Perfectly Done, Perfectly Kosher! – Part 3
Now that you know all about the different types of beef and which cuts are kosher, it’s time for you to beef up on beef preparation. But there is one more factor you may have to take into account when perusing the butcher’s shop: the cost. Some cuts tend to be more expensive than others.
The economy has taken a toll on many households, but that doesn’t mean that beef is not affordable. According to Peter Swerdlow of Griller's Pride.com, there is a South American rib eye steak that sells for approximately $11 per pound. When aged in the refrigerator for about two days or marinated for 12 hours, it can be just as tender as the pricier Black Angus rib eye steak.
If you’ve got a little more cash to spend, Swerdlow recommends the French roast, prime rib, Black Angus rib eye beef steaks or first cut 1.5-inch veal chops. These cuts are all a bit more extravagant, but perfect for a splurge, a special occasion or special guests.
Every beef cut entails a recommended method of preparation. A proper recipe can bring out the full flavor of each cut and Swerdlow shares some of his preparation tips:
Ribs taste the best when they are first marinated and then grilled.
For a roast beef cut, he prefers two methods :
- Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan and add one inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven. After it has reached preferred serving temperature*, let the roast rest, covered, for 10 minutes so the juices won’t run out when you slice it.
- Rub the meat with a spice-rub such as garlic powder, pepper, Barbeque spice (use your favorite). Place the roast in a covered oven pan, and roast at 325 degrees until desired doneness.
- Turn the grill to high and cook each side of the steak for 90 seconds.
- Then, turn down the grill to 350 degrees.
- Flip the steak to the original side and grill it for another 60 seconds or until desired temperature* is reached.
- Take the steak off the grill and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes before “enjoying every succulent bite!”
You can now confidently stroll into the kosher butcher shop, select the perfect cut for your taste and budget, and understand some of the best basic preparation methods for the cut. You’ll have all of your family and guests mouths "watering" in no time as the smell of your beef dish wafts throughout the house, promising an extraordinary meal!
Please read excerpts from our conversation with Peter Swerdlow of Grillers Pride.
Beef and the Warming tray:
If you are serving a beef roast or beef steak, and want to prepare it ahead and then leave it on a warming tray, we offer the following suggestion:
- Cook until almost at your preferred temperature*
- Remove from cooking source and place on warming tray (such as Cuisinart Warming Tray), covered
- Leave until serving time -for up to 2 hours. Although doneness may not be perfect, it will be close!
- When we use this method, we usually cook meat until it reaches just below rare about 125-127 degrees, cover and leave on the warming tray.
Unless you are a professional chef or experienced foodie, properly done beef (and poultry) requires a cooking thermometer and we think that it is a MUST for the home cook or foodie. We are recommending two types– one digital, one instant read. We like the Taylor Classic Style Meat Dial Thermometer and the Taylor Digital Thermometer.
*Remember, beef will continue to cook after being removed from the heat source—while it is resting. As a general guide, the following temperatures apply to the cooked internal temperature of beef :
Medium rare 145°
Well done 170°
You’ve come so far. You’re a master of choosing what type of kosher beef you want and which cut is best, but you’ve returned home from the store and realized – there’s more to beef than merely cooking it. The recipe with the perfect blend of spices and ingredients will both complement and enhance the flavor of your meat.
We have selected a few excellent beef recipes to share, including a kosher adaptation of Julia Child’s famous Beef Bourguignon. But be adventurous; as the great Julia said in her book My Life in France, “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
Check out USDA.gov for additional tips on the proper storage and cooking temperatures for meat.
We would like to acknowledge Adina Solomon, KosherEye’s sensational summer intern for researching and collaborating with us on this series of articles. She certainly has gotten to the "meat" of the subject!