The Rub on Rubs

In a nutshell: rubs are a seasoning that you rub on meat. It’s a waiting process. The more you put on, and the longer you wait, the stronger it will be. A quick rub won’t be as potent.

There is a rub for all different tastes including spicy, sweet, tangy, and bitter. Certain rubs pair well with certain meats. For example, our butcher prefers a sweet and savory rub on pork whereas a spicy rub, like a Cajun rub, is good on London broil or flank steak.

However, our butcher Eddie, will NEVER put a rub on a top grade steak. This is personal preference but any rub will cause the meat to take on the flavor of the rub. If you want to enjoy the flavor of the meat, abstain from using a rub.

At New York Prime Meats, we use Lysander’s – they make a rub for everything. It is available for purchase in most butcher shops. It is also available in upscale markets like Trader Joes, Whole Foods etc.

How to apply a rub:
Slightly moist meat is best but DO NOT PUT UNDERWATER. If the meat is too dry, use a high quality olive oil. The stronger the flavor, the more you apply. Some rubs like Lysanders are very strong.

How much to apply:
About 1-2T per side of 2lb meat. Shake off the excess.

Why would I use a rub as opposed to a marinade? What does it do for the flavor?
Marinades wind up with a little bit of sauce. A rub is preferable if you are planning to smoke the meat for 12-16 hrs. A rub is for flavor. That’s why making your own rub is important. If you don’t like corriander, you won’t like a rub with it so you can leave it out in your personal rub.

Eddie’s Easy Rub
Use good spices. Find a good spice man, not local supermarket.
Combine:
Salt, sugar, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, hot peppers, and powdered smoke.
Use dried seasonings, pulverize dried herbs.

The Difference Between Grades

USDA Prime Boneless New York Strip Steak

The three grades of meat that are available for purchase are Select, Choice, and Prime.

Select is the lowest, then Choice, and finally Prime is the highest grade of beef available.

Sure, it says what the grade is on the label, but what is the difference among grades and what does this mean for the quality of meat?

USDA Select beef has a yellowish tint in the fat and has a rubbery texture. As the grade gets higher, the fat gets whiter and firmer.

A lower grade of meat will appear red and shiny, Prime beef will be flat in color and you won’t see much juice.

Prime meat is usually aged longer than lower grades. Water leaves the meat during the aging process and that’s what makes the beef so tender.

When comparing the lowest grade, Select, to the highest grade, Prime, the flavor might double. If you haven’t tried USDA Prime steak before, our butchers encourage you to take the challenge. Buy a USDA Select steak and a USDA Prime steak in the same cut. Prepare them the exact same way and see for yourself. There is no substitute for quality.

Meet Richard Cassata

New York Prime Meats would like to introduce a new experienced butcher to our team, Richard Cassata. Richard has been in the butchering business for 22 years. He first started working in a small deli as a teenager. His boss taught him to cut meat and Richard spend the next several months practicing the art during his lunch breaks in his hometown of College Point in Queens.

He took a hiatus from the New York butchering world when he moved to Florida to take a position as a plant manager at a sausage factory. This was a unique opportunity for Richard where he learned the strict safety rules and intricate process of creating sausage.

But, once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker, and Richard moved back to New York so continue butchering at a neighborhood shop for the next 12 years before joining our staff.

Richard returned to butchering for a number of reasons but mostly because he loves it.

“I like the fact its a hands on skill. I can be dropped off anywhere in the world and make a living,” said Richard. “I feel like part of a dying breed. You can get meat anywhere but takes skilled butcher to cut it right and explain to customers how to prepare properly. And of course I like eating, and I love red meat.”

His personal favorite cut of steak is a a rib steak because they are a nice fatty piece of meat. People tend to look for lean cuts for health reasons but cooking with the fat from a rib steak leaves the meat sweeter, juicier.

Richard will be chiming in on the blog to share his expertise about butchering and meat preparation.

The Difference Between Grades

USDA Prime Meat

The three grades of meat that are available for purchase are Select, Choice, and Prime.

Select is the lowest, then Choice, and finally Prime is the highest grade of beef available.
Sure, it says what the grade is on the label, but what is the difference among grades and what does this mean for the quality of meat?
USDA Select beef has a yellowish tint in the fat and has a rubbery texture. As the grade gets higher, the fat gets whiter and firmer.
A lower grade of meat will appear red and shiny, Prime beef will be flat in color and you won’t see much juice.
Prime meat is usually aged longer than lower grades. Water leaves the meat during the aging process and that’s what makes the beef so tender.
When comparing the lowest grade, Select, to the highest grade, Prime, the flavor might double. If you haven’t tried USDA Prime steak before, our butchers encourage you to take the challenge. Buy a USDA Select steak and a USDA Prime steak in the same cut. Prepare them the exact same way and see for yourself. There is no substitute for quality.

What Our Butcher Eats to Indulge

One of our butchers at New York Prime Meats, Eddie Logan, has been in the restaurant and butchering businesses for 23 years. You would think that being around steak so much, that would be the last thing he wants to eat on a daily basis. But that is just not the case.

Nine out of ten times, when Eddie is going out to a restaurant to really indulge, he is looking for steak. His favorite steak restaurant is Jimmy Hays Steakhouse but there are a number of other steakhouses in New York that Eddie also frequents.

Eddie will almost always order a Porterhouse because as he says, “it’s the best of both worlds. There’s a shell steak on one side and a filet mignon on the other.”

He doesn’t want anything fancy either like a coriander-crusted steak, or a steak diane, Eddie just wants to enjoy the steak for the steak and really taste the flavor of the meat.

Even though it’s a very popular cut, Eddie said he would never order boneless filet mignon and he guesses most butchers would agree with him because there is not very much fat and not enough flavor for a butcher that has a sensitive palette when it comes to steak. However, if the filet mignon is prepared with the bone, he will happily sample that cut.

“Steak on the bone is going to have a ton more flavor,” said Eddie.

For those looking to prepare the excellent restaurant-style Porterhouse that Eddie prefers, he offers a few tips:

First and foremost, start with the best ingredients: USDA Prime Porterhouse. According to Eddie, it really doesn’t get any better and if you are looking to indulge, it’s worth the price. You simply cannot duplicate the flavor by using a lower grade of steak.

In order to achieve the pure taste of the steak how Eddie prefers, just season with salt and pepper and then grill on a charcoal grill or pan sear for the best results. See our blog post on the grilling tips for more information about how to grill the perfect steak.

To pan fry the steak, coat the pan with a thin layer of olive oil and then get the pan very hot before placing the steak in the pan. The oil should look almost white. Then place the steak in the pan. Don’t move the steak around a lot, it should be flipped only once.