Taste of Tahoe: Check out these tips to ordering the perfect Valentine’s Day steak
This story has been corrected from an earlier version to ensure, in the information below, the Certified Angus Beef choice filet offered at the West Shore Café is 8 ounces in size. The original version of the story incorrectly reported 80 ounces, and the Sun-Bonanza regrets this error.
The below restaurants will feature the meat selections following featured in this story on Valentine's Day (asterisk denotes those supplied by Sierra Meat & Seafood).
Crystal Bay Casino (Crystal Bay)
Durham Ranch Filet Mignon*
Durham Ranch New York Strip*
Durham Ranch Rib Eye Steak*
Lone Eagle Grill (Incline Village)
Durham Ranch Bison Tenderloin*
Grilled Maine Lobster Tail
Brandt Beef Prime Filet Mignon
Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique (Tahoe City)
Argentine Marinated Filet Mignon
Braised Berkshire Pork Shank
West Shore Café (Homewood)
8 oz. Certified Angus Beef choice filet
18oz. bone-in rib eye
Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats (Truckee)
Niman Ranch rib eye
Christy Hill Restaurant (Tahoe City)
Duet of Duck
River Grill (Tahoe City)
Rack of lamb
For a more local flavor...
Village Meats, located inside Village Market next to the post office, is a great local source for all things meat. Village Meats specializes “in the absolute finest U.S. grown Natural Black Angus Beef” that’s grown without the use of Antibiotics or Growth Hormones,” according to its website.
Call 775-831-6243, visit www.villagemeats.com or stop into the business at 770 Mays Blvd. to learn more.
Also, Mountain Valley Meats in Truckee is a great local source for all things meat. With a combined 35 years in the food industry, owners Jess Curtis and Brandon Uresky work together to create unique sausage recipes that are sold wholesale and in house. Plenty of other meat is also available for purchase.
Call 530-550-7197, visit www.mountainvalleymeats.com or stop into the business at 11209 Brockway Road, Suite 101, to learn more.
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, one thoughtful gesture for your sweetheart is a dinner out, sharing quality conversation, perhaps a nice glass of wine and — if you’re a carnivore — a great steak meal.
The North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Sun this week caught up with a connoisseur of the cut, Tom Ryan, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Reno-based Sierra Meat & Seafood, to provide some tips for ordering a fantastic steak dish at Lake Tahoe-Truckee.
“It’s always a great day for steak,” Ryan said. “People get excited about going out for a steak. Nothing against chicken, people just get excited about beef — there’s a romance to it.”
Below are Ryan’s tips on choosing the right cut and preparation for popular steaks — but the most important thing, he says, is to order to your own taste.
“I’m not a big fan of talking down to customers and making them feel foolish,” Ryan said. “If you enjoy well-done, by all means, order a well-done steak.”
The most popular steak in America is the tenderloin, or the filet mignon. It is the most tender cut of meat, as it has no connective tissue whatsoever.
Cut: The tenderloin can be a smaller cut, but a nice, thick steak that isn’t too heavy.
Preparation: Medium-rare to medium, leaning more toward the rare side.
On the complete other side of the spectrum is the king of all flavor, the rib eye. This is a much bigger steak and is a popular dish for two, especially on Valentine’s Day.
Cut: The rib eye usually carries more marbling than the tenderloin and is less tender with an intense buttery, almost nutty flavor.
Preparation: Flavors show a lot better when cooked more toward medium.
New York strip loin
The strip loin is a very popular steak, and practically has its own cult following and takes center stage during summertime grilling.
Cut: The New York is equally as tender as the rib eye with more intense, clear flavor that features a flintiness almost comparable to an old world wine.
This classic steakhouse cut is perfect for those who want a smaller, delicious steak, but don’t necessarily want the tenderloin. It is a very tender cut of meat that won’t break the bank.
Cut: Similar to the NY strip, the top sirloin is less buttery than the rib eye, showcasing a clear, mineral flavor.
Preparation: Medium-rare, leaning toward the rare side.
Things to know for cooking steak at home
Seasoning: Keep it simple. High-quality meat shouldn’t be overly seasoned — you can never go wrong with salt and pepper.
Pan searing: Ryan recommends pan-searing the steak on the stovetop to seal in its juices, and finishing it in the oven to temperature.
Barbecuing or char-grilling: The grill will impart flavors into the meat and require a sturdy cut that can withstand this preparation method. The New York strip and top sirloin are good grilling-steaks.
Cook time: Any time you cook a steak, it’s a balancing act between how thick it is and how much heat you need to cook it to your liking. “The last thing you want is too high of heat,” Ryan said. “Where you crust the outside of the meat and the inside is raw. I use a temperature probe in the middle of the thickest part of the steak.” Use the following guide — medium, 130-135 degrees; medium rare, 125-130 degrees; and medium well, 135-40 degrees.
Pro tip: Temper the meat by letting it sit out for no longer than 45 minutes before cooking. “If you have ice cold steak and you throw it on a really hot grill or pan it shocks the steak and you lose juice,” Ryan explained.
Pro tip #2: Don’t mess with the steak! Match cooking time on each side, only flipping the steak once so as to not disturb the juices sealed inside.
To learn more about Sierra Meat & Seafood at http://www.sierrameat.com.