The Kansas Beef Council recently hosted area chefs and culinary students for a beef merchandising workshop at L’Ecole Culinary School in the heart of Kansas City. Chicago-based Master Butcher and James Beard-nominated author of The Art of Cutting Beef, Kari Underly, led the workshop. She broke down the chuck square cut, beef rib and the whole bone-in sirloin. These beef items were selected to educate attendees on the value of purchasing large primals and fabricating them into plate-ready cuts. Chefs and students were provided a visual on all of the popular foodservice cuts from these primals, including recommendations on how to add value and creativity to the menu.
In addition, Underly talked about beef bones with the class. She specifically addressed bones with marrow versus those without. Bones are the foundation for great beef broths and bases used to create soups and stews. Chefs evaluated broth styles made from marrow and non-marrow bones to appraise the difference in color, taste and flavor.
At the end of the checkoff-funded workshop, more than 30 beef cuts had been fabricated and flavor bones identified, with menu opportunities discussed for each. Chefs and students left the class with an understanding of where common and less traditional beef menu cuts are found and many new merchandising ideas for building variety and creativity on the menu.