In Search Of Great Quality Beef? Why Not Give Canadian Beef A Try
Canada is not the newest kid on the block when it comes to prime beef. In fact, Canada has long been exporting half of its beef production to the international market and has more than 68,500 beef cattle farms and ranches across their country. Yet locally, Canadian beef still doesn’t have that instant association the way that maple syrup readily brings Canada to mind.
Canadian Beef striploin
Hopefully, that’s all about to change as the Canadian Embassy gears up to make Canadian beef’s presence felt in the local market, with its Dine and Wine Night recently held at the New World Makati Hotel. Indeed, it was an evening of discovering why Canadian beef is the ultimate flagship brand that represents the best of Canada.
Braised beef cheeks
On hand to show guests the quality of Canadian beef were Chef Mathieu Paré, Executive Director of the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence, and our very own Chef Sandy Daza, TV host of FoodPrints and Casa Daza on Metro Channel, who both demonstrated their own takes on steak dishes using Canadian beef.
From left, Sandy Daza, Mathieu Paré, and Canada Beef President Francis Andres
Chef Mathieu prepared Peppered Beef Steak with Caramelized Onions and Fruit Salsa using Canadian ribeye or rib steak. He pointed to this beef cut’s rich marbling and white-colored fat, not yellow, which means it is less saturated. When the fat cooks out, it leaves the beef exceptionally juicy.
The first step to perfect grilling is to have a hot pan ready, according to Chef Mathieu. A cast iron pan works really well for this. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper allows you to taste and highlight the flavor of Canadian beef.
While sprinkling salt all over the sides of the ribeye allows for the Maillard reaction or browning of the meat surface to take place, Chef Mathieu recommended adding coarse, black pepper after searing to avoid over-flavoring or even imparting a burnt taste to the meat.
For a three-inch thick steak, Chef Mathieu first seared it in the pan, using high temperature cooking oil or beef fat. Its rich marbling ensures that it can take high heat grilling without drying out. After the steak formed a crust, he finished it off in the oven. The result was a luxurious experience of perfectly cooked steak—with a deep golden crust, lightly peppered, and ensuring a juicy, tender-to-the-bite interior that oozed with the bold, fresh flavor of Canadian beef. Capping off his dish was a garnish of caramelized onion petals filled with Chef Mathieu’s fruit salsa, a piquant mix of diced mango, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, fresh coriander, gently tossed in calamansi vinaigrette, and a touch of maple syrup (from Canada, of course) for sweetness.
Chef Mathieu Paré’s Peppered Beef Steak with Caramelized Onions and Fruit Salsa
Chef Mathieu further explained that Canadian beef possesses a deep connection with the land. The combination of best practices by farms, livestock genetics, rich grasslands, and quality grain feeding, as well as world-class standards in quality assurance and the stewardship for the sustainability of their resources, all shape the excellent qualities of Canadian beef.
Not to be outdone, Chef Sandy Daza gamely flexed his culinary muscle and did his original recipe of Filipino “Bistek” or Beef Steak Tagalog to highlight the flavor and tenderness of Canadian strip steak or tenderloin.
As he lightly marinated the pieces of strip steak in soy sauce, calamansi, and oyster sauce, he warmly recalled his recent trip with the FoodPrints team to the facilities of the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence in Calgary, telling guests how he cooked beef sinigang for Chef Mathieu, who loved it. Chef Sandy also recounted how he could not get over this one particular beef part, the spinalis dorsi or ribeye cap, the muscle around the eye of the Canadian rib that’s prized for its incredibly buttery tenderness, one that he guaranteed would surely be a hit among Filipinos.
Chef Sandy quickly fried his marinated strip loin in olive oil and butter, noting that doneness can easily be assessed by pressing the meat with one’s pinky finger. Indeed, the familiar, comforting flavor of Bistek Tagalog and the fresh, tender qualities of Canadian beef combined for this marriage made in steak heaven.
Chef Sandy Daza’s Bistek Tagalog
And what is a splendid steak dinner without the right wine to pair it with? Award-winning Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara provided the perfect match with its primary wine of Cabernet Merlot, a smooth, medium-bodied red wine best enjoyed with the Canadian beef dishes of Chefs Mathieu and Sandy. Also showcased was the winery’s prestigious Icewine, made from frozen grapes handpicked when temperatures reach a bone-numbing -8°C, and pressed to produce the sweetest natural juice with the most intense flavor, acids, and aroma.
Pillitteri Estates Reserve Icewine Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Icewine Vidal
Jared Goerz of Pillitteri Estates Winery
Canadian beef has definitely arrived and if you’re just as ready to enjoy all its premium qualities at home, Canadian beef ribeye, chuck eye, and striploin cuts are available at all Rustan’s Marketplace and Shopwise stores.
Pillitteri Wines are available online at gurkka.com
To learn more about Canadian beef, visit canadabeef.ca
Photos by Justin de Jesus