The Best Steaks, Wines, and Cigars for the Father Who Does it All

Montreal steakhouse

With father’s day fast approaching (June 17 in case you didn’t know,) you may be prepared to walk into the store and buy what you always do for your dad – whether it’s a new tie, funny socks, or a gift card to a home improvement store, these gifts can seem impersonal and rushed. If you’re looking for something that will knock your dad’s socks off and show him how much you care about all he’s done for you, consider stepping up your gift-giving game with steaks, wines, or cigars.

Steaks

Treating your dad to a steak dinner, or even offering to man the grill for the night, will take some of the pressure off of your dad and allow him to enjoy the night. If you’re grilling at home, be sure to ask for cuts about 40mm thick – even if you’re a newcomer at the grill, this size will guarantee you won’t overcook the meat. In terms of summer cuts, porterhouse and filet mignon are two classic summer cuts. Roasting steak with vegetables or even lemon (depending on the cut) can bring your Father’s Day dinner an extra summer flair. Just be careful to pair your steak with the right wine; otherwise, the taste of the meat and wine will be altered.

Wines

Although wine may sound like a strange choice for Father’s Day, especially given the connotations of it as a “girly drink,” this isn’t the case whatsoever. Wine can be paired perfectly with everything from steaks to cigars and can help ward off the wretched summer heat. Crisp, light wines are best for summer, so this usually means white wine. Even though this may be the case, chilled, easy-to-drink red wines are also perfect for hot days. Some of the best wines for summer (and for your hardworking dad) include Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rosé, and even Merlot. This helpful tool can also help you pick the best wine based on someone’s personality.

Cigars

After a long day of sitting out in the sun, mowing the lawn, or standing behind a hot grill, the perfect nightcap while socializing or watching the sunset is a cigar. Although the summer heat may be dreadful, enjoying a cigar can help you escape from it all, plus – they make great gifts. While sitting by the fire, a La Dueña cigar is the perfect pairing for summer nights. It has a medium body and hints of cocoa and leather. The cigar also has a mild spice to it, which helps compliment the scent of burning wood. They can be purchased here. If you’re looking to spend some quality time with your dad on Father’s Day over a glass of scotch and a lively conversation, try picking up a La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro. These medium-bodied cigars are a little on the strong side and are meant to be enjoyed over a long walk in the park or over a delicious steak dinner. They can be purchased here.

Beef and red wine : the best combinations depending on the type of dish

Looking to wow guests with your expert beef and wine pairing? Look no further. Here we will list several types of beef dishes and an expert’s suggestions on which red wine to pair with them. You will find that it’s not just a simple matter of what tastes good and what doesn’t, but the specific properties of each meal and wine that make them well suited to each other. Enjoy these beef and red wine combinations as a special meal for you and your partner or to impress some dinner guests.

Why Do They Work ?

Understanding the relationship between beef and red wine can help you be able to pick out your own delicious combinations in the future. These two taste good together because of the interplay between the protein in the meat and the tannins in the wine. Tannins are present in all red wines, mostly coming from the skin and seeds of the grapes and the barrels in which the wine was aged. A very tannic wine tastes astringent and rough by itself, but as soon as the tannins bind to the protein, a very different and pleasant effect is produced.

 

The general rule of thumb when pairing red wine and beef is that similar flavours go together. In other words, strong goes with strong, sweet with sweet, acidic with acidic. If you follow this rule, you will find that neither the wine nor the beef is overpowered by the other.

The Best Combinations

Charcoal-Grilled Beef and Shiraz. Meat grilled over charcoal takes on an extremely smoky flavour, so it is best to find a strong, tannic wine that can hold its own with this intense meal. Try a Californian or Australian Shiraz with charcoal-grilled beef for a powerful pairing.

 

Ribeye Steak and a Napa Cabernet. Another bold duo, this mouthwatering combination will satisfy your craving for a restaurant-quality steak dinner. The fatty cut of meat is highly favoured among steak lovers, and the tannic Cabernet from America’s Napa Wine Region works like a palate cleanser to ‘scrape’ the fattiness from the inside of your mouth. It might not sound pleasant, but it’s guaranteed to be delicious.

 

Roast Tenderloin and Bordeaux. Another easy guideline to follow when pairing beef and red wine is that leaner goes with lighter. Since roast tenderloin is a lean cut, it goes beautifully with a wine whose tannins have softened from aging. Try a Bordeaux with roast tenderloin for an exceptional red wine blend that will not take over the flavour of this lean cut.

 

Beef Stir Fry and Dolcetto. Stir frys may be a weekday favourite because of their simple prep and crowd-pleasing flavours, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make an impressive meal for guests. Tender beef slices paired with fresh vegetables and Asian seasonings are often topped with a sweet sauce, making stir fry the perfect partner for Dolcetto wine, whose name literally means “little sweet one.”

 

Beef Brisket and Burgundy. Brisket comes from the lower chest of the cow and thus features a significant amount of muscle, but the flavours that come out when you cook it low and slow are incredible. Try pairing this rich, earthy meal with a big Burgundy from France that can compete with the intensity of the dish.

 

Whether you decide to go with one of these beef and red wine combinations or not, make sure you stick to the basic rules of pairing these two classics and you will be sure to impress anyone who dines with you.

How to Cook a Steak to Perfection Just Like the Restaurant

There’s something about restaurant-style steak that makes people start to drool. Steakhouses have the steak cooking technique down to an art, and they also take advantage of premium equipment, such as charcoal grills. That being said, if you can’t afford to visit a steakhouse every time you have a steak craving, never fear – there are ways that you can achieve the perfect steak at home. Here are seven steps for how to cook a steak to perfection, just like that restaurant steak you’ve been dreaming about.

1. Choose Your Cut

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a steak in order to achieve exceptional flavour and tenderness. You could go with a classic filet or rib-eye, or you could venture into the world of underrated steaks that offer great flavour for a fair price. Some of these are feather steak (or flat iron), flank skirt, thick skirt or thin skirt. Whatever you choose, make sure there is lots of marbling visible and no bone. The white fat that runs throughout the meat will keep the steak juicy during the cooking process, and the boneless meat will cook more evenly on the stovetop.

2. Season Generously

You can go pretty much any direction you want with seasoning, but the important thing is that this direction includes salt. Rub a generous pinch of salt into the steak around 30 minutes before it hits the pan and you will end up with a deliciously seasoned steak.

3. Let it Reach Room Temperature

Never put a steak directly from the fridge into the pan. By letting it sit on the counter for an hour before cooking, you will allow the heat to penetrate to the middle of the cut more easily during the cooking process.

4. Heat the Pan

…And not just any pan. For excellent steak cooking results, you need a good cast-iron pan, and it needs to be hot before the steaks are put down. Turn the heat on high and make sure the pan is smoking a little. This ensures a nice, crisp crust on your steak that will give it that exceptional flavour you’re looking for.

5. Oil

Though there is some debate over whether oil needs to be included in steak recipes, most choose to either coat the steak in it before it goes into the pan or add a little to the pan and spreading it evenly. The important thing is that the oil is hot – oil that is too cool could make your steak turn out greasy or under-browned.

6. Sear Your Steak

Add the steak to the hot pan and let it sear, flipping or turning every minute or so to ensure an even outside crust. The total cooking time depends on the cut of meat and your own preference, but the easiest way to determine your steak’s doneness is with a probe thermometer. Follow this guide for the internal temperature of your steak:

  • – Rare – 125°F
  • – Medium rare – 130°F
  • – Medium – 140°F
  • – Well done – 170°F

About halfway through the cooking process, thrown in a couple tablespoons of butter and any additional herbs to give your steak an extra boost of moisture and flavour.

7. To Rest or Not to Rest?

Again, there is a bit of a debate among steak lovers. Common cooking wisdom says to rest the steak – just let it stay on a plate and reabsorb its own juices – anywhere from two to ten minutes after cooking. Some, however, argue that a hot steak is better than a rested steak, as this is a thin piece of meat that can cool down quickly. Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment and decide which side of the debate you’re on. If you have followed the instructions up to this point, your steak is going to be juicy, delicious and restaurant quality no matter what.

5 cigars and whiskeys that go hand in hand

If you have been part of the whiskey and cigar world for a long time, you know the satisfaction of finding that perfect pairing. Whiskey and cigars go hand in hand for a reason – together, they are the epitome of sophisticated tasting pleasure. If you’re relatively new to the practice of cigar-whiskey pairing, you might be a little unsure of how to get an exceptional match. Fortunately, though it takes years to become a master in this arena, the concepts are relatively simple. Don’t let one taste dominate the other, but find flavours that bring out the best in each other. A helpful tip is to match the body of the whiskey to the body of the cigar. Don’t go for a full-bodied drink and a light-bodied smoke, as this will achieve the overpowering of one flavour.  Here are 5 cigars and whiskeys that go hand in hand:

1. Romeo and Julieta Short Churchill with Bruichladdich Islay Barley

Let’s start with something we can all agree on: Cuban cigars. This smoke doesn’t only have its country of origin going for it – Winston Churchill reportedly claimed it as his favourite, hence the name. Romeo and Julieta’s are smooth, creamy and easy to smoke, and they make a sublime match with the malty and buttery Bruichladdich Islay Barley. Together, this light pairing makes for an elegant tasting experience.

2. Camacho American Barrel Aged Robusto and Knappogue Castle 12-Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

This delicious pair is not only an excellent match, but a surprisingly affordable price for the quality. The Knappogue has been aged for 12 years in bourbon casks, giving it a malty sweetness that complements the toasty bourbon taste of the American Barrel Aged. As its name suggests, this whiskey has also been aged in bourbon barrels for a year after six previous years of aging. The similar process undergone by both the cigar and the whiskey means that these flavours round each other out and make for an exceptional complementary pair.

3. Padron 1964 Anniversary Series and Glengoyne 18

Nicaragua is another solid location to find a quality cigar, and the Padron 1964 is a prime example. Delicate, smooth, classy and with an incredible finish, this cigar contrasts with the fruitiness of the Glengoyne 18 – a whiskey that has been aged mostly in sherry casks. Though this match might seem a little contradictory, they manage to highlight each other’s differences without stifling the deep complexity of both the cigar and the whiskey.

4. Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda and Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7

If you’re looking for a bold pairing, give this duo a try. Black Belt Buckle’s charred woody notes and earthy sweetness come out powerfully in this cigar. Therefore, to avoid overpowering the drink, it needs a strong whiskey to fight back. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is just that, with a flavour that features a slight sweetness and a woody trait – the common denominators that make these two a perfectly bold match.

5. Davidoff Escurio Gran Toro With Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old

Complexity is the key to this wonderfully unique pairing. Davidoff Escurio is somehow creamy, sweet, leathery and spicy, all in one glorious cigar. It goes well, then, with this Scottish whiskey featuring a delicate fruity sweetness followed by a noticeable spice. The dramatic shifts in flavours that both the whiskey and cigar display flow together beautifully.

 

Becoming an expert on whiskeys or a cigar master will not happen overnight, but match any of these cigar-whiskey duos and you will not be disappointed. In the end, what matters most in cigar-whiskey pairings is that you enjoy the taste that results.

Why is slow cooked meat more tender and tasty ?

Every chef – amateur and experienced – wants to achieve that perfect level of tenderness and flavour in meat, but it can sometimes be tricky to come by. Different cuts and types of meat both play a role in the outcome, so there definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. However, the closest you can get to a consistently successful cooking method for tender and tasty meat is slow cooking. Slow cooked meat has a delightful way of melting in your mouth and the cooking process can bring complex flavours out of hiding. But why? And how do you make sure this method is always a success? Here are some tips.

The Science Doesn’t Lie

Yes, there are scientific reasons to back up the fact that slow cooked meat is better. Tenderness in meat comes from the melting of collagen – the connective tissue protein present in meat. When collagen melts, it turns into gelatin, a rich liquid that gives meat a lot of flavour as well as a silky texture. However, in order for collagen to truly liquify, it must not only be heated but cooked at low temperatures for a long period of time. Slow cooked meat thus has a special tenderness and flavour that you simply won’t get by quick cooking.

The Other Benefits

When you throw your roast in the slow cooker, seal it tightly and leave it for hours, you’re setting yourself up for a delicious dinner for a few reasons. The first has already been explained above, and the second is that cooking meat at low temperatures causes less moisture loss than roasting it at high heat. In a crock pot, all the moisture stays with the meal and avoids that dry texture no one wants their dinner to take on. Finally, slow cooked meat is much more likely to cook evenly all the way through. A cut of beef roasted on high heat will end up with a crust while the inside slowly cooks, but the ‘low and slow’ method guarantees an identical degree of doneness.

What Can You Slow Cook?

You will find that slow cooking works best with fatty, tough cuts of meat like pork roasts and beef shoulder, round or leg. Because these parts of the animal have more connective tissue, they remain tough until they are cooked slowly. On the other hand, leaner cuts like pork tenderloin are known to dry out in the slow cooker, as well as white meat like chicken breasts. Dark meat chicken like thighs and drumsticks usually remain juicy and will do just fine in the crock.

Tips & Tricks

If you’re like most people, you’ve found that slow cooking isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. You may have heard something along the lines of, “Just throw all your ingredients in the pot and let it cook all day!” only to be terribly disappointed because it’s a mushy vegetable mess or lacking in the flavour you were promised. One of the best things you can do to guarantee your meat is exceptional is browning it first. The caramelized surface of the meat gives a rich flavour to the final dish, and you can keep the accompanying vegetables crisp by proper layering. Generally, the ingredient that takes the longest to cook – the meat – should go on the bottom of the pot, and the vegetables on top.

 

Slow cooking is a rewarding, if somewhat challenging endeavour. However, science (and many people) tells us it’s worth it because of the extraordinary tenderness and flavour that results. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge and the know-how, don’t be afraid to warm up the crock pot for some incredible dinners this week !

The different types of dry aged beef

Many restaurants and steakhouses offer steaks with incredibly complex flavours and a tenderness that simply can’t be touched, all because of the long dry aging process that the beef undergoes. That being said, there are those who prefer the other type of aging, which is wet aged beef. If you’re wondering what the arguments are for each, read on and decide for yourself!

Why Aging?

The end goal of aging beef is the same for both techniques: tenderizing the meat. During the process of aging, enzymes and microbes act upon the beef to break down muscle tissue, which produces the desired tenderness and flavour. However, the difference lies in the method, which looks very different for dry aged and wet aged beef.

The Dry Aging Process

Dry aged beef is hung in whole sides of beef or in primal cuts in the open air at low temperatures – just below freezing – for several weeks. During this time, not only are the enzymes working on the connective tissue to soften it, but the meat is dehydrating. It slowly loses all the water present in the cut so that only the intense flavours of the meat are left. Actually, these are not the only things going on in the dry aging process. The practice promotes the growth of certain fungal species on the outside of the slab of meat that forms a sort of hard crust. Rather than spoiling the beef, the fungus actually helps the enzymes tenderize and add flavour. This crust is trimmed off when the meat is ready for cooking, so all that’s left is the exceptionally delicious and unique flavour of dry aged beef.

What’s Involved in Wet Aging?

Wet aged beef is a more recent innovation that coincided with the advances in refrigeration and plastic. Rather than hanging the beef in the open air, it was discovered that placing cuts in vacuum-packed bags produces a similar effect more quickly – around 4 to 10 days, depending on the type. Nowadays, this means that meat can be aged during transit between slaughter and sale, saving the hassle of storing it somewhere for weeks.

A Different Experience

Although you might not know it, wet aged beef is immensely more common – the meat you buy in the store has most likely been wet aged. Manufacturers choose this route because it is easier and cheaper. Some of the cost savings come from the fact that wet aged beef loses next to no moisture, but the dehydration involved in dry aging means that the piece of meat shrinks considerably – up to a third or more of its weight is lost.

 

So what is the flavour difference like? Wet aged beef retains a strong mineral or metallic taste from sitting in its own juices, and lacks a depth of flavour. Dry aged beef, on the other hand, actually gains flavour from the aging process instead of just tenderizing. It is often described as having a roasted, nutty taste, or simply an increased ‘beefiness’ because of the lack of water. You will mostly find dry aged beef in high-end steakhouses and restaurants, rather than in the meat aisle of the grocery store.

 

In the end, dry aged beef is a much more complex experience, both in preparation and in taste. However, we believe that the exceptional tenderness and eye-popping flavour is worth the hassle.

5 practical tips from our artisan butcher for preparing meat

An artisan butcher is a master in all things meat. He has the experience and the know-how to bring your meat prep to the next level. If you’re looking to impress some guests or treat your family to something extra special without complicating things too much, try these 5 practical tips for preparing meat.

1. Choosing a Choice Cut

Most people would agree, the single most important factor when choosing a cut of beef is the flavour. If you want a steak that will really blow your guests away with its rich flavour, the thing to look for in a cut is ‘marbling.’ Marbling is that streaky appearance which means the cut has some fat running through it, giving it that delicious flavour you won’t be able to get enough of.

 

Generally, rib eye is the type of cut to choose if flavour is what you want – and who wouldn’t? Well, there is another factor to keep in mind, and that is tenderness. Rib eye is not tough, but a cut from the tenderloin, like filet mignon, definitely boasts a tenderness that will not be beat. Luckily, there is a compromise that just might work for you! Try choosing a meat with a good amount of marbling to get your boost of flavour, and then check out tip #2 for some tenderizing techniques.

2. Tender & Delicious

If you’re looking at some cheaper options than filet mignon, you can definitely get away with a tougher cut by using another technique to soften your steak. Marinating is a great way to add flavour and tenderness to any cut. Simply soak the meat for at least two hours, completely covered, in an easy-to-make marinade that will add whatever flavour you want. Typically, a beef marinade should include an acidic ingredient (like wine), an oil and seasonings of your choice.

3. Heating Things Up

So what is the key to cooking an out-of-this-world juicy, mouth-watering steak? We say browning. This is the technique of searing the meat on all sides to produce a noticeably thick crust. Browning creates an incredible amount of flavour and is often the missing ingredient in homemade steaks. To brown your meat the right way, pat it dry with paper towels before letting it touch the pan, and make sure that pan is hot when they meet. The fat added to the pan should be shimmering and almost smoking before the meat is added. Finally, to avoid steaming the steak, keep it at least a quarter inch away from other pieces of meat – don’t overcrowd!

4. Are We Done Yet?

One of the biggest problems most have with preparing a steak is how to know when it’s done. The line between undercooking and overcooking can seem very fine, which is why you need the right tool to help you out. The only way to know for sure that your beef is at the perfect stage of doneness is by using an instant-read thermometer. The inside of a steak should reach 145° F/ 62.7° C  before it’s served to be considered safe.

5. Give It a Rest

Believe it or not, your steak will taste significantly better if you let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, or 15 to 20 minutes if it’s a thicker roast. That time will give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, as the cooking process drives this flavour-filled liquid to the centre. When the juice is more evenly absorbed, much less will be lost when you cut into the steak, ensuring that every bite has the maximum amount of flavour and juiciness.

 

So there you have it – an artisan butcher’s approach to getting the most out of your meat. Enjoy your new status as master of steak preparation !

Top 10 : The best cigars available in Montreal

Nothing concludes a night out on the town like treating yourself to one or two of the best cigars around. Whether you are looking for a unique experience or are a dedicated aficionado, enjoying a quality cigar in a lounge will be something you’ll want to repeat more often.

Montecristo No.2 (Piramides)

A well-known classic, this torpedo cigar is the standard to which all other Cuban cigars are measured up against. It boasts a creamy taste balanced with just the right amount of spice within a medium to full body. Many will say that the Montecristo No. 2 is the best cigar in the world, and the rankings have been supporting that opinion for many years.

Partagas Serie D

Partagas is one of the oldest Cuban cigar manufacturers in existence, and their quality echoes their heritage and history. If you are looking for a woody finish, this is your cigar of choice, even if it less known than the popular Cohibas and Montecristos.

Cohiba Behike (52 & 54)

You’ll find that the price reflects the quality and limited supply of these Cohiba cigars. Made from aged tobacco leaves picked from the top of the plant for maximum intensity, you’ll find that nothing quite measures up to their strength. One of the most desired and sought after cigars in the world, it’s yours for the tasting.

Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas

A perfect day smoke that will last you a while, the Double Corona has extremely balanced flavours with warm notes of Cuban coffee and cocoa which leaves a light spice aftertaste. Even those who don’t regularly smoke cigars will appreciate the delicious aroma and clean burn.

Romeo Y Julieta Churchills

This signature cigar has many dedicated patrons, and you might find that you’re a fan as well. Easy to smoke thanks to its medium body, smooth draw and balanced flavour, you’ll detect creamy and sweet notes throughout.

Montecristo No. 4

A light alternative to many of the intense Cuban cigars, the Montecristo No.4 is the perfect addition to your morning espresso or the subject of your mid-morning smoke. It’s medium bodied, small in size, and has a smooth smoke profile. No wonder it’s enjoyed all around the world.

Partegas Serie E

Easily one of the fattest cigars you’ll find, the size doesn’t upset the quality which is still top-notch and contains complex flavours thanks to the fine tobacco used for its production.

Cohiba Siglo VI

For its large gauge, the Siglo VI still maintains a medium body, thanks to the inclusion of limited amounts ligero tobacco to give it strength without overwhelming it. A balanced blend, this was a revolutionary creation for the Cohibo brand but well worth the risk.

Cohiba Robustos

If you are craving a medium bodied cigar with more spice than cream, try a Cohiba Robusto. With notes of pepper and cedar, it will satisfy your flavour profile without knocking you out with a heavy body.

Partagas Serie P No. 2 Tubo

If you are looking for an experience rather than a simple smoke, this cigar is one that you should definitely try. It transitions from heavier, spicier notes to sweeter cinnamon ones as the oily wrapper burns away leaving a perfect, white ash. You’ll feel even more daring knowing that these cigars are banned in the States and our Southern neighbors aren’t able to access this Cuban gem.

 

Rankings change annually, as do the palettes of those who smoke, so pick a range of these best cigars to try and determine your own favourite. By experimenting with different bodies, notes, and cigar styles, you will form an opinion of your own and find that different cigars satisfy different situations, moments in time, or moods that you might experience. Paired with the right scotch, a high-quality cigar could be the main attraction to your evening or just a casual accompaniment to your morning coffee.

What are the best pieces of meat at your butcher shop ?

When trying to cook the perfect steak, getting the best piece of beef is easily the most important part of the process. It doesn’t matter how good your recipe or cooking style is — without a good grade and cut of meat, you’ll never get the tender, flavorful result that you desire.

 

If you want something different than the usual rib eye and tenderloin cuts, you’ll likely need to venture away from a normal grocery store and go to a butcher shop. So what pieces of meat should you look for the next time you’re planning on cooking a delicious beef dinner? While everyone’s personal tastes are different, the following pieces serve as a great starting point to help you get the best flavor for your money.

Porterhouse

The porterhouse cut is sometimes called the “King of Steaks,” and for most backyard grillers, this is quite possibly the best piece of beef you can buy. The real secret to the porterhouse’s popularity is that it is essentially a two for one steak — you get both filet mignon and New York strip in the same cut of meat. You really can’t go wrong with that type of pedigree!

Strip Steak

New York strip, Kansas City strip — regardless of the exact name being used, there are several reasons why strip steaks are one of the most popular cuts of beef on the market. Cut from the longissimus dorsi muscle in the cow, strip steak is renowned for its great beefy flavor and marbling. Because it has less fat and is easier to trim than ribeye steaks, it is also much easier to cook, making it a great option for backyard grilling.

Teres Major

This lesser known cut of beef is a high quality (and less expensive) option for those who love filet mignon and beef tenderloin. This lean and tender strip comes from the cow’s shoulder, and can be served roasted whole or cut into single-serve pieces. As with filet mignon, the teres major cut cooks quickly and is low in fat, making it a good option for those who enjoy beef but are making a more conscious effort to watch their waistline.

Top Sirloin

This lean cut of meat from the primal loin of the cow is popular for kabobs or marinated steak recipes. The removal of bone, tenderloin, and bottom round muscles makes cooking this piece of beef much easier, as well. Similar to other strip cuts, the top sirloin offers a good balance between tenderness and chewiness along with a strong beef flavor.

T-Bone

Similar to the porterhouse, the t-bone cut actually combines two other prized cuts of beef — in this case, tenderloin and strip. Unlike the porterhouse, the t-bone is taken from the area near the front of the Short loin primal. Because it contains two different cuts of meat, each side of the steak will have its own distinct flavor. However, this can make cooking a bit more difficult for the inexperienced griller, as the tenderloin and strip cook at different rates.

Chuck Steak

While most of us only think of using chuck for ground beef, this cut of meat is another good option for those looking to save a little bit of money when buying a cut of steak beef. This shoulder meat is located close to the ribeye, providing it with much of the same great flavor, even if it is a bit chewier than its more well-known cousin. Higher fat content is actually what lends the ribeye and the chuck steak their flavor.

Don’t Forget the Grade!

When trying to find the best piece of beef, you can’t forget the grade. This measures the age and marbling of the cut of beef — the better the grade, the better the flavor will be. It’s well worth it to get a higher-grade cut of meat if you want to cook a truly delicious steak.

Homemade barbecue sauce : 6 essential ingredients to inspire you

Whether you’re planning on cooking some delicious steaks or firing up the grill for some hamburgers and hot dogs, few things complete a meaty meal like barbecue sauce. But why should you settle for store bought barbecue sauce varieties? With a little ingenuity, you can create your own delicious homemade barbecue sauce that will make your backyard get togethers the talk of the neighborhood.

 

While achieving the perfect mix for your homemade barbecue sauce isn’t always easy (and will probably require a bit of trial and error), starting out with a few essential ingredients will set you on the right path. Without further ado, here are some of the top ingredients you should consider using for your homemade barbecue sauce.

1. Ketchup

Ketchup is the base for almost every variety of barbecue sauce you find in the store, so why not let it be part of your own recipe? While you might be afraid that ketchup’s flavor would prove to be too tomatoey for your personal preferences, the other ingredients that are usually added to a homemade barbecue sauce tend to cancel it out. However, using ketchup as a base ensures that your sauce is thick and has the perfect consistency for your meal.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

In some regions, vinegar serves as the as the primary sauce ingredient, creating a liquidy, tangy flavoring that is perfect for pulled pork sandwiches. You may not have any need for that type of sauce for your own backyard cooking, but even traditional barbecue sauce recipes rely on the addition of at least some apple cider vinegar to provide a little extra kick.

3. Garlic Powder

Spices are a must have if you wish to create a memorable, flavorful homemade barbecue sauce. Of all spices and herbs, there are perhaps few that are more frequently used than garlic powder. Don’t worry — as with ketchup, the inclusion of other ingredients ensures that the garlic flavor doesn’t get too overpowering. Some recipes may also mince cloves of garlic to achieve an even stronger flavor.

4. Honey

Do you have a sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Sweet varieties of barbecue sauce have become increasingly popular, with honey being the most popular sweetener. Thick and flavorful, honey also has the advantage of being somewhat healthier than other sugars, making it a great addition to any sweet barbecue sauce recipe. Other popular options for creating a sweet homemade barbecue sauce include molasses and brown sugar.

5. Peppers

Not everyone wants something sweet. For individuals who prefer a stronger, spicier flavor for their barbecue sauce, the inclusion of peppers is an absolute must. You can incorporate several varieties of pepper into your recipe to achieve the right level of spiciness. From crushed red pepper flakes to sauteed jalapeno pepper, there are plenty of options available to help you create a sauce that more adventurous dinner guests will appreciate.

6. Worcestershire Sauce

The saying “A little goes a long way” is quite applicable to adding worcestershire sauce to your recipe, but there’s no denying that the distinctive flavor of this sauce can lend a great boost of flavor. While you should be careful not to overdo it, this unique flavoring can help take your homemade barbecue sauce to the next level.

Get Cooking!

From spicy to sweet, these ingredients serve as a great jumping off point as you begin formulating your own homemade barbecue sauce recipe. The most exciting part about barbecue is that even when recipes use similar ingredients, each homemade sauce can still be truly unique with the right bit of creative cooking. With the inclusion of these great tasting ingredients, your future barbecue sauce endeavors are going to be a hit!