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Texas Roadhouse opts to have steaks handcut for more flavor

Featured image- Give them a handFocus and precision are needed when slicing the meat with a knife

By Kristelle Bechayda

With the ongoing rise of steakhouses across the country, it goes without saying that steak is a favorite among Filipinos. We Filipinos do not even hesitate to ask how a slab is prepared, and what special techniques are used to achieve the taste.

At Texas Roadhouse, the secret lies in the way the steaks are cut. Instead of relying on a meat cutting machine (which is more common and more preferred), they opt to have the meat handcut by experienced meat cutters.

Originating from Clarksville, Indiana, the brand has always made use of this method and its five branches in the Philippines (Uptown Mall, S Maison, Robinson’s Place Manila, Evia Lifestyle Center, and Greenbelt 5) are no exception. Meat cutters are specifically hired for this kind of work alone. Although this process is more costly, it retains the meat’s natural flavors.

“In handcut [meat], the purging of blood and juices is lessened. The lesser the purging, the tastier the meat is. So, that’s what we can’t get from the machine because it is forced,” says Cyril Reyes, director for operations at The Bistro Group, which Texas Roadhouse is a part of. He adds that the friction between the machine’s blade and the meat creates heat, which lessens the latter’s moisture.

In a day, a restaurant branch can consume around 300 kilos of meat (80 kilos for ribeye, 150 kilos for sirloin, and 80 kilos for striploin). A designated area is allotted where meat cutters can slice the steak into sizable portions. It’s called the meat room. Here, the steaks are neatly stored at a very low temperature of zero to two degrees, as well as the knives and pans used for cutting.

Texas Roadhouse's fresh, hand cut steaksMeat cutter Joel Herher proudly holds a few samples of the handcut steaks

Joel Herher, one of the restaurant’s meat cutters, explains the process of cutting steaks to be “complicated.” To avoid unnecessary wastage, he has to be precise with how he slices the meat. For instance, ribeye steaks should be portioned into 10 ounces, 12 ounces, or 16 ounces, while the New York strip should only have a size of eight ounces or 16 ounces.

“If you will cut a full slab of ribeye, you can only use 80 percent of that. We just want to make sure that the steaks are in good quality, so it’s better for us to waste 20 percent than to have greater yield but serving so-so ones,” says Reyes.

Excess meat is either used to make steak rice or trimmed to a 1×1 size that can be used in a salad, while the rest are ground to make beef patties.

For those who aspire to learn the art of cutting meat, Reyes shares it only takes accuracy, willingness, and an eye for detail. “Aside from expertise, they should have a good eye for details. They should learn to look for a good steak, a good cut, and good quality from the full slab—not just cutting it,” he says. | Facebook: @TexasRoadhousePH

Source: Manila Bulletin

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