Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mostly Meat

There are three things which make for a tasty marinated meat dish, I instructed my wife--as if I was some kind of expert: Though I do think the following is sensible.

1. The marinade.

2. The cut of meat--no matter how you flavor a crappy specimen of flesh, it will still be dry, tough or whatever.

3. Cooking technique: There are a million ways to ruin the most perfect cut of meat--burn it, under-cook it, cook it too slow, etc.

All of this was brought about by a visit to a new "gourmet" shop in town. The name of the place inspired thoughts that it was primarily a meat place and a good portion of the joint was meat, but less than half. The rest was a selection of mostly what we would consider upscale items rather than gourmet. The problem was that they didn't have much of a selection in any category. They had breads, but only sliced (a good brand) and a smattering of artisan loaves. They had some nice cheeses, but a selection any one of our supermarkets easily match. As for the meats, it was not a full-service shop. They had some USDA Prime steaks, various chops and sausages, but mostly they had vacuum sealed packages of marinated meat. This is what my wife primarily rejected. First, she didn't expect that their marinades would stack-up well against what any competent cook could throw together and the prices were super high. Added to that, it is impossible to judge the quality of a piece of meat when it is swimming in goop.

We got nothing from this place.

Later, I went to Costco for various items and scored. They had USDA prime beef! One package was about $8/LB and was a boneless rib eye roast. This is a good deal since the regular grocer charges almost that much for USDA choice grade. I am dry aging the whole piece and will cut 3-4 LB of it for a Christmas roast and the rest into steaks of various thicknesses.

Since it was my day-off, I also got a package of three racks of baby-back ribs. I put a dry rub on them and slow cooked them for 6 hours. Half were for dinner and the other half for an easy meal some other time.

Besides the shopping, I had run with my wife at lunch-time, worked on the cars and picked-up some plywood for a project--so I was kind of tired. Still, after the big rib meal and the earlier slow run, I wanted to really go out and get a hard workout. I went into the failing light for a 7.85 miler and even at that late hour it was hot and sticky. I felt great when I was done though, for a while. When I went to bed, the chills set-in, plus I felt dehydrated. Later, my skin turned burning hot and my perpetually cold wife couldn't stand having me close. All turned to normal within a couple hours of hitting the sack though. I suspect I had a bit of heat exhaustion.


Trooper York said...

Costco is great for some fine cuts of meat.

We got some Rib eyes that would melt in your mouth.

dbp said...

Yes, exactly. In addition, if you purchase the meat in roast form (rib roast rather than rib steaks) then you can dry-age them. After that, you just slice the steaks to your desired thickness and grill them or freeze for another time.