BEEF BRISKET: A Cut Above

beef-brisket-edmonton

WHAT IS BRISKET?

Between the rising popularity of BBQ restaurants, cooking shows on TV and gourmet food at home– beef brisket has become more commonplace these days. The term “brisket” can actually represent a few distinct food items, all of which are made out of beef cut from the cow’s chest. Tougher than most cuts, brisket is generally available in two different boneless cuts or brined in salt and sold as corned beef:

  • Flat half (aka thin cut, flat cut, first cut or centre cut): Leaner, more expensive cut of brisket.
  • Point half (aka front cut, point cut, thick cut or nose cut): Fattier, less expensive cut. Often the more flavourful of the two cuts.
  • Corned beef brisket: 
    Cured or injected with salt brine. Popular as deli or sandwich meat.

HOW DO I SERVE BEEF BRISKET?

Depending on how familiar you are with the cut, preparing a brisket can seem like an intimidating process. Luckily, there are two simple keywords that will always save the day: low and slow. Brisket is best when cooked over a low heat over a long period of time, most of which can be unattended. Try the following preparations next time you tackle a brisket:

  • Slow cooker or crockpot: The old stand-by… Slow cookers keep food at a very accurate, low heat and can be left alone for hours at a time. The combined effect produces an incredibly tender and flavourful result– even better: it’s almost impossible to overcook!
  • In the oven: Another simple option that can be customized to any taste. Combine your favourite chopped vegetables, two or three complimentary spices and enough liquid to cover the brisket in a deep pan. Roast for a few hours until tender and serve sliced to rave reviews.
  • Stovetop: Best done over an even heat in a deep, heavy pan (such as a Dutch oven). First, sear or brown the beef; then, add and caramelize vegetables; top with wine, broth, water– almost any liquid– and bring to a boil; finally: reduce heat, cover and simmer for a few hours. Serve as above and retain liquid to reduce into a sauce.
  • Smoked: For the truly ambitious! If you own a smoker, you may already know the process– but not all of us have a dedicated smoker. Alternatively, place a tray of wood chips over one element in your BBQ or oven. Dry rub your brisket with spices and place it off of the heat, allowing it to cook in the smoke and low heat for many hours. Do your research! There’s a reason BBQ pitmasters spend lifetimes perfecting the art of smoking a brisket.
  • Corned: Corned beef is widely available prepackaged or premade, but you can also brine your own brisket. A longer process that preserves the meat with salt, corning produces a flavourful and long-lasting brisket that is used in many traditional recipes.

Let your brisket stand after cooking to desired tenderness. Use your sharpest knife and slice against the grain, producing thin and even portions. Leftover brisket is perfect for sandwiches and keeps well in the freezer.

Ready to braise a brisket like a boss? Come on into D’Arcy’s where we provide only the highest quality and freshest beef, cut to your specifications. We can offer guidance, recipes— even our favorite BBQ sauce— to help you master the perfect beef brisket.

Pot Roast 101: Choosing The Right Cut of Meat

pot roast 101: choosing the right cut of meat

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love the comforting taste and smell of pot roast cooking. Pot roast is inexpensive to make, yields a ton of food and did I mention it makes your house smell amazing?! Read on as D’Arcy’s Meat Market dives into the actual definition of pot roast, and how to choose the right cut of beef to make sure your next roast is a success!

What IS Pot Roast?

Pot roast is a braised beef dish, made by browning a cut of beef and then slow-cooking it in a liquid in a covered dish. The cooking method is more important than the recipe itself. The spices and liquids may change, but cooking pot roast low and slow is critical to its success. Slow cooking will ensure the meat gets tender, juicy and aromatic.

The Key to A Great Beef Pot Roast? The Cut of Meat

The best beef pot roasts come from the cooking it “low and slow”, otherwise known as braising. Tougher cuts of meat are better for braising, as they have a high collagen content, little fat and see a lot of movement on the animal. When cooked properly, the collagen will break down into gelatin and help to tenderize the meat. When selecting a cut of meat for your next pot roast, choose one of the following:

  • Chuck: This is taken from the front portion of the cow and consists of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm. While tough, this cut of meat is packed with flavour.
  • Brisket: The brisket is the breast or lower chest area of the cow. Even though this cut has a higher fat content than other cuts, it still needs lots of time and low-temperature cooking to break down and tenderize.
  • Round: This is taken from the rear leg area of the cow. This cut is fairly lean but tough as it gets a lot of exercise. There are three main areas of the round: top, bottom, and the knuckle.

Contact D’Arcy’s Today

D’Arcy’s Meat Market carries only the highest quality Alberta beef. Stop by the shop and one of our experts will help you pick out the perfect cut for your next pot roast.

 

BUTCHER SHOP WHO’S WHO: Lamb & Mutton

fresh chopped mutton

Many homecooks avoid meats that seem exotic or difficult to cook. The fact is many of these “exotic” meats boast long traditions of preparation and cuisine, a solid foundation for cooks of all skill levels. While many North Americans are well versed in lamb chops, racks and roasts– the same people might shy away of similar cuts of meat labeled as mutton. Read below for D’Arcy’s quick-look definitions, comparisons and contrasts of lamb and mutton.

LAMB
Lamb is defined as the meat of a sheep slaughtered between four months and one year old. Low in fat content, the meat is often pink or pale red with delicate yet distinctive flavour. Not all lamb is made equal– different cuts offer different advantages and disadvantages.

MUTTON
Mutton is nearly identical to lamb: it’s the meat of a sheep. The only difference is the slaughtered sheep has been allowed to mature past twelve months, usually in the range of three years old. Mutton is rich in fat, bright red and intensely flavourful. Often considered an “acquired taste” in North America, mutton is extremely popular throughout the Middle East and Europe.

When preparing lamb or mutton, it is important to adjust your plans and recipes to accommodate the differences of either meat. While lamb is prized for its subtlety, a cheap cut of lamb can end up just as greasy and odorous as a mutton counterpart when prepared incorrectly. Conversely mutton has a bad reputation, but it can easily be served as part of a fine, gourmet meal.

Are you interested in trying out lamb or mutton on your dinner table? Visit or contact our helpful staff at D’Arcy’s and they will put their expertise to work for you. We will cater to you by ensuring you have the right cut of meat for your needs.

RAISE THE STEAKS: Choosing & Preparing the Right Cut

Steak!

Okay– what did you just think of: A t-bone on the grill? A five-star, bacon-wrapped filet at a French bistro? The classic steak sandwich? They all have one thing in common: steak! Steak seems simple at first blush, but it is another thing entirely to face the endless choices and options available in supermarket coolers and menus these days.

Next time you want to raise the stakes, consult the following cheat sheet to make sure you pick the right cut for the job.

RIBEYE

A favourite of the beef-obsessed, ribeyes are packed with flavour thanks to their high fat content and deep marbling. Also served bone-in as the Cowboy steak, ribeyes can withstand longer cooking without losing much moisture or any of their rich, beefy flavour. Cut from near the rib, as the name implies.

Suggested serving: Grill your ribeye with a favourite veggie & a loaded baked potato.

STRIP STEAK

Widely served as a New York or Kansas strip, boneless strip steaks are extremely popular cuts of beef. The all-around champ of steaks, strips have moderate to good size, marbling, tenderness and flavour– not excelling in any one category, but not failing in any either. Fat on strip steaks is easy to trim off and they are also simple to cook and eat.

Suggested serving: Hearty steak sandwich on garlic toast with braised mushrooms.

TENDERLOIN

Also served as the filet, filet mignon or Chateaubriand– the tenderloin is, as its name says, the most tender cut of beef available. Low in fat, it is a delicate cut that is best served elegantly with subtle flavours. Overcooking and overseasoning are major faux pas when preparing tenderloin cuts. High in price, but a staple in high end restaurants.

Suggested serving: Bacon-wrapped filet mignon with roasted seasonal vegetables.

T-BONE

The t-bone and its big brother the Porterhouse are essentially two steaks in one. The bone of its namesake splits the steak into two distinct sections. The smaller, rounder half is a cut from the tenderloin, while the longer, narrower half is cut from the same section as a strip steak. Not just for looks, the two sections of a t-bone offer the differing tastes of each section of beef. Preparation can be tricky, but bear in mind that the tenderloin half cooks faster and you will have the biggest difficulty handled straight out of the gate.

Suggested serving: Grilled, on a plate. Add pepper or a favourite steak sauce. Dig in.

Have more questions about steak? Call or visit us at D’Arcy’s and we will turn you into a steak expert in time for your next big dinner, cookout or even for just looking like a hotshot the next time you visit a steakhouse. All steaks can be ordered and cut to specification for any meal or occasion. Not sure how to prepare your steak? Our employees are expert carnivores and can help with advice and delicious recipes.

Mutton: 5 Things You Should Know About The World’s Favorite Red Meat

Harvested from a fully-grown sheep, mutton is loved by a large number of people around the world. This meat is hands down, the world’s favorite red meat and it holds a lot of benefits for people who eat it. So if you are one of those who don’t really like mutton, because of its texture or taste, after reading this post, you might even change your mind.

Number #1- Enhances Libido And Sexual Health

For those men or women who don’t really are low on hormones which help initiate sexaula activities will find mutton really beneficial as it boosts libido to a great extent.

Number#2- A Great Source For Essential Minerals

Mutton is vigorously rich in iron and zinc. Iron is primarily utilized in the body in the formation of blood cells and blood. This is one reason why people with iron deficiencies are advised to eat red meat, especially mutton. The zinc present in iron also helps develop the body’s natural immune system; it also promotes growth of nails, hair and purifies skin. Plus these minerals in mutton are absorbed by the body comparatively easy.

Number#3- Loaded With Protein

Almost each and every cell in the human body has protein in it and the formation of new cells also requires proteins. Without adequate amounts of protein, the body cannot grow and in long term, this may cause serious health problems. Mutton is an exceptional butchers edmonton and source for proteins, this also allows for muscle maintenance, growth and development.

Number#4- Good For Heart

A research study at Harvard also concluded that while the saturated fats in mutton hold risks to cardiovascular health, the unsaturated fats help enhance good cholesterol, maintain a healthy heart beat along with other great health benefits.

Number#5- Healthy Vitamins

A normal serving of mutton contains anywhere around 32% of your daily serving of Vitamin B-12, this vitamin is an essential nutrient for producing healthy red blood cells, especially in older adults who are at a higher risk of deficiency. It also contains Vitamin B-3, which is vital for metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from your diet.

Given these edmonton meat shops benefits, it is safe to say that mutton is a red meat, which everyone should have. Obviously overeating a specific type of food can result in adverse consequences; therefore, one should always combine meat with fresh vegetables and salad for a healthy meal!