Last month I visited the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio. I ate so much glorious beef and met so many friendly, down-to-earth people in my two days there, so much so that every few minutes, I’d mentally fist-pump and yell “‘Murica!” in my head. Maybe it was the fresh air, the rolling farmland, or the 18 different ways I ate beef. I don’t know. I felt a lot of pride.
After returning from Wooster, I ran straight to my local meat market carrying Certified Angus Beef (in Charleston, the only two retail stores carrying Certified Angus Beef are New York Butcher Shoppe in Mt. Pleasant and Boone Hall Farms Market; for a full listing of where you can buy Certified Angus Beef, click here). I wanted to try cooking Certified Angus Beef for two reasons. First, I wanted to make sure that the fresh, melt-in-your-mouth meat product that I’d sampled in Wooster could in fact be reproduced at home, without the heady buzz of Certified Angus Beef aroma that seemed to permeate in Wooster. Secondly, I felt so happy and warm eating Certified Angus Beef in Wooster that I just wanted to eat it again. And again.
I’m thrilled to report that Certified Angus Beef tastes just as good at home as it did in Wooster, thanks to its stringent quality standards that ensure that every single cut of Certified Angus Beef lands on your table with the same high-quality taste every time.
In Wooster, Chef Peter at the Certified Angus Beef Education and Culinary Center introduced several different cuts of steak in an (almost) all-beef lunch, and my favorite was the coulotte. The coulotte, also known as tri-tip or the sirloin strip, is an affordable, juicy cut that doesn’t need much in terms of dressing up, but can be great with just a few savory touches.
My favorite part of my beef trip to Wooster was the thought that went into showing us all aspects of what it takes for beef to be labeled Certified Angus Beef. The Certified Angus Beef brand is actually a license; farmers everywhere submit their Angus beef after processing to be considered for the Certified Angus Beef label. If their beef meets all of CAB's quality standards, it gets labeled as such, and then the beef gets sold for a higher price than other Angus beef. In addition to spending time with Dr. Phil Bass, the meat scientist in residence at Certified Angus Beef, we went to visit the Atterholt Family Farm, run by two brothers, Mike and Aaron Atterholt, and their families. It didn't take long to see the hard work and pride that went into their work in tending over 700 acres of pasture for their herd.
Like I said, 'Murica.
Back at home, I made my own coulotte steak with chimichurri compound butter, blackened corn, and thick grilled disks of Spanish eggplant. The coulotte was beefy, tender and flavorful, helped by the compound butter I made in a food processor earlier in the day, blending together parsley, red wine vinegar and garlic into softened butter to make a chimichurri butter that melted over the coulotte slices as they cooled. When swirled with the soft eggplant and the blackened corn, the whole dish took on a tart, grassy flavor that was accentuated by the creamy richness of butter. My kids loved it, but I loved it even more. Certified Angus Beef coulotte and chimichurri butter is heavenly. It's steak the way steak should taste—decadent, comforting, and homey all in one bite. For the recipe and more information about Certified Angus Beef, visit Grits & Chopsticks here.