A cut above the rest
Brett McKee, chef/owner, 17 North Roadside Kitchen, www.17north.net; wine pairing by Marlene Rossman Yield: 4 servings 1 flank steak 3 T. olive oil, divided Salt and pepper, to taste 1 T. fresh oregano, thyme and sage, chopped 1/4 c. parsley 1/4 lb. pancetta bacon, thinly sliced 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted 1/4 c. golden raisins 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage links (optional) 1 qt. red wine 1 qt. veal stock 1 qt. marinara sauce Creamy Asiago and Sage Polenta (recipe follows) Method (1) Place flank steak on cutting board; butterfly and pound until thin between two sheets of wax paper. Rub meat with 2 T. olive oil, salt, pepper, mixed fresh herbs and parsley. (2) Place pancetta, pine nuts and golden raisins evenly on beef. Place Italian sausage in middle of flank steak. Roll meat up in a cigar-like fashion, and tie with twine to keep it firmly closed. (3) In roasting pan heat remaining oil over high heat. Add meat, turning each side until golden brown. Add wine, stock, marinara and any leftover raisins, pine nuts and herbs; cover with foil. Place in oven at 300˚F for 2 1/2 hours. (4) Remove meat from sauce;,set aside. Strain fat from sauce; reduce by 1/3. Slice the meat in 1/2” rounds. To serve, spread Creamy Asiago and Sage Polenta on plate, fan beef slices over it and top with reduced sauce. Creamy Asiago and Sage Polenta 1 1/2 qt. whole milk 4 c. quick-cooking polenta 4 c. chicken stock 1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese 1/2 c. Asiago cheese 4 sage leaves, finely minced 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and minced Salt and pepper, to taste Method (1) Bring milk to a slow boil. Using a wire whisk, stir in circular motion while adding polenta slowly, making sure to avoid getting lumps. While constantly whisking the polenta, add chicken stock to desired consistency, then cheese and seasonings. The cheese will thicken the polenta mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Note: The polenta will tighten up throughout the day. Adding a ladle of chicken stock will keep it loose. Wine pairing: The full-bodied Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (California) is a classic match for the hearty Beef Braciole and the richness of the Asiago Polenta.
CREATIVE HEIRLOOM PHOTOGRAPHY
BEEF BRACIOLE OVER CREAMY ASIAGO AND SAGE POLENTA
derblade come Denver steaks, which Popovic says are great for grilling or satay. “It would even make for a very cost-effective steak on a dinner menu,” he says. “We’re not trying to replace the strip steak; we’re just trying to give
different options for operators who are looking for a cost-effective way to put a steak on the menu that will still be flavorful and juicy and tender and perform consistently for them.” This butchering method also pro-
duces boneless country-style short ribs from the remaining eye roll, which perform best when braised, Popovic says. “They’re slow cooked but they still keep their integrity and have a nice texture.”
Rethinking the ribeye
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The 36-ounce, bone-in ribeye is a decadent staple on many steakhouse menus, but portions coming from the rib loin have been impacted by the changing economics of the cattle industry, according to Popovic. “Ranchers get paid based on how much their animal weighs, so the economics angle tells them to make their animal weigh more.” For chefs, this translates to huge ribeyes that make it difficult to maintain an 8-ounce portion size with some height. “We don’t like a large rib loin because this means it’s really hard for us to cut a thick steak, which we want for our plate presentation and for its cooking abilities,” Popovic says. CAB recommends removing the spinalis, or the cap of the ribeye, which leaves the filet of rib that can be cut into smaller, thickercut steaks. “The filet of rib allows us to cut a thicker steak. So in-
stead of cutting a 16-ounce ribeye that’s paper thin, we’re able to cut an 8-ounce filet, allowing the chef to have plate presentation and creativity while giving the consumer a more petite steak. So that’s a methodology of cutting down an existing cut in a very unique way in order to give cost structures that will help operators make money on their menu.” The remaining spinalis can be butterflied, stuffed and roasted or used for satays, he says. However, because it is so small, Pugliese says small restaurant operators like himself likely won’t have much use for it beyond an amuse bouche. “But if you’re a big restaurant and you have 10 or 20 ribeyes you’re cleaning in a night, then you can do something like an appetizer out of the spinalis.” Brett McKee, chef/owner of Oak Steakhouse (www.oaksteakhouse restaurant.com), Charleston, S.C., and 17 North Roadside Kitchen (www.17north.net), Mount Pleasant, S.C., offers a 36-ounce, bone-in ribeye at Oak, which he says is a big seller and won’t be going anywhere. But he recently began offering smaller dishes using more inexpensive cuts like the filet of rib to help stimwww.chefmagazine.com
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