02 November 2006

Steak

Good stuff. But what kind is the best?

Says Mark Schatzker, at Slate:
Can you tell how good a steak is going to taste by looking at it? The government thinks you can. That's why, when a USDA meat grader assesses the quality of a beef carcass, he or she makes an incision between the 12th and 13th rib, takes a good look at how much marbling there is, and assigns the meat a grade, from the highest, Prime, to Choice and Select and all the way down to Canner. That's why a well-marbled steak, one that is abundantly flecked with little specks and streaks of white fat, costs a lot more than a steak that's all red muscle.

But is marbling all there is to a good steak? Doesn't, say, a cow's diet have something to do with the way a steak tastes? And can someone please explain why that gargantuan USDA Prime strip loin I ate in Las Vegas last year had about as much flavor as a cup of tap water? I decided to find out for myself. My mission: to taste steaks from cattle raised in very different ways and see how they stack up.

He then goes on to taste-test five ribeyes, comment on each, and announce his conclusion. Which, incidentally, goes along with what I've read on the subject.

Thanks go to Mike Lief for the tip.

1 comment:

Mega Munch said...

Mmmmm...five ribeyes.