Monday, August 22, 2011
Marinate All the Things!
If you will remember a couple of weeks ago I discovered that the Meat House was a-comin' to StuyPlaz. The other day I finally made it over to check the place out now that it is open for business. I thought that I would share some thoughts.
I have alluded to this fact in the past, but let me clarify, I am a sort of grumpy shopper. When I go to a butcher shop I like to peruse the goods, admire the meat, and decide on my purchases after several moments of silent contemplation. When I am ready for service I will stand up straight expectantly and perhaps attempt to make eye contact with the proprietor. If I am hunched over in front of the meat case and still peeping at a piece of steak intently then I am most certainly not ready to order.
My point in all of this is that I found the service at the Meat House to be a tad overzealous. I am attributing this to the fact that they only recently opened and have that shiny earnestness common in new businesses. But for me buying meat is an activity of quiet zen (I am only half kidding) and I would rather be unperturbed whilst I decide. I think four or five different individuals asked me if I needed help in the space of 3-5 minutes which may be a necessary level of attention for some, but not for me.
Anyhow, I noticed that the Meat House has attempted to present a nice selection of local specialties. On this occasion I was there for the meat and did not allow my self to get distracted. What caught my eye the most was the piles and piles of brightly colored, marinated chunks of flesh of every description. Gobs of marinated meat and poultry in vac bags in the cold case, great bowls of marinated stuff in the meat case. Marination as far as the eye can see! That being said, there were unadulterated cuts aplenty and I took special note of some tasty looking dry aged steaks. But it seemed to me that the Meat House's "thing" was marination, and steak tips in particular. I decided to go for the "Meat House Steak Tips" at 9.99$ a pound. I always make an effort to give the specialty of the house a go and I guessed these were it. Here they are in the bag.
The marinade itself was sort of red with mustard seeds. The beef was in biggish chunks.
I didn't feel like setting up the grill so I decided to cook the steak tips off in my lovely Griswold #7. Cast iron is an oft overlooked method of steak cookery in my opinion.
Five or six minutes on each side left me with rare-medium rare for most of the beef chunks.
I will have to say that the Meat House steak tips were pretty enjoyable. They had a tangy/sweet flavor, I tried to pick apart the composition of the marinade but gave up. Perhaps red wine, some vinegar, mustard, paprika, and other spices with a little tomato product in the mix? I don't know, but they were pretty good. I am usually not the biggest fan of pre-marinated meat, but I will give credit where credit is due. These are a well executed convenience food and perfect for a quick dinner/barbecue. I will probably go back to the Meat House and try a few more things once they have settled in and the crowds dissipate a bit.
I will say that Rolf's Pork Store remains unchallenged as the shining star of local butchery and my loyalty and love for this establishment remains unabated, I have to throw this in here lest you think I have been led astray. In any event, I have no reservations in recommending that you give the Meat House a walk through.