Photo: © Leigh Loftus 2012
You heard it here first! There’s a new steak on the butcher block—the Vegas Strip Steak—and I’m betting it’s going to be the next big thing since the flat iron. It was discovered by Dr. Tony Mata, a meat scientist whose business card says “Meat Geek” in big, beefy, well-marbled letters. He’s the guy responsible for the petit tender, a muscle from the shoulder clod that looks like a baby tenderloin. Mata’s pedigree also includes work on the flat iron, the ranch, and the Denver steak cuts.
For fun, Mata started fiddling with obscure muscles in the steer six years ago, but it wasn’t until late 2009 that he stumbled upon the Vegas Strip. In tenderness and appearance, it’s a lot like a New York strip, but it’s from the front end of the steer, not the pricey midsection, which means it’s got great flavor at a fraction of the price.
For the Vegas Strip, Mata partnered with Oklahoma State University’s Agricultural Products Center, and Chef Rick Gresh of Chicago’s David Burke Primehouse. “I knew I needed a chef,” said Mata. “Meat scientists are lousy cooks.”
Mata and Gresh just debuted the steak at The Protein Innovation Summit in Chicago a week ago, where it was a huge success. I can personally vouch for the beefy flavor and tender chew of the steak: Mata sent me a couple of Vegas Strips last year, and my husband and I fought over the last few bites. So get your steak knives ready. Mata’s already lined up two suppliers, with more to come.
: Neil Faba and Jenny Tryansky
Blog: Communal Table
Location: Toronto, Canada
If you had to blog about one ingredient every day, what would it be?
Jenny: It’d be impossible to pick just one, so here are a few: olive oil, kale, quinoa, eggs.
Neil: Beef. I’ve learned a lot about vegetarian cooking over the past couple of years, but I’m still a meat lover at heart. Canada’s a big beef-producing country, so we have a lot of great product to work with. And beef is versatile. Jenny and I once created a beef-based cocktail called the Moogarita. Continue reading
Nothing says “great football host” like a simmering pot of chili to welcome your guests. Chili purists will gawk, but try using chorizo or turkey instead of ground beef, replacing the kidney beans with black beans, baking your chili with spicy cornbread, or ladling it over crunchy Fritos. Who knew this cold-weather staple could be so versatile?
- Smitten Kitchen’s Classic Beef Chili wouldn’t be complete without Sour Cream Cheddar Biscuits, a unique compilation of chili’s classic toppings (pictured above).
- Slowly cook this Black Bean Chili from Lana’s Cooking with rich, smoky spices and serve with your favorite fixins’ for a meal your guests won’t forget.
- Kitchen Konfidence’s use of shredded turkey stewed in bold spices makes a welcome modification in this recipe for Turkey Chili.
- The addition of chocolate adds a balanced richness and a deep hue to Baked Bree’s Chocolate Chili.
- Spicy cornbread serves as a golden topping in Dorie Greenspan’s Cornbread-Chili Casserole.
- Nostalgic comfort food on a heaping mound of corn chips? This recipe from Homesick Texan for Frito Pie with One-Hour Texas Chili will make you wish you were a cowboy.
- Amateur Gourmet’s Seven Chile Chili toasts a variety of hot chiles to bring out the fruity, smoky flavor in this bowl of red.
This week, we’re satisfying your meat craving with a roundup of recipes featuring beef in all its forms and flavors. From salt-cured to beef tenderloin, ground into meatballs or served up in slices, these recipes showcase the best that beef has to offer.
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- Indulge in Greedy Gourmet’s Beef Fillet with Garlic & Mustard Butter that features coins of peppercorn and garlic-infused butter atop thick, juicy pieces of steak (pictured above).
- Meatballs are dressed in a tomato and pesto sauce in Mini Meatball Sliders with Basil Pesto from Annie’s Eats and assembled in bite-sized burgers for a hearty hors d’oeuvre.
- Len cooked up classic Beef Bourguignon starring tenderized, braised beef straight off the bone. Cooked carrots and potatoes complete the flavorful stew.
- A kick of Guinness dresses up Corned Beef with Sweet Guinness Glaze from The Yuca Diaries. The pairing of sweet with salty cured beef is a tempting duo.
- Oma’s One-Hour Homemade Spaghetti Sauce from Making Life Delicious features ground beef mixed with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and a blend of Italian seasonings.
- For a Mexican twist, try this Carne Asada recipe from Bit T’s Big Green Egg Recipe Blog. Flank steak is marinated with tequila, garlic, onion, and Tabasco for a fiery burrito filling.
Who needs take-out? This sweet and fragrant beef stir-fry from Evil Shenanigans
will satisfy all of your cravings for Chinese food with the bonus of a home-cooked meal. Tender strips of five-spice beef are marinated in soy sauce and honey overnight and tossed together with fresh snow peas and carrots for a tasty medley of Asian flavors.