published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I like my beef topped with bleu
This week, I thought I would write about beef since there is no shortage of it around these parts. There are three primary cuts of beef: the tenderloin, strip loin and ribeye.
I personally prefer the ribeye over the other two simply because it usually has a little more fat and, let's face it, fat is flavor.
I have had the pleasure of tasting Kobe beef from Japan on several occasions, usually when I was trimming tenderloin and tossed a small piece on the grill and shared it with the rest of the culinary team. Let me tell you, that is some awesome stuff, but I also must say that a dry aged Prime-grade ribeye can hold its own in comparison to Kobe.
The three main grades of beef given by the USDA are Prime, Choice and Select. Less than three percent of all the beef graded in the USA receives the Prime grade.
Choice is what you might recognize as being the most famous grade in the supermarket, but if you find yourself at a high-end steakhouse be sure and ask what grade of beef the chef is offering. If it is Prime, go ahead and do yourself a favor and order a steak and taste the difference.
I think I love to cook beef because it is such a great compliment to big red wines such as California Cabernet Sauvignon, French Bordeaux or even Australian Shiraz.
I know for me when I enjoy a great steak I love to wash it down with good red wine, so much so that in 2008 I passed the Certified Sommelier exam in Bozeman, Mont.
Last week I asked a trivia question. What are the five mother sauces? And the answer is as follows.
-- Sauce Béchamel, a milk-based sauce, thickened with a white roux.
-- Sauce Espagnole, a fortified brown veal stock sauce.
-- Sauce Velouté, a white stock-based sauce, thickened with a roux or a liaison.
-- Sauce Hollandaise, an emulsion of egg yolk, butter and lemon or vinegar.
-- Sauce Tomate, a tomato-based sauce.
They are the base from which other wonderful sauces are made.
This week, instead of a recipe, I would only offer a simple suggestion when cooking your next steak. After you flip it over to cook the other side, top the cooked side with a generous portion of your favorite bleu cheese crumbles and let them melt over your steak.
After you remove your steak from the grill, sprinkle a few toasted pecans over it and enjoy.
Tim Spain is System Executive Chef with Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center and Morrison Healthcare Food Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org/. Guest columns are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily those of the News-Sun staff.
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