Tired of the same steaks...proteins in general

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by someday, May 29, 2016.

  1. someday

    someday

    Messages:
    1,614
    Likes Received:
    388
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    OK, so I change my menu fairly often. I have a lot of leeway to do what I want, as long as people like it, eat it, and it tastes good. 

    Anyone have some steak ideas besides Strip, Ribeye and Filet? I am a big fan of Hangar steak but don't know if I could get it to work where I am...dunno if people would buy it, and a lot of the other places around here do it. 

    Does anyone have any ideas for other cuts of steak that I could maybe use? Things like flank and skirt I don't think fit our style.

    I'm at a loss, besides what I already mentioned. 

    In general, too, I'm feeling a little "same old same old." Like--duck, lamb, chicken, pork, halibut, salmon, scallops, lobster, pheasant, etc. Am I missing anything? What other proteins haven't I done? What is different?

    I mean, I want to do some different stuff but there doesn't seem to be much I haven't done a bunch already. There must be stuff out there?

    Any ideas? 
     
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,190
    Likes Received:
    553
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    buffalo, venison, wild boar, ostrich, goose, rabbit, goat, frog legs, eel, octopus, abalone
     
  3. grande

    grande

    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    30
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    Flat Irons and bistro filets(teras major) are good cuts, not that cheap anymore. I've seen people doing eye of round & such sous vide. But if you're doing ribeye, why change?
     
  4. grande

    grande

    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    30
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    Also it isn't that there aren't other proteins- it's what's available. It's a big machine, food business, and it's hard to find stuff that doesn't fit in the cogs.
     
  5. Iceman

    Iceman

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    427
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Hanger steak is a great piece of meat. It gets a really bad rap from people that just don't understand it. It's cheap out of the box, but very time-consuming on the trim-out. You can do it fast if you are either very good or don't mind smaller chunks (large stew sized). It's not bad if you've got a grinder and can repurpose the good trim. Hanger burgers are very tasty. About 5 years ago I worked in a butcher shoppe where we couldn't get it out fast enough. We would sell out every day. Another thing is that it can be tricky on the cooking and serving. The grain runs funny and if you cut it wrong you've got a problem. Anyway ... it's a great steak in my opinion. YMMV.
     
  6. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,398
    Likes Received:
    935
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    There are some really good suggestions there.  I would definitely look towards game meats, if you customers would buy it as well as octopus.  We used to get antelope from a ranch in Texas, can't quite remember the name right now (Broken Arrow maybe?).

    Yes, the same old, same old can get boring for a chef, but you have to remember to put yourself into the customer's shoes.  For many of them, they are looking for those familiar proteins.  That doesn't mean that you only have to do those, but it's hard to get away from them.
     
  7. capecodchef

    capecodchef

    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Soylent Green perhaps?

    (The supply chain is almost limitless!)
     
  8. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    516
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I tease my folks about this movie, it can be 65 and sunny out, the drapes are closed, they are asleep in their chairs with some sort of nature show on, waiting to slip away.
     
  9. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    75
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Beef tongue is sorely underused, have even had it ground and tubed up like a sausage and deep fried, delicious. Crawfish and oysters are also underused but only because they're my favorites 😀
     
  10. Iceman

    Iceman

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    427
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I hate crawfish in that it is too expensive. I can eat crawfish every week if it wasn't expensive. Yummy. I can get bigger shrimp at the same or cheaper price. Thank you TV food shows. Cheap stuff that gets popular drives up the prices.
     
  11. someday

    someday

    Messages:
    1,614
    Likes Received:
    388
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Most of that stuff has been on my menus too. Good suggestions. Haven't used goat where I currently am, would be curious if people would go for it. Somehow I don't think so, but maybe I can find something. I used to rub it with a spicy chermoulah-style sauce and marinate it for a day or two. Then braise it and pick the meat. It was pretty good--the strong spices helped cover some of the gaminess up, but I don't really mind a little gaminess in my meat. But then, some customers think lamb chops are too gamey, so yeah. 

    Haven't done abalone...how do you prepare it? That could be fun. 

    Thanks again! 
    I personally love hangar steak, I just don't know if I could sell it where I am. It's actually one of my favorite cuts. But your first sentence is one of the reasons I don't know if it would work...people don't know about it or understand it. 

    I might look into bistro filets. I've heard of them before but have never tried to source them. I'll have to check. Looks intriguing and also like it might fit the bill. 
    Yeah, I tend to think of game as more fall/winter. I do venison in the fall which always goes over well. Rubbed it with coffee and cocoa, was a hit. I've done octopus, it was good, people liked it. I might do it again for the summer. 

    Yeah Broken Arrow is a thing. They raise great meat, really good stuff, but their prices are insane. Prohibitively insane. 

    I guess I was just in a little funk last night trying to come up with some menu replacements, not really feeling any of the big 3 steaks. 
    Thats a good idea. I did beef tongue a while back (we made pastrami with it and served it with braised cabbage and other stuff) but it's been a minute since we did it. It was good because it was in a familiar form (pastami) but still let people feel adventurous about eating it, even though there isn't really anything scary about it. 

    Crawfish is good, doesn't really grow where I am though. I actually was looking at one point doing a riff on the classic chicken/crawfish thing, but then I chef I'm familiar with put it on his menu, so I didn't want to be accused of ripping him off, even though I technically wouldn't be. 

    I can get really good oysters, just not the right time of year :)

    Thanks people, keep it coming. 
     
  12. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,190
    Likes Received:
    553
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Use a mallet to tenderize and pound out about 1/4" thick. Quick saute about 30 seconds a side.

    As far as goat, have you tried chops. There are several Italian renditions that might make them more accessible for your guests that are initially hesitant. Ribs are also good.
     
  13. capecodchef

    capecodchef

    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    47
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Braised rabbit is a winner for me.
     
  14. chefwriter

    chefwriter

    Messages:
    1,862
    Likes Received:
    410
    Exp:
    Professional Cook
    In addition to all the excellent protein choices already suggested, you might consider altering style of prep and presentation. 

          The most obvious example is chicken, which can be done multiple ways. So you would be experimenting with things like roast, fried, half chicken (plain or with various toppings/sauces, just breast, rolled, stuffed, pates and galantine, whole stuffed chicken for two.  other birds like squab, pheasant or game hen done in a variety of ways. 

    And of course these choices apply to any of the other proteins you might choose. There is a local restaurant serving a stuffed NY strip. Cooked to temp, split open and stuffed ala minute with a saute of spinach, red pepper, mushrooms and mozzarella. Quite popular. You could try going through the classic sauces for steak found in Escoffier or more modern regional and cultural ones like southwest or south american. Or northern european styles from Finland and Russia. 

    You are located in the northeast so you might research some New England classic preparations, which include many game varieties.  

     Okay, I need more coffee. More later if I manage to get the lawn mowed. 
     
  15. greyeaglem

    greyeaglem

    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    20
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Alligator. Kind of expensive now, but people liked it when I had it and I'm in a very conservative area. You can make it several ways, but when I first tasted it, it reminded me of pork cutlets, so that's how I made it. Breaded and deep fried. Other people used it in gumbos. I wanted to do a "swamp platter" but never got it going. I had a huge seafood platter that served 2 people, and I wanted to do it like that. It would have had catfish, frog legs, alligator, crawfish and shrimp on it.
     
  16. rndmchef

    rndmchef

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Guinea fowl, emu, and rheas ... I don't see them mentioned yet. .
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  17. berndy

    berndy

    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    27
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I wish I could find  some veal head. Have not seen it for ages ?
     
  18. someday

    someday

    Messages:
    1,614
    Likes Received:
    388
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I bought a bavette for experimenting. I am going to trim, cut into steaks, and sous vide. Probably try a marinade to see what I like. 

    I've used this cut before at an upscale bistro I used to work at in Boston, but its been a while. We didn't sous vide it either so I'm interested to see what results that has. 
     
  19. chefshanes

    chefshanes

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    16
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    baby goat (capretto) done as ragout

    pigeon (squab)

    butchers beef cuts (popes eye, tri-tip etc)

    and as I'm australian i will suggest kangaroo, but that's only if your crowd can take rare meats because it gets dreadfully tough if overcooked.

    consider different cuisines to introduce new ideas that meet the flavor profile of your customer base, such as vietnamese pho in place of beef consommé or French onion soup. Indonesian Sup Buntut in place of the western style oxtail soup, etc etc.

    another thing you could do is go back to some old favourites and rehash/reinvent the menu items with alternate sauces or plating.
     
  20. ilovetheweeds

    ilovetheweeds

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    KANGAROO....ORTOLANS
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016