Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Heritage Meat

If you have been in Grand Rapids for many years, you have probably eaten at Duba’s Restaurant. It was founded over 50 years ago by Ed Duba, Sr. who eventually sold it to four of his children. It was located on the near west side of Grand Rapids on Stocking Avenue until it moved to the East Beltline in 1990. Then, it closed in 2005, and the property was sold to Northpointe Bank. Ed’s grandson, Jeff now owns Duba and Company, merchants of heritage meats. The company mission: To convey the mystique and ethos of heritage meats, meats which embody all that's noble and good about the Old World, the West, and the Shire.              

We had so much fun interviewing Jeff at The Local Feed on WYCE that we made two audio segments. Listen HERE or below (if your browser allows you to see the audio bar) for the extended interview.

Jeff shared with me the instructions that Duba and Company uses to cook heritage steaks and burgers. They are below.

1. Thaw. Allow the meat, if frozen, to thaw slowly in the refrigerator. This usually takes a day or two.
2. Bring to Room Temperature. Allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Again, depending on the size of the cut, this can take anywhere from 1/2 hour to an hour.
3. Dress Your Meat. Slather steaks with olive oil just prior to cooking (not necessary with burger) and sprinkle with salt and pepper: generously for thicker cuts of steak and bigger burgers, moderately for thinner steaks and smaller burgers.

4. Achieve Proper Cooking Temperature. If cooking steaks or burgers in a pan, lightly coat the bottom of the pan with some olive oil and allow the oil to heat over a medium-high heat. The oil’s ready when it just starts to smoke. If cooking steaks or burgers on a grill, use the “Four Second Test”: the grill’s hot enough if you can hold your hand an inch above the grill for four seconds before the heat gets too intense.

5. Cook Meat. Cook the meat to the desired level of doneness: a well-done steak or burger is discouraged (conventional wisdom says you’ll lose some of the coveted flavor of really good beef). But, as always, it’s up to you. CAUTION: It’s easy to overcook pasture-raised meat (there’s less insulation in terms of fat in these meats–more flavor but less fat). It’s better to err on the side of caution and under cook the meat–you can always finish the meat off in a hot oven (475 to 500 F).

6. Resting. Allow the steak or burger to “rest” before serving: plate the cooked meat and cover loosely with foil. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll let the meat rest for a little less time than it took to cook. This allows the meat to finish cooking, among other things. If cooking a steak, it is at this point that you might consider allowing a pat of butter to melt atop the steak as it rests.

7. Final Touches. If cooking a steak, just prior to serving you might consider seasoning it with sea salt–or other gourmet salt. If cooking a burger, be careful with toppings and condiments. You don’t want to cover or hide the wonderful flavor of heritage meats which represent a terroir (the ability to taste the geography in the food: the earth, minerals, and herbage of the region).

Enjoy your summer grilling.

Follow the Foodbeet on Facebook.

Jeff and Mike Duba, Maureen Elizabeth Photography

photo by Jeff Duba
photo by Jeff Duba

No comments:

Post a Comment