Does Your Menu Meat the Cut?
Innovative Meat Cuts and Menu Applications for Your Operation
Are you dressed to grill this summer? Many have already fired up the grill once or twice to welcome in warmer weather. After all, this smoky abode hosts a hot party for some of our favorite grilling celebrities like the Ribeye and New York Strip. While these classics have earned their invitation, there is still room for other lesser-known cuts at your restaurant.
In fact, there are a number of newer, non-traditional cuts introduced by the beef industry’s Muscle Profiling Study, sponsored by the Beef Checkoff Program in the late 1990s. The research aimed to distinguish specific properties of beef muscles, such as color, moisture, composition, pH and collagen content, and ultimately devise cutting techniques to offer smaller, more value-added cuts that better align with consumer preferences.
These innovative, value-added cuts hold their own next to more premium choices and provide an excellent eating experience. Take advantage of the grilling season and look for menu alternatives to differentiate yourself in your community. While everyone seems to offer New York Strip and Ribeye, set yourself apart. Offer the Tri-tip instead of the New York Strip to satisfy consumers who want to try something new yet still crave a hearty, delicious steak. “New cuts of meat” have been in the top 20 food trends for the past six years, according to the National Restaurant Association, and foodservice operations can benefit by incorporating more of these value-added cuts into their menus. The more you know about beef’s emerging cut options, the better prepared you will be to select the best cuts for the dishes on your menu.
Cooking methods vary for each of the new cuts, but a common theme is the dry heat method of grilling or broiling. Both cooking methods often utilize marinades to tenderize the muscle and develop layers of flavor. Always remember to practice food safety techniques when dealing with marinades used on raw meats.
Though marinades add layers of flavor to the main player on the plate, adding different food groups will help create a well-balanced meal. Incorporating fruits, veggies, grains and dairy adds essential nutrients to the meal that meat lacks on its own, such as fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. The fun begins when creative food pairings are integrated with the new cuts. Put your own twist on classics like prepared salads, slaw, potatoes and macaroni and cheese to give customers the comfort foods they crave, yet the uniqueness they have come to expect when dining out.
Foodservice operators should review their recipes to determine where new meat cuts can be added or substituted to increase profitability. Cooking methods and marinades enhance the beef flavor while other food groups round out the plate. Be sure to educate your staff and customers on these new options and pairings to make your operation a cut above the rest!