US Prime in T.O.
I must say that I I like Sterling Silver and Black Angus cuts of beef and I have good results on the BBQ with both.
I wanted try my hand at doing up a some US Prime grade meat to see if it was all about the cook or it was about the meat.
I was wondering where to get a good cut of US Prime in Toronto and I came across it, of all places, at the St. Lawrence Market.
There is an outlet called Witteveen that sells US Prime every now and again and I must say this...
The steaks I bought and grilled last night were AWESOME!
What a difference.
Do any of you know other places that sell US Prime grade steaks in TO?
I bought some 16 oz. Canada Prime ribeyes for $15/lb. at Olson Foods in Niagara (Port Dalhousie) last week. They were outstanding, and surely the best steaks I've ever grilled myself. We took the store's suggestion of slicing a little black truffle pecorino cheese over top of the steaks, and significantly increased the pleasure quotient.
I thought $15/lb. was worth every penny.
The conventional wisdom is that the US has a more vigorous grading system and so their Prime is generally better (has more fat) than Canadian. This works in a "conventional" industrial food supply chain, but if you get into properly raised beef and butchers who know where their meat actually comes from it's of little consequence.
I've seen USDA Prime at Pusateri's, Bruno's, and Nunzio's. Usually it is strip loins only (which isn't my favourite cut of beef), and it doesn't look dry aged.
I've tried these a few times and they were okay, but no better than high grade Canadian beef and no better than the US Certified Angus I sometimes get at Loblaws. They were nothing like the USDA Prime beef I've had at places like Peter Luger or Smith & Wollensky in New York, or ordered from Lobel's when I've been staying in the States.
It isn't just the grade. The place within the grade (there is an entire range that would qualify as "prime"), the animal's diet, and the length and type of aging all enter into the taste. If you see a well marbled piece of Canadian beef with a nice looking conformation, chances are it will be as good as the USDA Prime you tried.
I'm not doubting that these were great steaks. But (without having seen, much less tasted them) I'm pretty sure you didn't get the full USDA Prime experience.