As a student at the hotel school in Cornell, my favorite subject then was meat science. In one of our onsite tours, I remember visiting a farm in Philadelphia that slaughtered huge cattle the Kosher way (if I remember correctly, no internal organ could be punctured). I saw how a cow was transformed into an aged prime rib and its different cuts.
The school slaughtered its own cattle through its agri program and operated a restaurant called What’s Your Beef. It served the most delicious prime-grade USDA roast beef.
Every time I’m in San Francisco (go Cavs!), the House of Prime Rib is a must-visit restaurant. The whole roasts are carted around and served according to your preference. It is hard to imagine how delicious this beef is. I always get the largest King Henry cut and a free extra slice after.
When I lived in Vancouver, I used to wonder about the vacuum-packed fresh prime rib I would see at Costco. It was marked “triple A” Canadian beef.
What one looks for in good beef is the marbling—the more white lines, the higher the quality of the meat.
I took a chance once and tried it. I have not used any other kind since. What I do is make a rub of Dijon mustard, mixed herbs, a lot of chopped garlic and seasoning. I mix this well, rub it all over the triple A Canadian prime rib, initially bake the roast at 450ºF for about 25 minutes just to make a crust to seal in the juices, and drop that temperature to more than half and bake it for hours.
This I serve with an onion soup like au jus from the drippings. I never put gravy, for I feel it masks the taste of the beef. I pair this with chunky mashed potato and steamed broccoli with French baguette on the side. The result is a juicy tender, medium roast beef that is absolutely delicious. With a full-bodied Cabernet, ecstasy!
Two weeks ago, what a surprise, I found that same triple A grade Canadian beef at Rustan’s. That whole rib weighed about eight kilos. I had it cut into three portions and tried it with my family. I sliced it into individual steaks, broiled over charcoal without seasoning.
Steak with white truffle oil
I cooked it medium and my instructions were to drizzle the steak with white truffle oil and truffle salt. We had chunky mashed potato on the side, too. Heaven! Five of us almost finished three kilos in one sitting. It was that good.
Last Monday, Canada beef launched its entry into the Philippine market with a tie-up with the New World Hotel. We drew up a menu where the diners would experience the quality of Canadian beef. We had three whole prime rib roasts, grilled rib eye, tomahawk steaks, maple crusted roasts, beef tenderloin chunks cooked Chinese-style with salt and pepper, beef siopao and steak topped with pan-seared foie gras. Guests could drizzle truffle oil or sprinkle Himalayan sea salt over their steak.
All the grilling, roasting and kitchen preparation was done by executive chef Robert Davis. I thought it was a great way to showcase Canadian beef. Many food writers and foodies were surprised at the exceptional quality of the meat.
My philosophy is that if I’m going to put meat into my body, it has to be the best. Canadian triple A grade beef more than qualifies. Rustan’s has it. Another supplier is Jedco.
Call Jedco at 0920-9290561; visit www.jedcocebu.com or www.canadabeef.ca/ca/en.
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