Melanie May was at a dinner this week to showcase Supervalu – Best Beef Ever. Here’s how she got on.
It is barbeque season and SuperValu are getting ready by launching their best beef ever. To highlight the real quality and taste of its beef, SuperValu set up a pop-up beef bistro in Dublin and I got an invitation to go along.
To kick things off, Chef Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House and SuperValu butcher Alan Walker gave the starving crowd a meat masterclass. They talked us through the aging process (all SuperValu beef is now matured for 21 days at least), the cooling and hanging process (I’ll spare you those details), and the various cuts of meat (those from the back, rib and lion are most tender as the cow uses them the least). All of these things, apparently, result in a more luxuriously succulent beef with even more rich flavours.
I have to admit, the raw cuts of meat did look great, ruby red in colour with a layer of firm, creamy white fat around the outside and light marbling throughout. The one thing I know about beef – its fat gives it that extra dimension of flavour. So don’t go trimming it all off!
Whist we were all standing around, Kevin served up the starter of 24 hour smoked and barbequed brisket of beef, which meant everybody tucked in with their fingers, proper barbeque style. As soon as I took a bite, it made me think of all those barbeques I had in Texas, which is exactly where Kevin said he got the inspiration for this dish, as brisket is a hugely popular in the States.
We then took our seats for our beef dinner. Our plates arrived adorned with a scoop horseradish mash, the buttery carrots and broccoli came in their cooking pan, as did the creamy garlicky potato gratin. I loved this casual serving style, as it was a perfect way to get everybody to interact and chat as everybody passed the dishes around. Then the biggest platter of meat I ever did see was place on the table and everybody was silent for a moment as we took in the vast quantity of 21-day dry-aged chargrilled cote du boeuf. The meat was glistening with succulent spender and the smell was drool inducing. There were slices of meat as well as meat on the bone – this is my favourite. I love meat on the bone; it is so flavoursome and extra juicy, if extremely unflattering to eat. Between the five of us at the table, there wasn’t scrap of food left. We all moaned (in a good way) how stuffed we were but the food was just too tasty to stop eating. We gorged. Then we had dessert. Come on, there’s always room for dessert.
So, having tasted SuperValu’s best beef ever, I can honestly say it is very good both in quality and flavour. OK, I know I had it prepared by a top chef, but when meat is this good it really is easy to cook and if you are unsure ask any SuperValu butcher and they will happily advise you on the right cut and cooking method. Sure, now all you have to do is dust off that barbeque and you are good to go.