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Tired of the same steaks...proteins in general

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

OK, so I change my menu fairly often. I have a lot of leeway to do what I want, as long as people like it, eat it, and it tastes good. 

 

Anyone have some steak ideas besides Strip, Ribeye and Filet? I am a big fan of Hangar steak but don't know if I could get it to work where I am...dunno if people would buy it, and a lot of the other places around here do it. 

 

Does anyone have any ideas for other cuts of steak that I could maybe use? Things like flank and skirt I don't think fit our style.

 

I'm at a loss, besides what I already mentioned. 

 

In general, too, I'm feeling a little "same old same old." Like--duck, lamb, chicken, pork, halibut, salmon, scallops, lobster, pheasant, etc. Am I missing anything? What other proteins haven't I done? What is different?

 

I mean, I want to do some different stuff but there doesn't seem to be much I haven't done a bunch already. There must be stuff out there?

 

Any ideas? 

post #2 of 23

buffalo, venison, wild boar, ostrich, goose, rabbit, goat, frog legs, eel, octopus, abalone

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 23
Flat Irons and bistro filets(teras major) are good cuts, not that cheap anymore. I've seen people doing eye of round & such sous vide. But if you're doing ribeye, why change?
post #4 of 23
Also it isn't that there aren't other proteins- it's what's available. It's a big machine, food business, and it's hard to find stuff that doesn't fit in the cogs.
post #5 of 23
Hanger steak is a great piece of meat. It gets a really bad rap from people that just don't understand it. It's cheap out of the box, but very time-consuming on the trim-out. You can do it fast if you are either very good or don't mind smaller chunks (large stew sized). It's not bad if you've got a grinder and can repurpose the good trim. Hanger burgers are very tasty. About 5 years ago I worked in a butcher shoppe where we couldn't get it out fast enough. We would sell out every day. Another thing is that it can be tricky on the cooking and serving. The grain runs funny and if you cut it wrong you've got a problem. Anyway ... it's a great steak in my opinion. YMMV.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

buffalo, venison, wild boar, ostrich, goose, rabbit, goat, frog legs, eel, octopus, abalone

 

There are some really good suggestions there.  I would definitely look towards game meats, if you customers would buy it as well as octopus.  We used to get antelope from a ranch in Texas, can't quite remember the name right now (Broken Arrow maybe?).

 

Yes, the same old, same old can get boring for a chef, but you have to remember to put yourself into the customer's shoes.  For many of them, they are looking for those familiar proteins.  That doesn't mean that you only have to do those, but it's hard to get away from them.

post #7 of 23

Soylent Green perhaps?

 

(The supply chain is almost limitless!)

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodChef View Post
 

Soylent Green perhaps?

 

(The supply chain is almost limitless!)

I tease my folks about this movie, it can be 65 and sunny out, the drapes are closed, they are asleep in their chairs with some sort of nature show on, waiting to slip away.

post #9 of 23
Beef tongue is sorely underused, have even had it ground and tubed up like a sausage and deep fried, delicious. Crawfish and oysters are also underused but only because they're my favorites 😀
post #10 of 23
I hate crawfish in that it is too expensive. I can eat crawfish every week if it wasn't expensive. Yummy. I can get bigger shrimp at the same or cheaper price. Thank you TV food shows. Cheap stuff that gets popular drives up the prices.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

buffalo, venison, wild boar, ostrich, goose, rabbit, goat, frog legs, eel, octopus, abalone

 

Most of that stuff has been on my menus too. Good suggestions. Haven't used goat where I currently am, would be curious if people would go for it. Somehow I don't think so, but maybe I can find something. I used to rub it with a spicy chermoulah-style sauce and marinate it for a day or two. Then braise it and pick the meat. It was pretty good--the strong spices helped cover some of the gaminess up, but I don't really mind a little gaminess in my meat. But then, some customers think lamb chops are too gamey, so yeah. 

 

Haven't done abalone...how do you prepare it? That could be fun. 

 

Thanks again! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

Hanger steak is a great piece of meat. It gets a really bad rap from people that just don't understand it. It's cheap out of the box, but very time-consuming on the trim-out. You can do it fast if you are either very good or don't mind smaller chunks (large stew sized). It's not bad if you've got a grinder and can repurpose the good trim. Hanger burgers are very tasty. About 5 years ago I worked in a butcher shoppe where we couldn't get it out fast enough. We would sell out every day. Another thing is that it can be tricky on the cooking and serving. The grain runs funny and if you cut it wrong you've got a problem. Anyway ... it's a great steak in my opinion. YMMV.

 

I personally love hangar steak, I just don't know if I could sell it where I am. It's actually one of my favorite cuts. But your first sentence is one of the reasons I don't know if it would work...people don't know about it or understand it. 

 

I might look into bistro filets. I've heard of them before but have never tried to source them. I'll have to check. Looks intriguing and also like it might fit the bill. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
 

 

There are some really good suggestions there.  I would definitely look towards game meats, if you customers would buy it as well as octopus.  We used to get antelope from a ranch in Texas, can't quite remember the name right now (Broken Arrow maybe?).

 

Yes, the same old, same old can get boring for a chef, but you have to remember to put yourself into the customer's shoes.  For many of them, they are looking for those familiar proteins.  That doesn't mean that you only have to do those, but it's hard to get away from them.

Yeah, I tend to think of game as more fall/winter. I do venison in the fall which always goes over well. Rubbed it with coffee and cocoa, was a hit. I've done octopus, it was good, people liked it. I might do it again for the summer. 

 

Yeah Broken Arrow is a thing. They raise great meat, really good stuff, but their prices are insane. Prohibitively insane. 

 

I guess I was just in a little funk last night trying to come up with some menu replacements, not really feeling any of the big 3 steaks. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurenlulu View Post

Beef tongue is sorely underused, have even had it ground and tubed up like a sausage and deep fried, delicious. Crawfish and oysters are also underused but only because they're my favorites 😀

 

Thats a good idea. I did beef tongue a while back (we made pastrami with it and served it with braised cabbage and other stuff) but it's been a minute since we did it. It was good because it was in a familiar form (pastami) but still let people feel adventurous about eating it, even though there isn't really anything scary about it. 

 

Crawfish is good, doesn't really grow where I am though. I actually was looking at one point doing a riff on the classic chicken/crawfish thing, but then I chef I'm familiar with put it on his menu, so I didn't want to be accused of ripping him off, even though I technically wouldn't be. 

 

I can get really good oysters, just not the right time of year :)

 

Thanks people, keep it coming. 

post #12 of 23
Quote:
 Haven't done abalone...how do you prepare it? That could be fun.

 

Use a mallet to tenderize and pound out about 1/4" thick. Quick saute about 30 seconds a side.

 

As far as goat, have you tried chops. There are several Italian renditions that might make them more accessible for your guests that are initially hesitant. Ribs are also good.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #13 of 23

Braised rabbit is a winner for me.

post #14 of 23

In addition to all the excellent protein choices already suggested, you might consider altering style of prep and presentation. 

      The most obvious example is chicken, which can be done multiple ways. So you would be experimenting with things like roast, fried, half chicken (plain or with various toppings/sauces, just breast, rolled, stuffed, pates and galantine, whole stuffed chicken for two.  other birds like squab, pheasant or game hen done in a variety of ways. 

And of course these choices apply to any of the other proteins you might choose. There is a local restaurant serving a stuffed NY strip. Cooked to temp, split open and stuffed ala minute with a saute of spinach, red pepper, mushrooms and mozzarella. Quite popular. You could try going through the classic sauces for steak found in Escoffier or more modern regional and cultural ones like southwest or south american. Or northern european styles from Finland and Russia. 

You are located in the northeast so you might research some New England classic preparations, which include many game varieties.  

 Okay, I need more coffee. More later if I manage to get the lawn mowed. 

post #15 of 23

Alligator. Kind of expensive now, but people liked it when I had it and I'm in a very conservative area. You can make it several ways, but when I first tasted it, it reminded me of pork cutlets, so that's how I made it. Breaded and deep fried. Other people used it in gumbos. I wanted to do a "swamp platter" but never got it going. I had a huge seafood platter that served 2 people, and I wanted to do it like that. It would have had catfish, frog legs, alligator, crawfish and shrimp on it.

post #16 of 23
Guinea fowl, emu, and rheas ... I don't see them mentioned yet. .
post #17 of 23

I wish I could find  some veal head. Have not seen it for ages ?

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

I bought a bavette for experimenting. I am going to trim, cut into steaks, and sous vide. Probably try a marinade to see what I like. 

 

I've used this cut before at an upscale bistro I used to work at in Boston, but its been a while. We didn't sous vide it either so I'm interested to see what results that has. 

post #19 of 23

baby goat (capretto) done as ragout

pigeon (squab)

butchers beef cuts (popes eye, tri-tip etc)

and as I'm australian i will suggest kangaroo, but that's only if your crowd can take rare meats because it gets dreadfully tough if overcooked.

 

consider different cuisines to introduce new ideas that meet the flavor profile of your customer base, such as vietnamese pho in place of beef consommé or French onion soup. Indonesian Sup Buntut in place of the western style oxtail soup, etc etc.

 

another thing you could do is go back to some old favourites and rehash/reinvent the menu items with alternate sauces or plating.

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post

OK, so I change my menu fairly often. I have a lot of leeway to do what I want, as long as people like it, eat it, and it tastes good. 

Anyone have some steak ideas besides Strip, Ribeye and Filet? I am a big fan of Hangar steak but don't know if I could get it to work where I am...dunno if people would buy it, and a lot of the other places around here do it. 

Does anyone have any ideas for other cuts of steak that I could maybe use? Things like flank and skirt I don't think fit our style.

I'm at a loss, besides what I already mentioned. 

In general, too, I'm feeling a little "same old same old." Like--duck, lamb, chicken, pork, halibut, salmon, scallops, lobster, pheasant, etc. Am I missing anything? What other proteins haven't I done? What is different?

I mean, I want to do some different stuff but there doesn't seem to be much I haven't done a bunch already. There must be stuff out there?

Any ideas? 

KANGAROO....ORTOLANS
post #21 of 23

some more ideas, gleaned from my very old copy of Guide To Modern Cookery

Civet, though I'm sure Escoffier means Hare.

Leveret, as above

Rable, the back of the Hare

Grey and Red Partridges

Hazel Hen

Gangas

Sand Grouse (eg Pintail Sandgrouse)

Ptarmigan

Teals

Woodcocks

Snipes

Plovers

Lapwings

Sandpipers

Water-Rails

Thrushes

Dotterels

Corsican Blackbirds (now protected, so you can be sure to get great media coverage if you served this one)

Larks

Warblers

Ortolans (prohibited in the EU, but sill possible to get it on the black markets)

Widgeons (a type a small duck)

Fig Peckers (Orphean warbler)

 

I'm not sure on legality with the game birds listed, but at least your not stuck with plain duck or chicken dishes.

post #22 of 23

It depends on your client base. If you serve tongue down here in Mississippi, they ain't gonna eat it. :)  But they do love some frog legs and rabbit.  

 

Try going retro maybe. Some steak Dianne! hehe

post #23 of 23
I asked my butcher what he thought were the most flavorful cut of beef were used for steaks and he said;
1) Spinalis Dorsi aka butcher's butter, rib cap
2) filet mignon
3) Terres major aka bistro steak
Elk, Bison and goat come to mind for variations that are easy to get.
Porterhouse porkchop is another idea too.
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