On November 10, III Forks in Frisco will host a very special five-course dinner that perfectly pairs beef with wine. Using meat from Certified Angus Beef and a selection of wines from The Duckhorn Portfolio, III Forks’ Executive Chef Chris Vogeli brings his worldwide culinary experience to each dish.
If you are lucky enough to get a reservation, you’ll be treated to a mouthwatering menu including dry-aged red eye bites, tender beef poke, carpaccio with orange garlic teriyaki and wasabi ginger paired with a nice glass of goldeneye Brut Rose, just to give you a taste.
Local Profile asked Vogeli for a couple of tips he could give us as to what to look for when selecting and cooking beef. “When you are purchasing steak, look for a little more abundance,” he told us. “You want to see the little white flecks that are in the muscle. That marbling makes for a juicier and more flavorful steak.”
When we are selecting meat at the butcher shop, intuitively we might go for the freshest cuts, but Vogeli would advise something different. “Note the color as well. Look for something that is not bright cherry red but a deeper red. That deeper color reflects aging, and age allows the steak to have more tenderness and flavor.”
Maybe it’s time for you to make better acquaintances with your butcher too. As Vogeli explained, where the beef comes from is just as important as the cut you are taking home, which is why III Forks chose to work with Certified Angus Beef, a brand that has high standards, even for the USDA. “Get to know the people from whom you buy your beef, as they can be your best resources,” he added, “You want to know where your beef has come from, and against what standard it has been graded.”
Another factor that could make a difference when cooking meat is where the cut comes from on the steer, which might have an effect on the flavor as well as on the tenderness of your cut. For example, “The New York strip, which comes from the short loin on the cow, and ribeye, which is from the adjacent rib area, will have a more robust beef flavor.” But maybe you are looking to prioritize tenderness over flavor, in which case “a filet, which is cut from the tenderloin, is a better choice.”
So now we have our deep-red, marbled, flavorful and certified cut. Now what? First off, don’t forget the salt. “Often, home cooks neglect to adequately salt their steaks before cooking. Salt brings out the natural flavor of the beef. Season your steak heavily when grilling to really enhance the flavor of the beef.”
And now to put it all together, where do you start? Do you choose the cut according to the flavor of the sauce and sides you are going to use? Vogeli says rather the other way around. “I always plan the complete dish which is always planned around the cut of meat,” he explained before giving some insights on one of the dishes he’ll prepare on Thursday night.
“At this week’s wine dinner, we’re serving Plate Short Rib Bone-in Beef Wellington with Truffle Sauce. That sauce is built upon a beautiful Cabernet reduction from Duckhorn. We’ll draw out the good, robust flavors from the chuck, which is where that short rib comes from, by braising. Then we’ll use it in a twist on a traditional Beef Wellington by enrobing it in mushrooms and pastry. The marbling of this beef really cuts through the tannins from the wine, which makes for a beautiful pairing.”
This all sounds delicious and hard to make, but Vogeli says home chefs could use the same principles to up their cook game. “When you serve a ribeye, the spinel muscle on the outside of that steak offers extra marbling. That rich flavor pairs perfectly with a bigger wine or a wine reduction sauce.”
Does it sound like too much work still? We have one more recommendation from the chef and it’s one he’d prepare for himself. “I like a New York strip, medium rare, finished with a little butter on the top and a side of fresh sliced tomatoes. I love the combination of the acidity of the tomatoes with the beef, and the strip has always been my favorite because of its rich, beefy flavors.”
Now you have all you need to show off a delicious menu to family and friends at your next dinner party. And for the lazy of us, let’s meet at III Forks at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday.
In case you missed it, here’s Local Profile’s piece on the art of pairing Japanese whiskey.