Today was a great day for me and beef. I had the pleasure of attending a workshop put on by Canadian Beef Inc. in the lovely Nella demonstration kitchen on Bathurst. It got me thinking in a few different directions and I’ll be posting more about the workshop and what I’m thinking about but for now here’s a round-up of the highlights of my (many) posts involving beef.
I opened by introducing myself as the guy who has cooked steak in a beer cooler. It’s a really useful technique–I repeated it for a chilli competition I entered–that I’m going to be trying to work other parts of the cow into. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments.
Burgers, steaks, and roasts are all great but we have to remember that for every two spinalis dorsii (the pinnacle of beef) there is a heart. Literally. Here’s my post about cooking the beef offal that tastes most like steak.
Recipe developers would be well-advised to start developing more recipes for bone marrow. I know this because my recipes for roast bone marrow and bone marrow butter are two of my most popular with Google searcher. Oh, and bone marrow is absolutely delicious.
I don’t think it was directed at me but there was some head-shaking, tut-tutting by dieticians in the room about recipe writers advising readers to dry age their own beef. I’ve done my research, strongly believe that it’s safe, and will continue to recommend that you at least do your own reading and consider this option to get the most flavour from roasts. I will, of course, be happy to read any solid epidemiology studies that show this is dangerous and engage in a continuing debate.
My own head was shaking when we discussed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s guidelines on meat doneness. You see, instead of telling people that they believe it is unsafe to eat beef cooked to medium-rare (it definitely is not) they have changed the definition of what medium rare is. No one with two taste buds to rub together actually thinks that beef is still medium when it hits 160°F. Every one confused? Frankly, so am I and that’s why I’ll be doing another post.
Part of the reason for their caution is that CFIA is concerned that the practice of needling beef (it’s really just what it sounds like) to tenderise it might have introduced dangerous microbes to the centre of the muscle. I say don’t buy needled beef. And if you’re not sure and no one who works at the store can tell you still don’t buy it.
But, because hamburger meat that you have ground yourself is a slightly different animal I did a post on making that process one step safer.
We talked a bit about dry versus wet aging today and that’s a topic that I’ll be thinking and writing more about. Especially as I work to maintain my perfect record of spotting (and preferring) the dry-aged beef.
I hope as well being a reference to my earlier beefy posts this serves as an opportunity for you to tell me more about what you want to read more about. Leave a question or a comment with requests for future posts, please.
Also, many thanks again to the great people at Canadian Beef Inc. and Trillium Corporate Communications for an informative and entertaining event.