About a month ago Sprouts, the Colorado Ranchers Council, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” promoters) invited me and other influencers to a holiday ‘meat’ up. It happened to be election night, but I don’t regret going one bit. I learned a lot, and I had some delicious food. It really inspired me to try to step up my beef cooking skills.
I learned that there is a difference between a butcher and meat cutter. Their duties largely overlap, but a butcher focuses more on the initial cuts and a meat cutter focuses more on the last cuts, pre-sale cuts. However, Sprouts does an initiative called Meet the Butcher once or twice a week. I couldn’t remember the day. Don’t be surprised if the Sprout’s butchers call themselves meat cutters. They will do all sorts of things for you, including deboning a chicken. It take a lot of work, so I wouldn’t ask for it unless you really needed it. Sprouts is known for their wide selection of natural and hormone free foods. This extends to the meat counter as well. They have grass-fed beef and free range chicken options at the meat counter, which I don’t think you would find in most grocery stores.
Lately, I’ve started to really appreciate how much better fresh meat is. We have tried to save money in the past by buying meat in bulk, and then we freeze most of it. I can now tell that fresh meat is clearly better than meat that has been frozen.
At the Beef USA Culinary Center where they create the recipes for the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner website, we were taught how to make three high quality meals with beef as the main course. The experience seemed like a great cooking class. I learned a lot. The chefs involved the influencers in making the food, but we all couldn’t make everything.
We were taught how to make three different types of dinner. One was a restaurant style prime rib (recipe below), a peppery rib roast, and another meal was a more classic Sunday maple glazed roast with acorn squash. I tasted all of these recipes, and they were excellent. One common tool with these recipes is a quality meat thermometer. I think the meat thermometer really helps to make sure you’ve cooked the meat thoroughly while not cooking the meat much more than necessary. If you want to your beef to be nice and juicy then you don’t want to over cook it.
- The tying of a roast with string is meant to help the meat to evenly cook.
- Beef cuts with the word round in them usually mean a lower quality cut of meat.
- Start to sear your beef when you can’t hold your hand a couple of inches away from the pan.
- Make a compound butter ahead of time for extra flavor (recipe below)
- Apparently you can smoke water for a tastier au jus.
- The darker the cooking oil the lower the smoke point.
- Garlic tends to burn sooner than carrots, celery, and onion, so if you slice them they take a little longer to cook.
- When plating focus on creating height while leaving empty space on a plate. Contrast and rule of thirds help too!
- Resting your beef a little after cooking helps the juices to more evenly distribute.
- Here is a good guide on cooking different cuts of beef from Beef.It’sWhat’sForDinner.com.
I learned a lot, and I hope these tips from professionals will help you in the kitchen. The recipes here are high quality recipes that are well tested by professionals, so enjoy!