Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ask Mary: Steak Cuts

What is the best cut of steak? I am always unsure of what I should buy.
Thanks, Dana

I prefer a T-bone. It contains parts of the filet (the smaller side) and the strip loin (the larger side). And, of course, it has the bone still attached, which allows the meat to stay tender while cooking. It also contains a lot of delicious flavor.

The only problem with T-bone steaks, however, is that you will have to spend a little bit more money. Buy it for the weekend and make a celebration of it if you choose to go for it.

Also, when buying a steak, make sure you do the following: press down on the meat and make sure you can see your nail imprint. I learned about this tip in Italy when shopping for a Florentine cut. Hope this helps!

Happy Cooking!

“Meat” Me in Greece…

Cooking in today’s world, we have gotten use to the idea of meat coming in a nice container covered in plastic with a pad at the bottom of the container to catch any excess juices. We buy meat in different cuts, styles, sizes, and from different animals. However, given all of these conveniences, we have been far removed from the actual animal that our food has come from. I guarantee that if any of us were ever faced with a living, breathing animal before slaughter one of two things would happen. Either we would begin to appreciate our food more, or we would all become vegetarians.

Prepackaged, accessible meat is now part of our culture. In others, though, you can still find whole animals with entrails intact. I have to admit, I find these conveniences very accommodating, but I do see how we lose something in the process from farm to table. Even though I have yet to see an animal butchered, seeing an entire animal makes you more aware of what you are eating, and humbles you a bit. The difference definitely lies within the taste and the feel of the meat. Fresh is always best.

Almost every country I visited in Europe had its butcher shop with their beautiful fresh meats, but the most amazing was the market I visited in Athens, Greece. I was caught off guard by many of the things that I saw, and yet it was all very impressive to see. Food for thought…

Happy Cooking!