July 16, 2013 5:49:47 PM EDT
USDA Prime Grade Beef is the absolute highest quality beef available, grade by the USDA. This is a very rare grade of beef, and thus very expensive, but worth every penny. The beef has a minor amount of fat running through the meat, called marbeling, resulting in an amazingly juicy and tender cooked piece of meat.
Anyone that has savored USDA Prime Grade Beef Loin NY Strip Steak knows that it is delightfully tender and juicy with a buttery flavor which makes it distinctively superior to any other steak. Of all the beef produced in the US, less than 3% is certified as USDA Prime. Typically you will not find USDA Prime in the supermarkets since its limited supply is gobbled up by fine meat purveyors that retail it to upscale restaurants and affluent consumers.
To get grade "Prime" the beef must have a high ratio of marbling and the age of the beef. The marbling determines tenderness, juiciness and flavor. The age of the beef determines beef texture and also affects flavor. Younger beef produces a finer texture and a lighter red color. Prime Grade has the highest rating of a combined high ratio of marbling with the youngest maturity of beef. That's why prime is the most flavorful and most tender with the finest of texture.
So the next time you plan on ordering some USDA Prime Grade Beef Loin NY Strip Steak, make sure to buy it from PastaCheese.com and New York Prime Meats for the main centerpiece in your family dinner!
January 8, 2013 5:08:07 PM EST
When visiting a salumeria, the word “cured meat” is often used in reference to the offerings behind the counter. Associated with such meats as prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, and bresaola, the curing process refers specifically to the way that the meat has been preserved.
In Italy, curing originated with the Ancient Romans. Searching for a way to preserve their fresh meat, the Romans became increasingly interested in the process of curing, defined as the treatment of muscle meat with salt and sodium nitrite. The preserving effects of the salt allowed for meat to last without refrigeration.
Rubbing, smoking, and brining are all typical methods of curing meat. Usually, whole cuts are cured, but specific parts can be put through their own process. During the curing process, small amounts of nitrite, usually in the form of dry salts or a salt solution in water, is put in contact with the muscle tissue. This contact creates a specific reaction within the tissue that preserves the meat. The entire process of curing includes the curing, drying, fermentation, and ripening stages. Only at this point is the meat ready for consumption.
There are two specific genres of cured meats: cured-raw and cured-cook. Cured-raw is defined as a meat that does not undergo any heat treatment while being manufactured. One of the most famous cured-raw meats is prosciutto crudo, or Parma ham. Cured-cooked, as the name suggests, has a heat treatment at either pasteurization or sterilization temperatures. Prosciutto cotto, or “normal” ham, is one of the best examples of a cured-cooked meat.
Though modern conveniences of cooling and freezing make the curing process less necessary, the color (pink-red) and the flavor that is created through the curing process makes cured meats a specialty in many Italian salumerias. These meats have a special place within the Italian culinary tradition.