Two ends of the meat spectrum

A few weeks ago, the missus and I were in Sonoma to pick up some wine. The wineries we hit are all near Healdsburg, so we decided to stop there for lunch. We ate at Dry Creek Kitchen, Charlie Palmer’s California outpost. We’ve been big fans of Charlie’s ever since we tasted his wine pairing offerings at a Mauretson Dry Creek Passport event. Molly had already been to Dry Creek Kitchen and raved about it, so when the opportunity arose for both of us to have a meal there, we couldn’t pass.

After some hemming and hawing (the local black cod sounded awesome), I decided to order the Black Angus Prime New York Pave. It wasn’t what I expected, coming out as a fairly thin slice, butterflied even thinner. The steak was served on a delicious bed of fennel and king trumpet fondue, which were mild but definitely present and complementary. The meat was cooked quite rare, so it was abundantly juicy and beefy. But what made this dish was the bone marrow béarnaise. Yes, you read right. And it was everything I dreamed it would be. I love eggs Benedict, so I’m already partial to that type of sauce. The bone marrow launched the béarnaise into orbit. There weren’t any tangible bits of marrow in it, but the rich flavor was very powerful. It doesn’t get much beefier than rare NY strip with a bone marrow sauce topping. {Let us now bow our heads for a moment of silent mental drooling.} As you may recall from the epilogue of my burger post, I think bone marrow should be the next big thing that sweeps the culinary world (if it isn’t already). Step aside, foie gras and truffles, there’s a new sheriff in town.

As it turns out, the very next day, I decided to eat McDonald’s McRib sandwich for the very first time. This cultwich has been around intermittently for almost 30 years, but I’ve never really had the desire to try it. I guess this most recent marketing campaign finally won me over. The short assessment: not very good. The longer assessment: I don’t understand how such a famous and beloved McDonald’s item can be so utterly devoid of any flavor. You can love or hate the flavor of any McDonald’s item, but they always have some flavor. This meat patty literally has no flavor whatsoever, which reminds me of that scene in The Matrix where the rogue rebel guy describes how the steak he’s eating is really just flavorless mush that the matrix makes his brain believe tastes like steak. The McRib derives all of its flavor from the barbecue sauce, onions, and pickles (which I don’t care to eat). The patty could be a sponge for all I know. At any rate, now I know why McDonald’s doesn’t offer the McRib all the time; they need time to allow people to forget how lame it is — and for a new crop of ignorant youngsters to mature — before they can unleash the sponge again. Consider yourselves warned.

P.S. My apologies if you thought this was going to be a post about pig snouts and pork butts.

P.P.S. Yes, I realize that pork butts are shoulders and not actual buttocks. It was a joke.



Filed under Food, Food & Drink

2 responses to “Two ends of the meat spectrum

  1. Jim

    Bone marrow is almost always a fantastic addition. E.g., it’s the secret ingredient to a great winter soup.

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