Memorial Day Grilling Special!
Now that summer is officially here (I’m from New England—therefore I refuse to wait for June 21 lest it start snowing again) it’s time for that great tradition: the Memorial Day cookout. The usual burgers and steaks are a must, but Chris Raines, assistant professor of meat science and technology in the College of Agriculture has highlighted some new and unorthodox trends:
- “Using the whole animal” – unusual cuts of meat, sometimes parts you wouldn’t think of as being meat at all. Tongue, liver, and heart are all fair game. Even the animals themselves have become more varied. Goat, bison, and lamb have become more à la mode. Personally, I can say that bison is very good, and tastes exactly like beef. For all of these, anyway, if you blindfolded me and didn’t tell me what it was, I’d probably like it.
- Gourmet Burgers – ladies and gents, we’ve moved beyond just ground beef. Chicken or turkey, pork, veal, and beef have all been ground up for the burger. And just because it makes everything taste better, throw in some bacon bits for good measure.
- “Middle Meat” sales – because of how the market’s been acting lately, stores have actually been putting some of the higher-end beef cuts on sale for the summer. These tend to come from the upper midsection of the cow, hence the “middle.” Rib eye, strip steaks, and loin cuts all fall under this category. If you want to grill a high quality steak, look for it on sale during a holiday weekend, or otherwise this summer; stores will be putting them on sale whenever they anticipate a period of high grilling activity.
Some of these are admittedly a bit out there. So instead of inviting everyone over for beef hearts you’ve never cooked before, maybe try cooking one or two alongside the burgers you’d normally cook today or on the 4th of July—they’re worth a shot. Regardless, happy Memorial Day and happy grilling!