It takes guts for a fine-dining restaurant to be willing to step out of the box and introduce new cuts, and Liz Wunderlich, U.S. Meat Export Federation Caribbean representative is praising the Graycliff restaurant for having done just that with their introduction of new cuts to their menu for a summer promotion that will run through the end of June, allowing diners the opportunity to be introduced to the quality of U.S. beef, fall in love with the products and become followers of the particular cuts.
At a recent unveiling of the cuts to be had across Graycliff’s lunch and dinner menus were Denver lamb ribs, kurobuta pork chops (16-ounces), C.A.B. prime flap meat, C.A.B. coulotte, tri-tip steak, and Colorado rack of lamb.
“What makes me happy about Graycliff is that people trust when they come here, so for them to be willing to step out of the box and introduce new cuts takes guts. It takes absolute guts,” said Wunderlich.
“Most fine dining chefs will tell me, ‘Not doing it. I am not going there because my customers want filet mignon, and that’s what I’m going to give them. But introducing new cuts is exciting. We want people to have this wow experience with something they’ve never had before,” said the representative of the trade association which represents the US red meat industry – beef, pork, lamb, veal – and work with companies or islanders like the Graycliff group on promotions and introducing them to new cuts.
Wunderlich says it’s not about displacing cuts that people love but adding to the experience with cuts that are still tender, because they’re treated correctly and are high quality meats.
“You can take something that’s been corn-fed and upgrade it because that quality is in there – the marbling, the youthfulness and all the things that we need to have for it to be tender, juicy and flavorful.”
The Denver lamb ribs (lamb ribs) are a leaner alternative to pork or beef rips, with big, rich flavor which will be offered braised on the Graycliff menu.
The rich and meaty in flavor tri-tip, they serve sliced (because although it cooks like a tender steak, it slices like a brisket) with rosemary potato wedges and aioli. It just might just be one of the most flavorful cuts of meat that you’ve never heard of – well, that is unless you lived in California.
“If you’re in California, tri-tip is on your grill every weekend,” said Wunderlich. “We like to call it the California roast/steak, because they discovered tri-tip before the rest of the world.”
It’s one of those cuts that you have to take care when slicing, because an incorrect cut can take the meat from tender and juicy to tough and chewy. Graycliff’s butchers were also trained on how to cut a tri-tip correctly during their 15-day training with federation representatives.
“So, when they cook it – and we talked a lot about the way the fiber runs, you cut it right; because you could do everything right – you could have bred the animal, fed the animal right, aged the meat right, cooked it perfectly, and then if you didn’t cut it correctly at that last minute, you’ve ruined it. If you don’t cut across the grain, you have now taken this valuable cut that could have had a great eating experience and made it okay – not great.”
A 16-ounce double kurobuta pork chop with caramelized apples and onions is to be had during this summer promotion. To put it plainly, kurobuta, a gourmet pork from Berkshire, a heritage breed hog with a history in Japanese cuisine, is juicy and flavorful.
“It’s gorgeous, excellent marbling, very good color and pH which is important in retaining juiciness,” says Wunderlich.
And Graycliff does a gorgeous Colorado baby lamb rack, which is served roasted with focaccia crumbs, garlic and parsley crust with a selection of vegetables.
With cuts to be rotated in and out on menus for the promotion, Graycliff is expected to offer a C.A.B. prime flap which is rich in flavor and well-marbled and they are looking to offer as brochettes (skewered); and C.A.B. coulotte which has plenty of marbling for a juicy, savory steak which is perfect for roasting.
“Great meat, great flavors and still be able to maintain a great price,” said Wunderlich.
Elijah Bowe, Graycliff executive chef is excited for the new cuts.
“Anytime I have to cook I don’t have a problem with it, but it can get monotonous cooking the same thing every day, so it’s a pleasure when we get in new ingredients to work with.”
While he says some of the cuts like the Colorado rack of lamb isn’t new to the Graycliff menu, Bowe said he appreciated the fact that the federation took the time to come into the country and train the staff on what the cuts are, how the cuts should be prepared and how they should be served. He also appreciated the fact that the wait staff received training as well as the kitchen staff, to allow them to be able to intelligently answer patron questions. He also said the training gave the staff a greater appreciation of what the animals sacrificed themselves for and the quality of the meat.
Bowe encouraged people to take advantage of the summer promotion offering quality meat at what he says are affordable prices.
While the chef says the cuts on the Graycliff summer promotion are all stellar, for him, the kurobuta pork is his absolute favorite. He recommends patrons order it medium to get the full effect of its flavor.
“The pork of today is not the pork of old. The pork that is produced now is parasite-free and it does not have to be “cooked to death” – pink is good. And when cooked to the perfect temperature, the meat is succulent and juicy. Pork is a very lean meat, so the more you cook it, the tougher it becomes, so you have to treat it right. “
Enrico Garzaroli, Graycliff restaurant proprietor describes the offerings as “prime.”