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The Caterer

Beef Uncovered

20 December 2006
Beef Uncovered

Executive Chef Jonathan Reico disputes the notion that beef cookery is culinarily limited.

This article first appeared in the November 2006 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).

R&I is the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>

USA‘s leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. To find out more about *R&I*, visit its website here >> "A lot of people look at beef and say you can either make a steak or make a steak," says Reico, director of dining services at The Fountains at Canterbury, a senior-living community in Oklahoma City run by Compass Group-owned Morrison Senior Dining. "The way I look at it is, why not try something different? It just might work." For Reico and other chefs, novel approaches to beef increasingly are guided by global muses, as operators utilize the abundance of exotic ingredients broadly available in the United States and explore less-familiar cooking methods such as Moroccan tagines and Brazilian churrasco. Dedicated ethnic concepts offer a wealth of great ideas, illustrated in the recipes below. - Grilled hanger steak with chimichurri sauce, portabello mushrooms, cured olives and pine nuts, The Tasting Room, St. Augustine, Fla. - Manti Nejia (beef-stuffed pasta with roasted garlic-yogurt, paprika butter and sumac), Zaytinya, Washington, D.C. - Beef curry rolls with sweet-chili dipping sauce. Mama Fu's Asian House, multiple locations - Short-rib tagine with Oaxacan mole and almond-crusted calabaza, Social Hollywood, Los AngelesMeat market Chef Jonathan Reico's globally informed recipe calls on center-cut tenderloin for its tenderness and visual appeal, but many chefs turn to the full flavor exhibited in economical cuts such as flank steak, hanger steak and ball-tip sirloin to marry with ethnic recipes' bold profiles. Spiced right Spice blends, easily sourced or mixed in house, are a simple means of delivering bold ethnic accents; here one is used to cloak the beef in flavor. Inspired by Egyptian dukkah, it includes hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin mixed with ground pepper and sea salt. Worldly ways Reico introduces a secondary ethnic influence with accompaniments that reference Moroccan and North African flavors. Fresh figs are roasted in pomegranate molasses, while chickpeas, dried currants, red bell pepper and other components dot couscous made creamy with yogurt.
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