The Big Bad Red Meat!!!

The Big Bad Red Meat!!

Why does it seem that every blog post I write starts with a confession?  I guess that in not being an overly religious type I need my own “confessional” outlet, could that be it?  I’m not sure, but I do have to say that I need to confess my all out addiction LOVE for red meat.

IMG_3114There is truly nothing better than a good quality piece of BEEF.  (Jim, I hear you snickering right now….  Yes I also ADORE
SAUSAGE!).  As we start to gear up for the warmer weather, I hope the thought of BBQ is creeping in to your head (I know I have been already thinking about how to get my yard set up for BBQ season).  I have begun to dream of the smell of charcoal and wood smoke, hearing the sizzle of the meat searing on a superhot grill, and enjoying the company of friends and the who am I kidding “occassional” glass of wine.  For Todd and I the warmer weather is marked by social activity and LOTS OF RED MEAT!!!

So, just how do we intend to survive this wonderful season of madness?  Are we going to AVOID red meat this year in an attempt to chisel your bodies down to the weight we want to achieve?  Are we going to go “vegan” and simply divorce our BBQ outright?  Absolutely NOT!!IMG_1219

I still remember a day (more than a decade ago) when a group of co-workers decided to try and “convince” me that becoming vegetarian or vegan wasn’t really “all that hard.”  I remember them telling me that “even you could do it Duane, it’s not difficult” as if i were some underacheiver who needed encouragement.  The answer I gave them then still holds true…..  “When I get hungry all I dream of doing is walking into farmer’s field and biting a cow on the ass!!”

So far on this journey Todd and I have continued our love affair with red meat, but of course there are different ways to manage red meat in your diet.  For us, it’s actually kinda simple.  We will NOT skimp.  Really.  If I am going to invest my calories in a piece of steak, why would I choose to eat something less than wonderful?  I guess what I am saying is that steak, being a more calorie dense meat, is a luxury now.  So we do not eat “thinly cut” grocery store steaks that over cook and become felt at a moment’s notice.  We will not try and grill a piece of “eye of round” for dinner, as it will be too tough to enjoy.  And even if we are thinking of ground beef, for say a burger, it will not be regular or medium ground beef but most likely it will be a decent cut of steak which we trim and grind at home to ensure that we have both the quality and calorie control we desire.

When thinking about beef the concept is simple.  Buy the best you can afford.  If that means organic grass fed 29 day dry aged ribeye steak then by all means…. buy that (or break the bank and try wagu or kobe).  Grill  that.  ENJOY that.  Todd and I have often said that if you need to cover your beef in sauces and marinades before grilling then you have bought the wrong steak.  I will stand by that statement forever.  If you need to ask for a “steak knife” to cut your meat, again you have the wrong steak.  If your steak needs more than a little rub of olive oil salt and pepper before you grill it maybe you should “rethink” your choice of cut or quality.

IMG_2640Of course this all sounds like the plan is to eat big slabs of beef the size of my head.  This is not true.  The new motto is to “eat
less, eat better!”  Eat better quality smaller steaks less often  this is our new ‘rule” we don’t have rules here.  Portion control the size of the steak.  Buy better quality.  Enjoy your steak MORE!!  So, buy a nice THICK steak, but trim it to a propper portion size of 6-8 ounces (on special occassions like birthdays go even bigger if you want!).  Of course you can cook this wonderful goodness we call beef to whichever consistency you think is correct (but I will tell you, like adding marinades, cooking to anything more than medium rare makes that expensive piece of meat you bought taste just the same as that grocery store steak we talked about earlier)!

To further help you plan your encounters with the sublime goodness I call red meat, you can see the table below to determine the calorie counts for different cuts.  Choosing the right cuts for the job while keeping the caloric intake in mind can be a very important thing.  Grilling an eye of round on the barbeque would (in my opinion) be a complete waste of time and calories.  And while a nice oven roasted sirloin will make some very good sliced beef for sandwiches it will not be a great steak either.  For FLAVOUR on the BBQ?  Choose a nice Ribeye.  For tenderness?  Choose a Tenderloin.  For a balance of the two?  Try a strip loin.  Or you can always go low slow and smokey with some ribs for a decadent treat (yes, on these you not only may use some sauce you MUST!! but make sure it’s homemade and the recipe starts the ingredient list with a bottle of jack!

I think the most important thing to remember here is that you CAN enjoy BBQ season and all the tastes it brings without having to confine yourself to only chicken!!  So BRING ON THE SUN AND BBQ SEASON!!

RANK CUT Calories per 100g
1 Extra Lean Ground 132
2 Brisket 139
3 Stewing beef 146
3 Beef Ribs 146
4 Tenderloin 151
5 Lean Ground 152
6 Eye of Round 168
7 Medium Ground 179
8 Shank 201
9 New York Strip 204
10 Ribeye 205
10 Skirt Steak 205
10 Hanger Steak 205
11 Sirloin 214
12 Flat Iron Steak 232
13 Prime Rib Roast 238
14 Oxtail 247
15 Regular Ground 250
16 Chuck 345

Thanks for reading!!


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