Everyone loves marbles! There is the marble from which we construct gorgeous countertops and coliseum columns. There are also the marbles we make by crushing and feeding them into a furnace, then molding and cooling them so that we may play an age-old and much loved game. Distinct in appearance, they can be sparkly, swirly, steely, translucent, cracked or they can look like they entomb a cat’s eye, corkscrew or the deep blue sea.
Ah, but then there is the unsurpassed beauty of the mouthwatering marbling of a good steak…quite possibly the most favored of marbles. Marbling in your steak is the patterns of fine white threads of fat that can affect the entire steak eating experience, from tenderness, to texture, flavor, as well as exactly how much moisture your piece of beef will retain while it is cooking.
Did you know that there are actual meat graders, who are far more skilled than you (I am guessing) or I, so advanced in their knowledge of meat marbling that they are hired to grade our steaks? USDA Prime, with the most marbling, is the best and delicious for high heat cooking methods such as broiling. USDA Choice is second best, but still certainly delicious when braised or grilled. USDA Select, with the least amount of marbling, should be used with tenderizing marinades or for stews.
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