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Valentine’s Day Recipe: Lover’s Steak

February 11, 2014

Rows of stuffed bears line your pharmacy’s gift aisle.  Reese’s® cups come in the shape of hearts and your favorite candy is wrapped in hues of reds and pinks. While there are thousands of prepackaged and mass produced gifts to get your sweetie, we think there’s nothing more romantic than something homemade, in particular the gift of food. As famous New York Times restaurant critic Craig Claiborne once said, “Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”

Perhaps one of the most romantic things you can make for your signifgant other this Valentine’s Day is the Porterhouse Steak, also known as the “Lover’s Steak.” Made up of two prized cuts, the sweet tenderloin and the hearty short loin, this cut is ideal for sharing. However, if you have big appetites the Porterhouse can be served whole and left to take on.

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Aside from being very tender, this cut is known for its shorter cook time, due to less collagen, relative to other cuts. This makes it a favorite among restaurants and at home chefs who want to make something special, but not spend hours over a hot grill or stove. For this Valentine’s Day, we put together a recipe that combines classic steak seasonings, with a rich compound butter to elevate both the flavor and presentation.

Porterhouse Steak with Paprika Parmesan Compound Butter

Cooked Porterhouse

Ingredients

Steak

  • 2 3-inch-thick porterhouse steaks
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Butter

  • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 4 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. Place steak in shallow baking dish. Whisk oil, garlic, thyme, salt and rosemary in small bowl to blend.
  2. Pour half of marinade over steak. Turn steak over; pour remaining marinade over steak. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. (If marinating more than 6 hours, turn occasionally to distribute marinade)
  3. In the meantime, mix all butter ingredients in small bowl until blended. Place butter mixture on plastic wrap and roll up like cookie dough, in a long cylinder shape, leaving about an inch on ends to tie. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead, but will only take about an hour to harden.)
  4. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Remove steak from marinade; shake off excess and let sit for about 30 minutes before grilling. Place steak on grill and cover.
  5. Grill steak about 15 minutes per side or until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of steak reads 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare.
  6. Transfer steak to platter; cover to keep warm. Let stand 5 minutes.
  7. If sharing, cut meat away from bone. Cut each meat section into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Slice butter into 1” thick discs, remove plastic wrap from edges and top steak with butter, allowing it to melt slightly before serving.

Another top tip when cooking the Porterhouse is to always keep the bone in while cooking. The bone will conduct heat, allowing the meat to cook more evenly and of course adds even more flavor to this tender, buttery cut. Pair with your favorite fresh vegetables and a hearty red wine and you’ll have the perfect 5-star Valentine’s Day meal in the comfort of your own home. Remember we provide the steak and recipe, you provide the romance – card and flowers not included.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

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National Snack Food Month

February 6, 2014

When we hear “snack”, visions of orange Cheez-Its® and perfectly sandwiched Oreo’s® dance in our head. Whatever your snack of choice, it’s a part of our day to day routines that most of us can’t get away from. However, that may not be a bad thing. According to many popular diet plans including South Beach, Paleo and more, snacking is an essential part of a well-rounded diet plan. In fact, most of these plans recommend snacking every few hours to keep metabolism high – as long as what you’re snacking on is portion controlled and healthy! (Hint: Oreos® don’t count)

So what classifies something as a “snack”? Snack foods are typically made to be portable, quick and satisfying. Many prepackaged snack foods are designed to be less perishable, durable and more portable than prepared foods. At The Meat House, our favorite snacks encompass some of these things, but we prefer do it fresh. Whether it’s perfectly compact stuffed jalapeños or chips and salsa- we’re all about snacking.

In fact, with most locations carrying local fresh salsa, it’s a great option for incorporating healthy snacking into your routine. Not only is it great for curbing cravings in-between meals, it can also be used in some of your courses. Pineapple salsa pairs nicely with our cilantro lime turkey tips or consider a Southwest style omelet with bacon, Mexican cheese and topped with salsa for an extra burst of flavor and texture.

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Another nutritious, filling snack are nuts. The mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber help you feel full and suppress your appetite. Not only are they great for an easy grab and go snack during the day, but nuts can add great texture to some of your favorite proteins. If you have a blender or food processor, try grinding nuts to a fine, breadcrumb like consistency and coat chicken or turkey breasts for extra crunch without the carbs. We have a great recipe for this on our website here.

Picture sourced from Laura’s Sweet Spot.

Picture sourced from Laura’s Sweet Spot.

Keep in mind that most of our stores carry a variety of fresh fruit and produce that can also be snacked on and incorporated into your favorite meals. One of the best parts about finding “multitasking” snacks is that you can save on grocery costs, by using ingredients in multiple recipes and reducing potential waste. If you need more healthy and easy snacking ideas, be sure to talk your local butcher. Each Meat House carries hand selected local products, to bring you the most delicious and fresh products. Happy snacking!

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Meat the Butcher: Sirloin

January 22, 2014

It’s no surprise that a steak as popular and well-known at the sirloin steak, would come with a royal back story. According to legend, the sir in sirloin comes from the knighting of this particularly tasty cut.  King James drew his sword and told his staff to bring the beef to him to knight. For years royals continued to use this pun, despite the original name surloine, preexisting these ceremonies and praise.

Wherever it came from, it’s evident this cut is revered around the world for its even marbling and delicious, rich taste.

Cut
The sirloin steak is cut from the back of the animal, continuing off the short loin, from which popular cuts like the T-Bone, Porterhouse and club steaks are cut. Part of the sirloin’s popularity is from the fact that one part of the animal yields several different cuts including the prized top sirloin, the bottom sirloin and the sirloin tip roast. With consistent marbling and large cuts, the sirloin is a great go-to cut for restaurants and at home cooks because it offers a hearty flavor and good value for the size of the steak.

Beef 101 (Sirloin) (3)

Cooking
Much like many other popular cuts, simplicity is often best when it comes to cooking sirloin. This particular recipe calls for only a few everyday spices and olive oil, but marinades can also be made if you prefer a saucier jus. The sirloin is also desirable because its larger size allows it to be sliced and easily shared for crowd-pleasing recipes.

Zesty Sirloin Steak

Sirloin Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 sirloin steak (1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine spices and sugar. Rub over both sides of beef. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Remove steak from refrigerator and let sit about 30 minutes before cooking. This will allow the steak to come to room temperature and cook more evenly.
  3. Lightly coat the grill rack with olive oil.
  4. Grill steak, covered, over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°). Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving

Taste
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With a nice balance of fat and marbling, the sirloin has a delicious, beefy flavor. The taste and texture of the sirloin will depend slightly on the part of the sirloin you choose. For instance, the more expensive top sirloin has a slightly higher fat content and is very tender, while the bottom sirloin tends to be a little meatier and pairs nicely with richer rubs or marinades.

Not sure what cut best suits your needs? Ask your butcher for serving suggestions and seasoning tips to best fit your needs.

Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home

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Grilling for Good: Polar Grill Fest

January 16, 2014

No matter where you live in the U.S., it’s safe to say that the last couple of weeks have brought some serious cold. The words “Polar Vortex” are now a standard term, and states that rarely see frost found themselves in a deep freeze to start the New Year. At our headquarters in New England we’re accustomed to the cold. So much so, that we decided grilling doesn’t have to be just a warm weather hobby.

In 2012, together with Redhook Brewery, The Meat House started Polar Grill Fest, designed to celebrate our chilly New England winters with great food and beer and a little healthy competition. Equipped with puffy jackets, hats and boots, attendees come together for their love of grilling and being outdoors – no matter what the temperature outside!

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The Event
Any Meat House event wouldn’t be complete without delicious food! Along with some of the best restaurants and grillers on the New Hampshire seacoast, we’ll be grilling up everything from turkey legs, bison sausage and wood fired pizza. The participating vendors are vying for the titles of Snow Queen and Best of Show and will be judged by local experts and celebrities, Chuck MacMahon, Deb Weeks and Keith Lemerise.

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Of course with an outdoor winter event, there has to be entertainment.  One of our top tips for a chilly event in New England, never stay still! That’s why we’ve packed the event full of live entertainment, a grilling competition and a giant interactive photo booth.

The Cause
While this event is certainly about fun, The Meat House, at all locations, strives to be a part of and support the communities in which we operate. This year’s Polar Grill Fest supports 3S Artspace, which is a non-profit multidisciplinary contemporary art space, designed to be a hub for local artists in every different medium. Whether it’s supporting the arts, military or local food banks, our stores across the country strive to give back. In the coming year keep an eye on our Butcher’s Wrap newsletter to see how your local Meat House is grilling for good.

If you’re near our headquarters in New Hampshire, we encourage you to check out New England’s coolest grilling festival and competition next Saturday! To buy tickets or volunteer, visit www.PolarGrillFest.com

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Pork Tenderloin

January 10, 2014

How are your resolutions going so far? With the first week of the New Year behind us, we begin reflecting on the goals we set. Whether it’s to lose those extra Holiday pounds or take more time to relax or travel, your ideas for betterment should be in the beginning stages. Like many others, The Meat House resolved to help our customers meat their goals  in 2014, by providing lean meat recipes each day in January. While we have some of our go-to favorites like steak and chicken in the bunch, there’s one lean meat that’s often times overlooked: pork.

Known as “the other white meat”,pork is flavorful but is lower in calories and cholesterol than many other meats and poultry. In fact, pork tenderloin is just as lean as skinless chicken and is considered “extra lean” by government standards. Health benefits aside, it’s downright delicious. With a light texture, yet rich savory taste, pork tenderloin can be paired with a variety of sauces and sides.

To keep up our resolution, we’re offering a lean recipe highlighting pork and a delicious tangy mustard sauce. Enjoy!

Dijon Mustard Pork Loin

Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 to 4 lb) boneless pork tenderloin
  • 3/4 cup Boar’s Head® Delicatessen Mustard (or Dijon)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp parsley leaves, freshly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chives, freshly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tarragon leaves, freshly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Original Camp Mix

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Season the pork tenderloin with Original Camp Mix.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, mustard, garlic and herbs together. Reserve mustard sauce for pork.
  4. In a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Sear pork loin on all sides. Brush with mustard sauce and roast in the preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Another reason we love this recipe – it’s simple. Pork tenderloin cooks quickly and is perfect for slicing. Sweet sauces also pair very nicely with pork, so consider using honey mustard instead of Dijon or cook with a few sliced apples, which cook down into your sauce. If you’re cooking for a crowd, plan for about ¾ lb per person.

Running short on time? Several of our Meat House locations offer oven-ready pork rolls stuffed with anything from apple stuffing to a more savory spinach and feta version pictured below :

spinach and feta rolls

Remember this is just the first leg of the resolution race, but we’ll be here until the finish line. Check back on the Butcher’s Blog and Facebook for more lean recipes daily.

Recipe modified from Food Network.
Pork Loin photo from Noble Pig.

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Meat Your Goals: Lean Meat Recipe

January 1, 2014

It’s time. Time to throw away stale holiday cookies, left over champagne bottles and get ready for the New Year. Whether your resolution is to get fit, eat better, travel more or simply to make 2014 a great year, New Years is all about being positive and setting goals. This year we at The Meat House wanted to set a few resolutions of our own, including resolving to help you Meat Your Goals.

While we can’t help with everything on your list, we can assist by providing healthy fresh food. Everyday throughout the month of January we’ll  post recipes on Facebook using lean meats to help you with a healthy diet. When in our stores,* keep an eye out for these case tags, which will highlight that days lean meat protein.

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From steak to fish, eating healthy doesn’t have to be plain or boring. In fact, we’ve put together recipes to please even the pickiest palates. From a lean version of stuffing topped chicken, to flavorful shrimp skewers, we’ve got 31 unique recipes for you to try. All of the recipe cards that we post on Facebook can also be downloaded and printed directly from our website here.

To kick off our 31 Days of Lean Meats resolution, we wanted to highlight one of our favorite proteins – beef. Known for its rich flavor and high protein, beef can be a part of a healthy, well rounded diet. Packed with tons of flavor, our Balsamic Flank Steak is the perfect way to start eating healthier in 2014.

Balsamic Flank Steak

Flank Steak

Ingredients

  • 1-3 lbs flank steak
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup Aritson balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • 2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine the garlic, rosemary, oregano, mustard and vinegar and purée until the garlic is minced. With the machine on, gradually add the oil and blend until creamy. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the meat to a glass or ceramic baking dish and pour all but 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette on top; turn the meat to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. Remove meat and let stand for 30 minutes before grilling.
  4. Light a grill and oil the grates. Remove the steak from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill the steak over moderate heat, until lightly charred and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 125°, 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the meat against the grain and serve, passing the remaining vinaigrette at the table.

For some extra veggies, top the steak on a bed of arugula. The vinaigrette is all you need for dressing and will help you to meet your daily vegetable goals. Remember, eating healthy doesn’t need to be complicated. We’ve selected recipes that are both approachable and delicious. If you’re short on time, try one of our  naturally lean items like cilantro lime turkey tips or meat and veggie kabobs. We look forward to what 2014 brings and meating our goals together.

*At participating locations only

Image sourced from Aminerecipes.com

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Party Appetizer: Swedish Meatballs

December 26, 2013

Just as you’re sweeping up pine needles and recycling gift boxes galore, talks of resolutions and New Year’s celebrations begin. For many, New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to end the year with a bang. It’s the time to top off weeks of Holiday cookies with champagne and decadent party apps before resolutions begin. Whether you’re hosting this year or traveling to a friend’s to ring in 2014, there are a few rules when picking the perfect party appetizer; keep it bite sized, make sure it’s easily portable and last but certainly not least, it needs to be delicious.

One of our go-to party recipes is the popular meatball. It can be made with different varieties of beef, pork, turkey and even exotic meats. Paired with different sauces, the meatball can be made and adapted to feed any group. One of our favorite party options is the versatile Swedish meatball. Known for its small size and rich creamy sauce, the Swedish meatball can be used as an app or spooned over egg noodles for the ultimate comfort food. As its namesake would suggest, these meatballs were invented in Sweden and are traditionally paired with potatoes and lingonberry jam.

Popularized by furniture giant Ikea®, the Swedish meatball is even more popular stateside than ever. Our version kicks up the recipe by combining beef and veal, to create a rich and moist meatball.

Beef & Veal Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients

  • ½ lb ground chuck (15 percent fat content)
  • ½ lb ground veal
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 slice white bread, torn into 4 pieces
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, place bread in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add milk. Let sit until the bread has absorbed the milk, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled onion, ground beef and veal, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg and beat on medium speed until the mixture is light in color and appears sticky, about 5 minutes. If you don’t own a stand mixer, a large bowl can be used and the mixture can be blended together by hand.
  3. Fill a separate medium bowl with water. Form the meat mixture into 1-inch balls, wetting your hands in the bowl of water as necessary to keep the mixture from sticking, and place meatballs on a baking sheet.
  4. Wipe the frying pan clean with a paper towel. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add half of the meatballs and pan fry, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean serving dish; set aside. Repeat with remaining meatballs, using the existing melted butter.
  5. Sprinkle flour over the drippings in the pan and whisk, scraping up any browned bits, until the flour’s no longer raw tasting, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in beef broth, whisking as to smooth out any lumps. Cook until the mixture starts to boil and thicken, about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer into a medium heatproof bowl and discard the solids. Transfer the strained sauce back to the pan.
  6. Reduce heat to low and whisk in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return meatballs to the pan until heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer meatballs and sauce to the serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.

If traveling with the dish, transfer meatballs to a small crockpot or shallow baking dish. The size of the meatballs and sauce allow them to retain heat nicely, so only minimal reheating will be necessary. If you’re adventurous, consider serving with jam dipping sauce as a nod to the Swedish tradition and add a little color to the appetizer. With the New Year almost here, we say try something new and resolve to make 2014 a year of great food! (That’s one resolution we can definitely help with!)

Recipe adapted from: Chow.com

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