Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mail-order meat

One of the cool things about the Internet Age is this idea that you can pretty much have the world at your fingertips. Spices in bulk? Click. Clams shipped overnight on dry ice? Click, drag, Click.

However, ordering meat through the mail has been around for several years. One of the best wedding presents we got was a cooler full of Omaha Steaks. That was 15 years ago, and every time I see a really, really good steak, I think of thoe ribeyes and filets that came tucked in styrofoam.

A company called The Tender Filet is pitching its summer campaign around the idea of getting more value for the money you spend on meat. Gary Schwager, president of The Tender Filet, passed along some tips:

1. “When buying beef, look for meat that has been appropriately aged. While you might think aging beef sounds strange, it’s during this process that the juices are absorbed into the meat, enhancing the flavor and tenderizing the steaks.” For example, his company ages its beef for 21–28 days.

2. “Another important consideration is the cut—you don’t go just anywhere to get your hair cut and the same goes for meat. Experienced meat buyers know they get more use and flavor out of their beef if it’s cut to restaurant-quality specifications. Most meats found in supermarkets are not cut with that level of care and can be less economical due to increased waste.”

3. “A final tip is to plan meals ahead of time and buy meat in larger quantities to take advantage of deals. For holidays like Memorial Day, we find customers buy in large amounts so they can portion use throughout the summer.”

For more information or to order from The Tender Filet, call 1-800-228-1214.