When Geoff Hewitt asked us to age a USDA Prime Rib Roast for 60 days, we were skeptical as to how it would turn out. But, on Saturday, January 4, he picked up his meat. Here’s what it looked like.
We were skeptical as to how it would turn out. Our assumption was that by the time we finished trimming the steaks, there would be little meat left. Surprisingly, however, we didn’t have to trim as much as expected. The rib almost seemed to have entered a state of “suspended deterioration.” Well, lets get to the point. After cutting it into about 8 nice steaks, we gave the beef to the customer and asked him to provide a report. Here’s what he had to say:
My outdoor gas grill unfroze and I was finally able to properly cook the first of the 60 day dry-aged steaks. I took it out of the refrigerator this morning to allow it to get to room temperature before grilling. I lightly Kosher salted both sides. No trimming was necessary as your meat cutter did a fine job of removing edge fat and overly dry parts. The steak had no smell at all, even at room temperature. I heated the grill, all three burners on high, for twenty minutes until the thermometer read about 750F. I grilled each side for approximately four minutes which gave me a steak with beautifully charred crusts on both sides, the grill marks being pitch black as were the edges. As soon as I took it off the grill and walked inside, a big difference was noted – the steak smelled unlike any steak I’ve had before. It was the exact smell I had been looking for for years; a fairly strong, almost funky aroma. Would that hold up in the taste? I let it rest for a few minutes while I dug into a side dish and finally cut off a small piece. The interior was a perfect pink color top to bottom. Just a perfectly medium rare piece of meat. I was expecting the meat to be slightly dry due to the long drying but it was just as juicy as any steak I’ve had. I know the roast lost four pounds in weight but I think most of that was a water loss, not a fat loss so the fat remained. Losing all that water just concentrated the meaty umami flavor and added an earthy flavor that was better than I had hoped for. Most steaks I’ve eaten lose quite a bit of liquid during eating and my steak often ends up in a pool of brown water/fat but that was not so with this steak. It oozed very little moisture onto the plate since it was devoid of most of its water to begin with. A huge plus. That was probably the reason is developed such a beautiful char while cooking – it didn’t steam in its moisture while on the grill. The funky taste I had hoped for was there but not to an overpowering level, just a nice additional flavor layer. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
As I told you, I’ve had many 28-day dry-aged steaks but really couldn’t see any difference in those from non-aged steaks. I think 60 days is just about perfect. The exterior of the roast was very hard at that point, requiring some, but minimal trimming, much less than Sanford and I thought and I doubt if aging for a longer time would make much difference as the remaining moisture would be locked inside by the dry crust. I have now spoiled myself to the extent that I’ll be having this done again. No more supermarket steaks for me!
Thanks again, Hank and Sanford. It’s a real treat to work with folks who take food seriously.
Courtesy of Tom Miller:
A man walks into the street and manages to get a taxi just going by. He gets in the taxi and the cabby says, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Frank.”
Cabby: “Frank Feldman. He’s a guy who did everything right – all the time. Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happened like that to Frank Feldman every single time.”
Passenger: “There are always a few clouds over everybody.”
Cabby: “Not Frank Feldman. He was a terrific athlete. He could have won the Grand-Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have heard him play the piano. He was an amazing guy”
Passenger: “Sounds like he was something really special”
Cabby: “There’s more…….He had a memory like a computer. Could remember everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out. But Frank Feldman, he could do everything right.”
Passenger. “Wow, some guy then.”
Cabby: “He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams, not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them. But Frank, he never made a mistake”
Passenger. “Mmm, there’s not many like him around.”
Cabby: “And he really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good and never answer her back even if she was in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished too – he was the perfect man! He never made a mistake. No one could ever measure up to Frank Feldman.”
Passenger: “An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?”
Cabby: “Well, I never actually met Frank.”
Passenger: “Then how do you know so much about him?”
Cabby: “I married his f*cking widow.”
MISTER BRISKET 216 932 8620
Gift giving is an art. The right gift inspires feelings of giddyness in the recipients. They feel gratitude not only for what they have received but because the giver shows insight. They appreciate that the person who gave the gift understood them well enough to purchase an item that they really wanted. Notice the picture above. This is an artists rendition of the happy inner child that emerges when you give a gift from Mister Brisket. Their spirits soar. They feel silly, happy and energized by the thoughtful present.
But give the wrong gift and you’ll get a markedly different response. Cheese baskets, neckties, gift certificates to Quiznos subs…these presents will elicit an ugly reaction in the recipient. They’ll say thanks and shake your hand. But their inner self will look more like this:
Fortunately, there is still plenty of time to avoid making this horrible mistake. Mister Brisket stands at the ready to ship or deliver gifts of your choosing all over greater Cleveland and beyond. We have drivers that want to work. We have quality food items to purvey. And we have smiles to inspire in all the inner children who receive items from Cleveland’s finest purveyor of quality meat products (since 1975).
Here are some of the people you might want to think about: Out of town family, In town family, business associates, people with whom you’d like to do business, your boss, your employees, the person that does your nails or cuts your hair, the person that grooms your dog, your dog (we have bones), your kids teachers, bus drivers, mail people, your doctors, your lawyers, people that have done you favors, your landscaper, your repair guy, old friends, new friends, neighbors, etc…All of them have received notices that you will be giving them something from Mister Brisket. (Well, that’s not true but think how excited they’d be!)
Here are some items for you to consider (prices do not include costs of shipping or delivery).
1) USDA Prime Beef Tender Filets–Four for $50. We’ll gift wrap, include a recipe and deliver or ship. Spectacular Steaks; great price.
2) Four USDA Choice Beef Tender Filets and One Pound of Jumbo Shrimp–$55. Spectacular surf and turf
3) One Pan Roasted or BBQ Brisket–cooked, sliced and with re-heat instructions–$50
4) One Butt End Beef Tender Roast–feeds 4-5. Comes with recipe and gift card–$40
5) Mister Brisket Sampler Pack–One USDA Prime Skirt Steak, One USDA Prime Hanger Steak, One USDA Prime Rib Steak and One USDA Prime Strip Steak–$85. Recipes included
6) Six Turkey Burgers, Six Bacon Burgers, Six Beef Burgers and Two Pounds of Thai Sausage–$45. Recipes included.
7) One Pound Corned Beef, One Pound Pastrami, One Pound Brisket, One Rye Bread plus condiments and pickles. $50. Delicious and sure to be appreciated. Feeds 10 comfortably and a lot cheaper than a deli tray.
One Aged USDA Prime Rib Roast for Four…$85. Includes cooking instructions.
9) Hormel Spiral Sliced Hams…$50. It’s a terrific ham and comes with a gift card and reheating instructions.
In addition, Mister Brisket also offers Gift Certificates which can represent either a dollar amount or product. For example, you can purchase a gift certficate for one fully cooked Beef Tenderloin, a pan of prepared brisket or deli sandwiches. You can pick up the certificate yourself or we’ll mail it for you. If you’re reading this email, there must be something you like a lot at Mister Brisket. Isn’t there someone you know that would like the same thing? Give a gift certificate for that exact item.
When it comes to gifts, you’re the best judge of what to purchase. We have a wide variety of items for anyone that likes quality food. Let us know what you want to give. Tell us how much you want to spend. We’ll come up with a terrific gift that will surely be appreciated. Here are other ideas:
Christmas is only 1 1/2 weeks away so any items that you want to arrive prior to the holidays have to leave no later than Wednesday, December 18. That means we need your order placed no later than Tuesday, December 17. Typically, the week before Christmas is when many of you start considering sending items to friends and family. But if you wait too long, it’s not going to be possible to get it to them in time. If you’d like to send meat out of town (or you live out of town and want something special for Christmas) please do your best to let us know by the end of this weekend. We will do everything possible to accomodate all requests but we can’t bend the calendar. In other words….don’t procrastinate!
Salamis For Our Soldiers
Many of you have been kind enough to purchase salamis to send to soldiers in Afghanistan. We still have plenty available. If you would like to help let our the men and women of our armed forces know that we’re thinking about their sacrifice, please call or click this link for more info:
For more info on our other Holiday offerings: http://www.misterbrisket.com/specialsholidays/christmas-and-new-years/
Mister Brisket Holiday Hours: We will be open Sunday, Dec. 22, Monday, Dec. 23 and Tuesday, Dec. 24. We will be closed Dec. 25. We will probably re-open Dec. 26 although that has yet to be determined.
HOW TO PREPARE A DECONSTRUCTED TURKEY
–you will need a meat thermometer
–Keep this in mind…Your Turkey Will Cook Fast!
Your turkey has been divided into drumsticks, thighs, wings and breast. Your turkey may or may not be seasoned. The breast may or may not be boneless.
If turkey pieces are unseasoned, we recommend using salt, pepper, paprika and garlic.
1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
2) Place your turkey pieces skin side up on a flat surface—cookie sheet or broiler pan. Spray with PAM or some similar product if you are not cooking on a non-stick surface.
3) You may need a separate pan for the breast. If breast is whole and you have an oven rack, feel free to place breast on it.
4) Roast your turkey pieces for one hour then check temperature by inserting meat thermometer into individual pieces. Avoid bone when checking temp. Turkey pieces are done when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Wings will get done the fastest. Thighs and Breasts usually take the same amount of time with drumsticks getting done a bit quicker.
5) When pieces are done, remove and place on serving dish.
6) A boneless breast will cook faster than one which is bone-in.
7) If temperature is under 160 when you first check, place turkey pieces back in oven and re-check temperature periodically. The turkey will cook quickly so as temperature nears 160, you’ll want to check temp every 5-10 minutes.
When turkey is done, allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
9) Slice breast against grain after it cools. Serve and enjoy.
Mister Brisket has never been a big proponent of dry aging beef. In our experience we’ve found it has no discernible impact on flavor. Enter Geoff Hewitt, a resident of New Franklin, who found us on the internet. Hewitt emailed and wanted to know how we felt about aging a rib roast–for 50 days.
“30 days doesn’t really change the flavor,” Hewitt wrote, “but do it for 50 and you’ll notice a difference.”
That got our attention. When we’d aged beef in the past, it had never been for more than 30 days. 50 days? Who knows?
Then he wanted to know if we’d be willing to age a roast for him. We emailed back and forth discussing the issues involved. The biggest problem is how much useable meat will be left in 50 days. We agreed to keep him informed as to how the aging process was going so if it looked like there was any trouble a decision could be made as to what to do. Then we selected a Meyer Natural Angus USDA Prime Rib Roast for him. The weight is nearly 20 pounds.
We wiped it dry. And marked it.
And placed it in our cooler to age…until Jan. 4, 2013.
Will there be anything left by Jan. 2013? And, if so, how will the flavor have changed? Who knows? But there’s one certainty…we’re gonna find out. Stay tuned as we’ll periodically show pics of this aging roast so you can see how the meat is physically affected. In the meantime, we salute Mr. Hewitt for his curiosity and interest in quality beef.
+ 8 TBSP Garlic Salt
+ 6 TBSP Granulated Garlic
+ 6 TBSP Turbinado Sugar
+ 5 TBSP Granulated Powder+ 2 TBSP Seasoned Salt
+ 2 TBSP Paprika
+ 2 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning
+ 1 TBSP Cumin
+ 1 TBSP Dried Basil
+ 3/4 TBSP Cayenne Pepper
+ 3/4 TBSP Black Pepper (Cracked Fresh..if you have it)
+ 1/4 TBSP Chili Powder
People have a lot of opinions about what constitutes a really good hot dog. And at Mister Brisket, we’re no different. But here’s the thing–Mister Brisket is not just a Butcher Shop. We’re also a research institute. If we sell a product, it’s because through trial and error (hopefully not too much error) we feel it’s the best one available. Over the years we’ve sampled many hot dogs. Best Kosher…Hebrew National….Sabretts….just to name a few. We’ve experimented with shapes and sizes. And we’ve tried them in various forms. Two things are apparent to us. First, the best hot dogs are all beef. Specifically, they’re made from bull meat which is chopped, seasoned and then cured. Secondly, texture is as important as flavor.
In our experience, the best hot dog is an all beef Chicago Style dog in a sheep casing. The flavor is outstanding–not too highly seasoned or garlicky or somehow mucked up with gimmicky flavor enhancements. And the sheep casing provides a wonderful texture. You get a snap and a crack when you bite into a quality beef hot dog in a sheep casing. Larger dogs in hog casing will be more chewy. And skinless dogs, which are very popular in Cleveland, lack the firmness of a natural casing dog. The picture above shows exactly what we sell. It is a fabulous dog and comes six to a pound.
The next issue with hot dogs is method of preparation. Sentiment often plays a big role. Some people enjoy them steamed because of memories from old Cleveland Stadium. Others boil them because that’s what Mom did. Some will put their hot dogs on a stick and hold them over a fire in order to relive camping adventures. Ultimately, however, you gotta grill the dog. The reason? Texture. The natural casing dog on a hot grill will slowly expand then fissures will develop where the casing cracks. The picture above gives you a look at your model citizen. Consistent grill marks and cracks in the casing show that these are perfect for consumption. As to what to put on the dog, well, that’s up to you. Purists insist solely on mustard but if you like ketchup as well, it’s your prerogative.
Pictured above: Three Mister Brisket Natural Casing Hot Dogs grilled in shop on a bun with deli mustard (Batampte), sauerkraut and swiss cheese. Yes, we sell this at our shop!
Hot Dogs are often thought of as a summer item but true aficionados enjoy them year round. If you like hot dogs, Mister Brisket wants you to give ours a shot. In addition, to the ones in natural casing, we’ll get you skinless by request. Or, if you want, we carry a jumbo version of the same dog that comes two to a pound (aka Frankenwurst). We have a dog for all styles. Just tell us which one, and we’ll have it for you. Please note–Mister Brisket Natural Casing Hot Dogs are a special order item. If you want a large quantity, give us several days notice so we can make sure to have them in stock.
On February 4 and 5, Sanford “Mr. Brisket” Herskovitz put on a two nite show at L’Albatros Brasserie and Bar with the help of the restaurant’s wine maven Brandon Chrostowski, ace chef Jack Ahearn, and, of course, proprietor Zach Bruell. Originally planned for a single evening, the idea was to serve cuts of beef popular in French Brasseries and pair them with wines from the Bordeaux region. Sanford would discuss the beef, Brandon would add some details on the wine and everyone would eat and drink.
Well, the event, which was publicized via Open Table, Mister Brisket email and the Plain Dealer, proved so popular that a second nite was added. All in all, roughly 110 people attended both evenings–and they were not disappointed.
The food was superb, the paired wines were outstanding and the atmosphere–including live music–put everyone in a festive mood. But the star of both evenings was Sanford who filled in the time between courses (a kitchen and its service staff can’t just blast out fifty five beef samples and wine pours the moment the last course has ended–thus there was time to kill) by channeling his inner Henny Youngman and telling joke after joke with near flawless timing. Some were crowd friendly; others were more ribald. But most of the people in attendance laughed continuously as they anxiously awaited the punchlines.
Here’s one Youngman classic–”I’m walking down the street and a woman runs up to me and says that for fifty bucks she’ll do things my wife never dreamed of. I said Great…Make me dinner.”
Another joke told both nights–”A man and woman arrive at a resort on their honeymoon anxious to consummate their love. But as the woman gets undressed, the man needs to use the bathroom. He leaves the room and she lies down naked in the bed. Well, not more than a few seconds pass when a train goes by and the vibration is so intense she is knocked onto the floor. Stunned, she calls the resort manager who immediately comes to the room. She explains what just took place and he says it’s not possible. Then he looks at his watch and says–there will be another train in less than a minute. So, the two of them lie down in the bed. Just at this moment, the husband comes out of the bathroom and is stunned to see his wife in bed with the resort manager. What are you doing! he shouts. The manager’s response–Would you believe I’m waiting for a train?”
The evening itself featured several beef selections. First came Steak Tartare made from Ground Round; next was Meyer Natural Angus USDA Prime Boneless Short Rib; the third round featured Flat Iron Steak and a Sirloin Butt Steak; finally Mister Briskets USDA Prime Meyer Natural Angus Hanger and Skirt Steak were served. Brandon Chrostowski nailed the wines which were paired with each course. And the kitchen staff, which also had to take care of other customers throughout the restaurant, did a superb job with the beef and side dishes.
Both nights were capped off with a terrific Lemon Tart and a very funny, slightly blue, true story from Zach Bruell.
While everyone had a blast, much credit for this event belongs to L’Albatros sommelier, Brandon Chrostowski. He quietly put all the elements in place that made both evenings a success. Kudos to Brandon, the service and kitchen staff at L’Albatros, as well as Zach Bruell and Sanford. All of them did a fantastic job of turning a special event into a spectacular pair of evenings.
An email recently made its way to us that accused a popular fruit basket company of funding Islamic Jihad. Since anything that arrives via email must be true, we decided to do some research and find out what other gift purveyors are doing with their funds. Here’s what we discovered:
–Chocolate Purveyors invest profits into companies that manufacture acne medication. Think about it. They sell you the chocolate, it causes the zits, then they sell you the medicine to clear up the acne. Pretty “sweet” deal for them.
–Florists have been putting their money into antihistamine providers. They want you to buy flowers, cough, sneeze, and use medication to control it.
And, most embarrasingly, a major provider of boxed steaks of dubious quality puts enormous sums into the People’s Republic of North Korea. Indeed, their secret slogan is “Deer Meat, Dear Leader.”
At Mister Brisket, we pledge to put all the profits from gifts you purchase towards one and only one non-controversial and honorable purpose–we’re gonna pay Howard Hansen from Cook Refrigeration. He’s the guy that maintains our freezers and coolers. Less than a week ago, we had to replace the compressor on our wooden cooler. Howard took care of it immediately. It’s not a cheap job. But he does great work….and he’s reliable.
Ten Recommended Gifts From Mister Brisket
1) A Pan of Roasted or Barbecued Brisket: $50 (also available as gift certificate)
It heats easily, tastes great, feeds a crowd and is a true Cleveland original. No one does what we do with Brisket. For $50, you can send anyone a wonderful gift that they can use immediately or freeze and enjoy at some point in the future. Also available as a Gift Certificate.
2) Two Meyer Natural Angus USDA Prime Skirt Steaks and a Two Pound Bag of Shrimp: $65 (also available as gift certificate)
Recently a friend and his son joined my son and I for a steak fest. We grilled several varieties but all of us were convinced that there is nothing that tops our amazing skirt steak for a great all around red meat fix. Skirt Steak is not as well known as rib and strip but it’s every bit as good. Each skirt feeds 3 adults. The shrimp provides the “surf.” Also available as a gift certificate.
3) USDA Prime Rib Steak for Two: $30 (available as gift certificate)
We take one of our amazing prime ribs and cut a huge one bone steak. We also provide the recipe, gift card and festively wrap this marbled Cowboy Rib.
4) Deli Dinner for Four Big Eaters: $65 (available as gift certificate)
Four Extra Large Corned Beef Sandwiches (Pastrami or other meat can be subbed in), Four Potato Salads, Four Slices Cheesecake
5) Burger and Dog Bonanza: $65 (available as gift certificate)
Know someone that likes to grill? How about twelve of our Brisket Burgers, twelve Turkey Breast Burgers and twelve Natural Casing Beef Hot Dogs? Each item is of the highest quality and will come with simple grill instructions plus a gift card inside a festive wrap.
6) Six Jumbo Beef Tenderloin Filets: $99 (available as gift certificate)
We cut Six Huge Filets, wrap them festively, and deliver along with a gift card and cooking instructions.
7) USDA Prime Steak Bonanza: Two Prime Strips, Two Prime Rib Steaks, Two Prime Hangers and Two Prime Skirts: $125
This is a brilliant gift and best given to someone that loves red meat. All steaks come with cooking instructions and gift cards.
Dearborn Spiral Half Hams: $50
This brand represents the highest quality in spiral hams. Give to someone that will appreciate quality.
9) A Salami For The Troops: $20
Purchase a Salami to send to one of our soldiers in someone else’s name. They will be notified that a salami is going to be shipped overseas as a gift from them and will receive info on the soldier that receives it when it arrives. This is a wonderful honor and a great gift for people that prefer to do things for others. For more info:http://www.misterbrisket.com/other-servicessend-salamis-to-the-troops/salamis-to-the-troops/
10) Pork Extravaganza: One Pound of Smoked Slab Bacon, Two Kurobuta Pork Chops and Two Pork Tenderloins–$35
We deliver anywhere in Cuyahoga County or ship anywhere in the continental USA. Call/fax/email the addresses and we can have your gift delivered by the end of next week. Or, we can mail out gift certificates for all the items listed along with a gift card. Mister Brisket Gift Recipients frequently weep with joy. Make someone cry (happy tears) and purchase a gift from us. For more ideas:
Please Note: Costs of Delivery/Shipment are not included in costs of gifts. Those are separate charges.
Mister Brisket Reminds You We Are Open On Sunday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 24.
We will also be open on Sunday, December 30 and Monday, Dec. 31.
Your Patronage is Appreciated. Phone: 216 932 8620 Fax: 216 321 3511
A common customer request at Thanksgiving is for a “wonderful, fresh turkey.” The wonderful part is easy–we sell you an Empire Kosher Turkey, you follow our instructions http://www.misterbrisket.com/recipes/#turkey and get a great result.
But the fresh part–well, that’s problematic. The simple fact is that most turkeys sold as fresh-regardless of the purveyor–were previously frozen. How do we know? Simple. An entire nation consumes turkeys on Thanksgiving. Now, are we supposed to believe that all these animals are raised, slaughtered, processed and transported to markets at roughly the same time? If all the turkeys sold as “fresh” had recently been killed, it would require massive numbers of turkey migrant workers streaming across the borders. Turkey farmers would have to raise these animals simultaneously and then spend the rest of the year waiting for Thanksgiving to return. Doesn’t make sense, does it?
Furthermore, here’s what the USDA has to say about the labeling of turkeys:
What Does “Fresh” or “Frozen” Mean on a Turkey Label?
The term “fresh” may ONLY be placed on raw poultry that has never been below 26 °F. Poultry held at 0 °F or below must be labeled “frozen” or “previously frozen.” No specific labeling is required on poultry between 0 and 26 °F.
The intriguing part of that statement is the last sentence. Specifically, it indicates you can store a turkey at 1 degree–keeping it quite frozen–and not have to sell it as frozen. And that is undoubtedly how Turkeys are sold as fresh that have previously been frozen. Quite simply, the USDA is defining “frozen” as zero or below. Just one degree above, however, gives you the chance to slack out the bird and allow the consumer to assume it is fresh.
Most importantly, numerous tastings have been done with “frozen vs fresh” turkeys and the results have invariably demonstrated that the tasters can’t tell the difference. Bottom line–enjoy a wonderful bird at Thanksgiving from Mister Brisket without concern. We’ll make sure it tastes good–whether it was recently pecking the dirt or used as a hockey puck by warehouse workers.