the carolers!

“The 12 Meats of Christmas”

On the twelfth day of Christmas, KC Steaks shipped to me:

Twelve roasts a-roasting,

Eleven pork chops sizzling,

Ten seasonings seasoning,

Nine strip steaks smoking,

Eight ribs a-braising,

Seven filets mignon-ing,

Six ribeyes marbling,

Five ste-ak-burgers, (pause, pause, pause)

Four T-bones,

Three prime ribs,

Two tenderloin,

And a hickory smoked tur-r-r-r-key!!!

Whew!  I’m tired.  And hungry.

Wanna send your own 12 Meats of Christmas?  Start here!

Photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


November 18th, 2009

Tips for a Great Steak

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So you think you’ve got it down, this whole grilling thing. I mean, you just fire up the grill, stick on your steaks, turn them and eyeball when they’re done, right?

You COULD do it that way. But you might be disappointed with the results.

Here’s a handy dandy tip center to help you get the most out of each cut of steak.  Did you know that cooking a filet mignon is a bit different than cooking, say, a T-bone?

pepperBaconFilet_lrg

The Kansas City Steak Company gives us some pointers on the best way to cook each cut of steak here.

Here’s a sample . . . read it, follow it, enjoy!

Preparing Filet Mignon

  • This cut is so tender that it should never be cooked beyond medium-rare. The longer you cook it, the less tender and drier it becomes 

  • Use a dry, high heat method such as grilling, roasting, pan-frying, or broiling 

  • Cutting into the meat to check doneness lets juice escape. Use the touch method. Touch the meat. If it feels soft and leaves an imprint, it is rare. If it is soft but slightly resilient, it is medium-rare. When it feels firm, it is overdone 

  • Filets are a thick steak, so grill the sides as well as the top and bottom

Excerpt and photo courtesy of KansasCitySteaks.com.


October 1st, 2009

A Gift for the Steak Lover

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I was in Target this week and THEY HAVE HOLIDAY STUFF OUT ALREADY.

Christmas. Hanukkah. You name it. It’s out.

And I’m still getting over the fact that it’s not summer anymore. I’m slow.

So in honor of the tradition of starting the holiday season WAY too early, I give you these . . .

T-BoneSteakEar

They’re earrings! And they’re so versatile.

Truly the perfect gift this holiday season.

Your favorite aunt can wear these BBQ T-bone danglers to work, to the movies, to a Bar Mitzvah, anywhere!

But get ’em now before they’re all snapped up!

I know I’ll be wearing them to my husband’s office holiday party. Wait, I want him to keep his job . . .

. . .  on second thought, never mind.

Photo courtesy of storesense.com.


September 3rd, 2009

Chef Sandy’s Steak Primer

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pic-2-beef-steak

School is back  in session so what better time to brush up on a lesson that is near and dear to my heart?  Yes, class, it’s time for a lesson on steak.

Chef Sandy goes through the ins and outs of cuts for us here. And if you pay attention you might just get an extra recess.

I often get the question, “What kind of steak should I buy?”

Well, that kind of depends on a few factors…

            -What do you want to spend?

            -What sort of texture do you want?

            -What is the doneness level that you prefer?

            -What kind of fat percentage do you want?

            -What cooking method are you planning to use?

Here is a brief overview:

Many of the cuts of beef that are used for steaks are cut from the loin portion of the beef.

Most of us are well aware that filet or beef tenderloin (and Chateaubriand) are all part of the same very expensive cut of beef.  There is very little waste, very little work for the cook (little trimming is necessary) and it is appropriate for anything and anyone who likes steak, even at the fanciest meal.  The texture of tenderloin is very tender, and some say that the flavor is not assertively beefy enough, but that is really a matter of choice. 

Many times this cut of meat will be served with a sauce or an equally luxurious topping like a bleu cheese topping or it will be wrapped in bacon, all of which will enhance the flavor. This is the priciest cut of steak, but again, there is no waste, and not too much shrinkage, so what you buy (and pay for) is what you get to eat.

But what is the difference between a T-bone and a Porterhouse?  How about a KC Strip and NY Strip?

A Porterhouse is a steak with a T-bone in the middle, and a large portion of both tenderloin and strip loin.  A T-bone is the same steak, but the tenderloin portion is usually smaller than a silver dollar, or even non-existent.  The bone-in nature of this steak usually yields great flavor, and oftentimes at the grocery store the T-bones actually have a large filet portion (and should therefore be labeled as the more expensive Porterhouse — shh, we won’t tell). 

The difference between a KC Strip and a NY Strip is basically a marketing difference.  Depends on where you are from.  Either could come with a bone, but often not, and both are a generally oblong shaped steak, with not much visible marbling, but fat around the outside (non-bone side) of the meat.  Depending on where you shop, and what part of the country you are from, these steaks are often in the high-middle of the price range for quick cooking steaks.

A ribeye or Delmonico steak is well marbled with fat, and because of its high fat content, can be cooked more well done and still remain juicy.  This kind of steak will flame up on the grill, so it should definitely be watched carefully.  One trick I have used is to first grill the steak on the grate to get grill marks (and flavor) and then put heavy duty foil on the grill and put the steaks on top to finish cooking them without incinerating them.

Sirloin steaks on the other hand, may need marinating to become juicy.  They should not usually be cooked to more than medium doneness and oftentimes are sliced thinly against the grain for presentation to help ensure a tender dining experience.  Flank steak and skirt steak (fajitas) are also cuts of meat which should be marinated, cooked quickly to a med-rare or medium doneness and sliced across the grain for tenderness.

Round steaks are usually too tough to use a direct cooking method, and are better suited to another preparation method like braising — think Swiss steak.  Brown, then cook the steak until tender in flavor liquid (gravy) for a few hours.  Many different cultures have variations on this theme, and a thin round steak can also be used as a wrapper for flavorful ingredients, with the whole bundle braised in flavorful liquid for a delicious meal.  Italians call it Braciole (may also be made with flank steak) Germans have Rouladen.  Long story short, braise it for great taste and tenderness.

If you are making Chicken Fried Steak, the traditional choice is a tenderized round steak.  This is a piece of meat which has been put through a process which mechanically pounds the steak and breaks up the tissues with thousands of little blades.  This is the only way to use this steak in a quick cooking manner, otherwise you would end up with shoeleather.  I have seen Chicken Fried Ribeye and Chicken Fried Filet on some fancier menus here in Texas, and since these are more tender pieces of meat, no mechanical tenderizing is necessary. Tasty, and about as decadent as you can get…

If you have any questions about a piece of meat you are considering buying, just ask.  At many grocery stores or even Web site, sometimes they have flip guides to cuts of meat and preferred cooking method, and sometimes even stickers on the actual meat packages which say “Great for the Grill” or “Best for Braising” or some similar catchy tips.  Or better yet, try some new choices next time you go to your favorite steak restaurant, and make a note to yourself about what you like and the preparation methods you enjoy.

Then you can try them out at home!

Photo courtesy of acjc.edu.


July 7th, 2009

A Reunion Deserves Steak

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We recently had a family reunion of sorts — hosted at our house.

And what did we serve to celebrate the occasion?

Why, steak of course!!!

reunionsteaks

T-bones and boneless ribeyes crowded the grill. (Check out that big one there in front.)

We sat around the dining room table, laughed, drank wine and caught up. Just like it should be.

We even made t-shirts for the occasion. But I’ll spare you those cheesy shots.

This is the plate ready to head to the table — spatula and all.

reunionsteaks2

That’s a lot of beef.

My hubby was thankful everyone came (well, it WAS his side’s reunion after all) but moreso because he had leftover steaks for the next 3 days.

Score.

That’s what summer days are all about at our house! :)


May 21st, 2009

Steak Recipe: Memorial Day Menu

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Looking for an entire, ready-made Memorial Day menu?

Look no further than this little carb-smart baby here.

It includes an ENTIRE menu, shopping list and recipes for all of this . . .

  • T-Bone Steaks With Grilled Onions
  • Cucumber Bullseyes
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Sesame Green Bean Packets
  • Company Broccoli
  • Down Home Cole Slaw
  • Cauliflower Fauxtato Salad
  • Cherry Coke Salad
  • Georgia Peach Iced Tea
  • Cherry Lemonade
  • Couldn’t you just die? It all sounds so delicious I’m ready for Memorial Day to happen RIGHT NOW.

    Look, even President Obama would wait in line for some of this . . .

    obama1

    So head on over to this link if you want to get crackin’ on your shopping list for Memorial Day weekend. Wheeee!!

    Menu courtesy of carbsmart.com.

    Photo courtesy of chetculver.com.


    March 9th, 2009

    Where Can I Find a Steak in NY?

    By

    steak20dinner-cartoon

    So, it’s Monday . . . and this Friday my hunk-o-beef of a husband and I are traveling to NYC for a long weekend.

    We need it.

    Guess what we’re frantically searching for before we get there.

    The best steak in town.

    I know, it’s hard to believe.

    Since we know we won’t be able to grill up our own T-bones in the hotel room, a steakhouse will have to do.

    But where to go?

    We’ve done Sparks. Check out our experience here.

    And Peter Luger’s only had a 3:45 or 9:45 reservation time available.

    Neither sounds like “dinnertime” to me.

    So, we’re up a creek. In Manhattan. And that’s hard to do.

    It should be an interesting journey trolling the streets of Midtown in search of a steak without reservations. But we’re crazy like that.

    You know that thing called a “recession” we’re supposedly in? The steakhouses in the tri-borough area apparently never got that memo. They’re booked solid.

    Score one for the beef industry.

    Now, if I could just score a steak . . .

    Illustration courtesy of iabeef.org.


    October 31st, 2008

    Have a Steaky Halloween!

    By

    If I had really been thinking, I totally would have been this for Halloween . . .

    But alas, I’ll have to settle for next year. Maybe then my husband can walk next to me and dress up as a bottle of Teriyaki sauce. Yum!

    Have a great Halloween!

    Photo courtesy of amazon.com.


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    About Me

    Hi! My name is Dena P., and I love steak. In fact, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect steak for a few years now.

    I love experimenting with food and I like to get my family, friends and neighbors involved. They add a lot to my cooking experience by helping me perfect techniques and sharing recipes.

    Read More About Me »

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