The Meat of the Matter


The Meat of the Matter

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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Earlier this month at the Annual Meat Conference in Nashville, TN, the 15th annual “Power of Meat” study was released. Along with consumption trends, sales growth, and consumer preferences, the study showed that demand for meat is accelerating.

Although the number of vegetarians and vegans is growing, when it comes to meat consumption, however, the Power of Meat study showed that “moderation is far more popular than elimination”. The report's top findings also highlighted that the majority of consumers purchase just “a handful of cuts” and are motivated by time-saving solutions, and quality.

Better access to information has allowed general consumers to become more aware of the relationships between diet and health. As a result, when many choose to purchase meat, they opt for the highest quality. Yes, quality comes at a cost, but remember buying cheaper meat doesn't mean you're getting more. In many cases, you'll lose a high percentage of the weight of cheaper meat during cooking.

Since opening, Butcher Block has prided itself on offering meat (and seafood, wines, cheeses, and pantry staples) of the highest quality. Our well-marbled cuts of beef allow our customers to enjoy cuts that are more satisfying in taste. We are also proud of being an invaluable resource to our customers; whether it's cooking tips or recipes, the Butcher Block team has a wealth of knowledge. In that spirit, this week, we're sharing some tips that will allow you to get to the meat of the matter.

Season Like a Chef

The reason the food at top restaurants tastes better is that it is adequately seasoned. A high-quality steak doesn't need much to make it shine; however, seasoning it well can elevate it allowing each bite to be sheer bliss. Before adding steak to a hot grill or cast-iron skillet, ensure that both sides are generously seasoned with salt and pepper or your favourite Private Label by Gregory Burrowes spice blend.

Bring Meat to Room Temperature Before Cooking

The small step of taking meat out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking allows it to cook faster and more evenly.

For Steaks, the Cooking Surface Has to be Hot, Hot, Hot

Whether you are grilling or cooking in a cast-iron skillet, always start with high heat. A white-hot cooking surface locks in the juices and flavour and allows the steak to develop an appealing crispy exterior.

Invest in a Meat Thermometer

Even expert chefs keep this tool handy. To ensure that you never overcook another steak here's a handy internal temperature guide:

• Rare: 125F

• Medium-rare: 130 to 135F

• Medium: 140 to 145F

• Medium-well: 150F

• Well-done: 160 to 165F

Chef's tip: the internal temperature will continue to rise three to five degrees after you've removed the steaks from the heat source. These internal temperatures are when you should remove the meat from the heat.

Let Meat Rest After Cooking

Whether it's a roast or steaks, it's vital to let cooked meat rest for up to 10 minutes after cooking. This rest period allows the juices to redistribute and the fibres to relax. Cutting into a steak the moment it comes off the grill or a roast the second it comes out the oven will result in all the juices leaking out, leaving behind tough, dry meat.

Perfect Bacon Starts With a Cold Pan

Egad! But this is true. It's every cook's natural intuition to heat a pan before adding ingredients. However, placing bacon in a hot pan causes it to burn before the fat has fully rendered. To bet on perfectly crispy bacon start with a cold cast-iron skillet, add the bacon, then turn to medium heat. Watch the fat melt away, leaving crisp rashers to complement breakfast, salads, or sandwiches.

Cuts Matter

Remember that not all cuts of meat are created equal. The cooking (grilling, stewing, roasting) and seasoning (marinade vs dry rub) methods vary depending on the cut.

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