Dry Aged Steak Made Easy with Lobel’s Home Delivery

You don’t forget the first time you taste dry aged steak.  Rich and almost creamy with a tangy and nutty flavor, dry aged steak is decadent and delicious.

There’s really no comparison between a wet aged steak (the kind you’ll find in most supermarkets) and a dry aged steak.  It’s like grape juice versus Bordeaux Grand Cru.

Steak (the wet aged kind), is a rare treat for my husband and me so when I was offered a dry aged steak from Lobel’s of New York I couldn’t wait for our special delivery.

With five generations of master butchers and meat purveryors, the Lobel family knows quality meat.  From their shop on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Lobel’s has been providing meat to New Yorkers for 60 years.  They also have a shop in the new Yankee Stadium where they offer cuts of beef and steak sandwiches.

Lobel’s meat comes from the top 2% of USDA certified prime beef, from corn-fed cattle in the Midwest.  Lobel’s beef is dry aged for up to six weeks which tenderizes the meat and intensifies its flavors.

Lobel’s now delivers to all 50 states, making it easier than ever to enjoy a dry aged steak in your own home.  Ordering from the butcher shop’s website is simple; the hardest part is deciding which cuts to choose.  The meat is shipped overnight in individually vacuum-sealed packages that can withstand up to 48 hours of unrefrigerated shipping.  Lobel’s guarantees that their meat is fresh and never frozen.

My Porterhouse steak arrived right on time, in a Styrofoam cooler filled with frozen gel packs.  In the vacuum-sealed package the meat was slightly brown in color but turned pink shortly after it was exposed to the air.

After marinating the steak in Worcestershire sauce for several hours it was time to fire up the grill.  My husband and I cooked the steak until it was medium rare, let it rest for a few minutes, then took our first bite.

The meat was so tender it seemed to melt in my mouth.  It was so flavorful I could have skipped the Worcestershire marinade.  Intense and earthy, the steak had a rich taste that was reminiscent of blue cheese.

Hands down, Lobel’s dry aged Porterhouse was the best steak I have ever cooked.

Eating slowly so that our dinner would last longer, my husband and I savored every bite.

In just a few steps (order, unpack, marinate, grill), my husband and I were able to enjoy a delicious dry aged steak.  You don’t need to be a grilling expert to pull off this feat — with meat of such a high quality, it’s practically impossible for you to create a meal that’s anything less than extraordinary.

Lobel’s offers a variety of beef, lamb, pork, sausage, specialty foods and more.  Visit lobels.com for more information and to order.

Editor’s Note: A 22 oz. USDA Prime Porterhouse was provided gratis by Lobel’s of New York.

image of raw steak from Lobel’s website

AG Pick: La Follette Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2009

The first thing that grabs your attention on a bottle of La Follette wine is the illustration on the label: a man bending over the vines clutching a magic wand.

It represents the blend of tradition and whimsy that winemaker Greg La Follette brings to each of his wines. The illustration was taken from a French manual on viticulture published in 1847 that touted using the traditional methods of winegrowing instead of the newly developed methods that were faster and cheaper. The wand, not a part of the original illustration, was added to convey the magical relationship between the winemaker and the vines.

In the 2009 La Follette Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, tradition and whimsy combine to create a delicious wine. In the layered palate you taste the classic flavors of the Pinot Noir grape, plus the influence of the winemaker in using techniques like oak aging to support and enhance these flavors.

The grapes for La Follette’s wines come from carefully selected vineyards in California’s Sonoma Valley and Mendocino County. The Pinot Noir comes from the Sonoma Coast, a region which has cool temperatures and heavy winter rainfall. Fermentation occurs with indigenous yeast strains (instead of an inoculation of a specific strain selected by the winemaker). The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels.

With its tantalizing aromas of chocolate covered strawberries, cherries and spice, the La Follette Pinot Noir further hooks you with its lush and full taste. Flavors of raspberry, cranberry and warm cherry pie mingle with earthy notes of white pepper, cocoa and clove. In the mouth the wine is round and silky smooth. Nice acidity is perfectly balanced with gentle tannins.  The finish is long and very satisfying.

As Greg La Follette recently wrote, “Pinot Noir should haunt, defy, please [and] excite one’s palate.”  This wine achieves those goals.

A bottle of the 2009 La Follette Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir costs $30.

alcohol 14.1% by volume

More Red Wines | White Wines | Under $20

Atlanta Wine Writer Wins Nationwide Cognac Writing Contest

Robin Austin, a wine and food writer in Atlanta, has been recognized by France’s Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) for her superior writing about Cognac.

An international panel selected Mrs. Austin’s article entitled “Cognac: Pleasing to Any Palate” as the winning article for a Cognac writing contest. The contest, sponsored by the BNIC and the Palate Press Advertising Network with the support of France and the European Union, was open to wine bloggers in the United States. Mrs. Austin beat out dozens of writers from around the country to take the top spot.

Mrs. Austin, 28, is the founder and editor-in-chief of AmateurGastronomer.com, an Atlanta-based online wine and food magazine.

“My aim is to make wine fun and approachable, no matter a person’s experience level,” says Austin, a Certified Specialist of Wine. “I am honored that the BNIC selected my article and hope it will encourage those who may not be familiar with Cognac to give it a taste.”

As the winner of the Cognac writing contest, Mrs. Austin will receive an all-expenses paid trip to France for the Cognac Blues Passions Festival and tours of Cognac.

The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac is a private institution entrusted with public service missions to develop and promote Cognac. The BNIC represents all Cognac professionals including growers, merchants and members of other activities related to the Cognac trade.

Click here to read Mrs. Austin’s article entitled “Cognac: Pleasing to Any Palate.”

AG Pick: Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2007

With its cool climate, New Zealand has the ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir.  In fact, Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red wine grape in the country.  Yet as with a lot of Pinot Noir, finding a bottle from New Zealand that suits your tastes can be tricky.

But there’s no finger crossing involved when it comes to Cloudy Bay’s 2007 Pinot Noir.  Seductive and savory with fresh red fruit flavors, this wine will please picky Pinot drinkers.

Cloudy Bay’s vineyards are located in Marlborough, a region at the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island.  More than half of New Zealand’s vines are located in Marlborough, including more than 85% of the country’s Sauvignon Blanc.

The grapes used in Cloudy Bay’s 2007 vintage were hand picked from nine clones of Pinot Noir from the southern side of the Wairau Valley.  The wine was aged in French oak barrels (approximately 50% new), for nearly a year.

Cranberry red in color, the wine has fragrant aromas of cherry and plum.  These fruit flavors ripen on the layered palate, mingling with bright notes of red currant and blueberry along with spicy sandalwood.  Smoky bacon, white pepper and toasted oak add depth, while gentle tannins give the wine a pleasing mouthfeel.  The wine finishes smooth with lingering spicy red fruit.

The 2007 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir costs $35 a bottle.

14% alcohol by volume

More Red Wines | White Wines | Under $20

Summer Cocktails from RA Sushi

Beat the heat with a trio of summer sips from RA Sushi.

For a limited time, the Midtown Atlanta restaurant will serve three cocktails that are reminiscent of warm weather treats and beach vacations. The Orange Dreamsicle, Coconut Mojito and Key Lime Martini will be available from from July 1st through August 15th and will cost $8 each.

Enjoy the cocktails next month with your favorite sushi roll or make them at home now with these recipes provided by RA Sushi:

Orange Dreamsicle

1½ oz. Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
2 oz. orange juice
1 oz. lemon-lime soda
1 oz. soda
¼ oz. cream of coconut
Squeeze 1 lemon slice
Orange slice and whipped cream for garnish

Preparation: Combine with ice and shake all ingredients except for soda. Pour into iced glass and top with soda, garnish with an orange slice and whipped cream.

Coconut Mojito

1 oz. Ciroc Coconut Vodka
½ oz. coconut rum
1 oz. pineapple juice
¼ oz. cream of coconut
Splash of soda
Squeeze of half a lime
6 mint leaves
Sprig of mint and lime wedge for garnish

Preparation: Muddle mint leaves. Combine with ice and shake all ingredients, except for soda. Pour into iced glass and top with splash of soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

Key Lime Martini

1 oz. Ciroc Coconut Vodka
1 oz. Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
½ oz. pineapple juice
¼ oz. cream of coconut
Squeeze of half a lime
Crushed graham cracker, whipped cream, and lime slice for garnish

Preparation: Combine all ingredients with ice, shake and strain into chilled martini glass rimmed with crushed graham cracker. Top with whipped cream and a slice of lime.

RA Sushi, 1080 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta 30309. (404) 267-0114