Raising I t’s no new news that the restaurant industry has been negatively affected by the recession. According to a recent restaurant survey by customer market research company TNS (www.tns global.com), more than 50 percent of the respondents agreed completely that they are dining out less often. But 50 percent of those surveyed also said they pick lower-priced restaurants and meals when they do dine out. These changes in dining habits mean it’s imperative that restaurants rethink the menu as well as the execution of dishes deemed “expensive.” One way restaurateurs can provide better value for their customers is by evaluating the beef selections on the menu. Over the past few years, the Lesser used and newer fabricated cuts of beef offer exceptional value the steaks National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (www.beef.org) and major beef companies have started offering foodservice “newer” cuts of beef, fabricated from existing cuts to provide more interesting product, both in flavor and texture. And luckily for the cost-conscious chef, these newer beef cuts won’t burn a hole in the wallet—and can be priced out lower than, say, tenderloin or other traditionally pricey beef cuts. One such cut that chefs have embraced is flat iron steak. Even though it was introduced several years ago, flat iron steak (cut from the beef shoulder) has recently become a consumer favorite, according to Certified Angus Beef (www.certifiedangus beef.com); thus, this cut is a prime one to reconsider. Flat iron steak is tender by Lacey Griebeler and well marbled, ideal for broiling or grilling. Following are some other newer beef cuts worth considering. Beef chuck cuts Boneless country-style beef ribs have the flavor and appearance of short ribs, minus the bones, which ultimately reduces waste. These ribs are ideal for braising. At Shinsei Restaurant (www.shinseirestaurant.com) in Dallas, boneless country-style beef ribs are prepared like Chinese short ribs with a citrus braise. Tracy Rathbun, co-owner of Shinsei, says, “I decided on the boneless countrystyle ribs because of the nice marbelization, which, because of the slow braising process, adds to the tenderness and the flavor of the meat. Also Michael MacGeorge, executive chef, Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Resort, Wallenpaupack, Pa., www.ehrhardts.com; wine pairing by Marlene Rossman Yield: 1 serving 1 8-oz. Denver steak Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste 1 piped rosette House Herb Butter (recipe follows) Method (1) Season steak. Grill to desired doneness. (2) Plate with House Herb Butter. Pictured with baby vegetables. House Herb Butter 1 lb. butter, softened 1 oz. flat-leaf parsley, chopped 2 oz. fresh thyme, chopped 2 oz. fresh rosemary, chopped 2 oz. roasted garlic 2 oz. shallot, minced 1 t. fresh lemon juice 1 t. Worcestershire sauce Salt and pepper, to taste GRILLED DENVER STEAK WITH HOUSE HERB BUTTER Method (1) Whip butter, herbs, roasted garlic, shallot, lemon juice and Worcestershire; season. (2) Pipe into rosettes, and store in cooler or freezer until ready to use. Wine pairing: The classic Napa Cab Fantesca Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (California) is full-throttle, marvelously silky and full of mocha, cherries and plums—perfectly balancing the steak, Worcestershire and butter in this preparation. 12 | Chef www.chefmagazine.com Visit us at giftwarenews.com/readerservice 12_13 Unique Cuts cm FINAL_v2.indd 12 3/20/09 12:30:53 PM