Took this shot of one of my favorite cuts of beef for work this morning. I felt like it was too pretty not to share.
Dry aging is all the rage right now - and for good reason. The process can take an already excellent piece of meat and turn it into something truly sublime (it can also make crappy meat taste significantly better, but we won’t talk about the heathens who engage in that practice). Dry aging is equal parts science and art; you need to be able to closely monitor and control your airflow, temperature, and humidity - but you also need to have the intuition to pull an aging primal at just the right time, and to be able to spot problems before they occur. Done right, a properly stored cut can be aged for 60, 90, even 120 days - each day longer it hangs out the flavor evolves and deepens that much further.
I’ve talked before about the River Cottage Meat Book being the the end all be all of meat-related books - and I stand by that. But as my groaning bookshelves can attest, the world is absolutely full of great books covering all aspects of the meat business - raising animals, sourcing, cutting, marketing, whatever. One of my favorites is The Meat We Eat, a four pound tome of a reference book that has been a constant companion to many flashier books in the butcher’s library. It’s dry - you’d be more apt to confuse this for a textbook than for the River Cottage Meat Book (can we start saying RCMB? I mean, I won’t but maybe let’s think about it). The Meat We Eat makes up for in sheer depth of knowledge what it lacks in polish; you come away from it’s 1112 pages with information that spans just about every aspect of the business from harvesting methods to HACCP plans and microbial safety.
I picked up a GoPro for "work" and I'm still getting familiar with it. This is pretty raw, anything I post in the future should be slightly more polished. The cool thing about the cutting table at work is there is a pipe directly overhead that's perfect for mounting, so I hope to do some more of these.
NAMP Number: 114D
Muscle Name: Infraspinatus
Other names: Butler’s Steak, Oyster Blade Steak, Top Blade, Patio Steaks, Paleta, Espaldilla de Planchuela, Puffer Steak
Cooking style: Quick - a trimmed down flat iron is barely a 1/2 inch thick. Sear it good both sides and call it a day.
It seems like spring is finally arriving to my sleepy corner of PA. The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and most crucially - my beloved Weber has finally reappeared from the snowbank it spent the last 5 months hiding inside. It’s reemergence has put grilling firmly in my mind and at this point I’ve been thinking about firing up the grill so much I can practically smell the charcoal. What’s great about the grill is that it’s a great way to cook just about any cut of meat you can think of. There are certain cuts, though, that just cry out to be grilled; they are so well suited for the insanely hot, dry sear you get from charcoal that it’s almost a shame not to grill them. For me, almost no steak grills up better than the Flat Iron.