Karen Deutsch

Q&A Ask the Expert

A sit-down with meat man Ed Ryan, resident butcher, owner and great-grandson of Michael J. Ryan, founder of Ryan’s Market in Wickford.

What are the trends in retail steak today? Boneless pieces are big. These days, people are opting for ribeye and strip steaks. Anything from the short loin is perennially popular. Tenderloin—which happens to be my least favorite piece of meat—is huge. Thirty years ago, people wouldn’t pay that much for a cut with such little flavor, but lean meat and…

Prime Pairings

Liz Steely of Campus Fine Wines in Providence offers tips for choosing the right wine for your beef.

Complement your cut: Apart from a sauce, the fat content and flavor of the meat act as guidelines for choosing wine. The bold tannins of a cabernet do well with a nicely charred filet, while the deep spice of a Barolo will stand up to the heartier strip steak. Fattier cuts like hanger can take a malbec because the wine’s…

I Heart Wagyu

Our food writer discovers why designer beef is worth the sticker shock.

Though Kobe-style beef appears on several local menus, the opportunity to eat deep is a rarity. Unable to resist, I stopped by Ten Prime Steak & Sushi for a late-night sampling of their Wagyu menu. Ten sources its Wagyu from select farms in Texas, Idaho and the illustrious Kobe, Japan, showing off its highly coveted, high-fat beef with culinary pride….

A Cow by Any Other Name

Tired of pretending you know what to call your steak? Or what that name means? There are four main breeds of quality cattle in the United States: Angus, Hereford, Shorthorn and, most recently, Wagyu. Certified Angus is America’s best-known beef: hearty enough to withstand inclement weather but also high enough in fat to yield a flavorful steak. Hereford and Shorthorn…

Making the Grade

All meat sold in this country needs a stamp from the United States Department of Agriculture, but the USDA is primarily concerned with safety, not taste. Processors have the option of paying for grading, also done by the USDA. Only 2 percent of American steaks are considered “prime,” a label that refers to highly marbled steaks with the most desirable…

Where’s the Beef?

Location tells you a lot about taste and texture. The rules are pretty simple: The more a muscle is worked, the tougher it gets. And the more fat in the meat, the better it tastes.

Chuck: The upper section is tough, as the shoulders and breast get daily movement. Good news: The area has a lot of connective tissue that melts during cooking, adding flavor. Pot roast, short ribs and stew meat come from here and love a long braise, which softens the meat. Ground meat often comes from this section. Rib: Yields ribeye steaks…

High Steaks

Red Meat is in. Here's everything you need to know to indulge your inner carnivore.

Rhode Island may fall dead last in beef production ($1 million in income compared to Texas’s meaty $7 billion), but people in the Northeast eat more steak per person than any other region. (Poor Californians with their itty-bitty bellies.) We want our red meat, and we want it on every high-rent corner in the city. Does this come as a…

The Short List

Where to buy those truly hard-to-find ingredients.

Wagyu Sirloin Kobe is the region and Wagyu is the cattle. Marked by heavy marbling for both texture and taste, Wagyu is commonly referred to as the foie gras of steak.  A.J. Martin, once strictly wholesale, is now willing to sell its Wagyu to you, too. (You can throw some Hereford ground beef in while you’re placing the order.)  Call…

The Shopping List

To maximize your time in the kitchen, we’ve streamlined your prep list. Here’s a cheat sheet of top-notch gourmet stores that carry all the specialty ingredients Casey Riley’s recipes call for—and more.

» Caviar Though Riley calls for American Sturgeon, you can substitute the more readily available American Spoonbill (a.k.a. paddlefish) roe, which has claimed a formidable spot in the domestic market. Spoonbill (a cousin to sturgeon) is similar in appearance but slightly milder in taste with a clean finish. Prices run about $30/ounce. Farmstead, 186 Wayland Avenue, Providence, 274-7177, farmsteadinc.com.  »…