Q

I went to a restaurant last week and my friend recommended I try the Chateau Briand. I did and it was excellent. How can I get the same cut to cook at home? Is it a "superior" fillet mignon, or does it originate from another cut?

A

The Chateau Briand (for two) is actually a two person serving of tenderloin. It is most often created from the butt tender. This is the largest end of the full tenderloin muscle. The full tenderloin is usually trimmed and the butt is separated.

Q

 I am preparing a roast beef for Eid lunch, and would like to know what is the absolute best cut for that. I want it to be incredibly tender. What specific cut should I ask for in the shop?

A

The most tender beef cut is the tenderloin. A full tenderloin can be roasted with excellent results, A second choice is the Rib-eye. This is the same cut as the prime rib roast, with the bones and fat cap removed. The taste, juiciness and tenderness of this cut is excellent. This cut does contain more fat than other cuts, which is a matter of personal taste. A third excellent choice is the striploin. This cut is usually used to make the New York Strip steak. This cut may be more variable than the rib-eye in terms of tenderness, but has much fewer fat inclusions than a rib-eye. Once again this is a matter of personal taste. Once you have finished roasting the meat (any cut) you must allow it to sit covered on a counter for about 20 minutes. This will allow the meat to "set", or keep it's juices inside.

Q

Can you please tell me what is the effect of aging beef? What is the procedure?

A

Aging beef is a procedure used to naturally tenderize beef. The process includes storing vacuum packed beef for 5-28 days at a constant temperature of 0-4 degrees centigrade. This allows the natural enzymes in the muscle to slowly break down the fibers. The taste of aged beef also improves. Once beef has been properly aged, it can be either cooked or frozen. The frozen beef will maintain the benefits of aging. It is not advisable to age beef in a home refrigerator, as the temperature varies too much. It is also not possible to age beef that has been previously frozen.

Q

What is Kobe Beef, and can we buy it locally?

A

Kobe beef refers to beef produced from cattle raised in the Japanese Prefecture (county) of Kobe. This beef is typically produced from the Wagyu breed of cattle that have been fed in confinement for extended periods of time. This combination of breed type and feeding regime results in beef that is highly marbled. The top Japanese grade of beef is A5. The 5 refers to the top (fifth) level of marbling. This beef looks to be over 50% fat within the ribeye muscle, but is actually only 20-25% fat. By comparison he USDA or Canadian Prime Beef grades typically have 6-8% fat within the ribeye muscle. The Japanese Kobe beef is very expensive (US$400-500 per kg.) and unfortunately is not available in Jordan.

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