The spike is caused in part by high feed costs because of several droughts that have led to the smallest number of cattle in the U.S. herd since 1952. Last year’s drought the worst in U.S. history, dried up grazing grasses and sent the costs of corn and soybeans, both used in cattle feed, soaring. The current drought in the Southwest continues to wipe out the feed and make it very expensive to raise cattle.
Only the Rich and Famous can afford top beef cuts to be served at BBQ’s this summer.
Tenderloin Is the gold standard of beef cuts, being the most tender and one of the most expensive. Its price come from the fact that this is the part of the beef that doesn’t get “overworked” in the animal’s lifetime. But to have this cut of beef, it will cost you. According to the USDA, a piece of tenderloin is now about $10.99 a pound.
Filet Mignon is taken from the small end of the tenderloin and is known as the “king of steaks.” It can often be cut with a fork, it’s so tender. According to the USDA the price per pound is as much as $13.99 per pound.
T-Bone is a piece of tenderloin, and a piece of strip separated by a T-shaped bone. The porterhouse steak, is a bigger portion of the T-bone cut from further back and has a section of tenderloin at least 1 1/2-inches wide. Either one will require some cash. According to the USDA both will cost you about $10.99 a pound.
New York Strip steak Kansas City Strip or Delmonico, a strip steak is a cut of beef from the back of a cow, behind the ribs prized for its flavor and tenderness. If you want to throw this cut on the barbecue grill, it will cost you upwards of $13.99 a pound.
What is a family on a budget to do? Plan ahead and shop for best value on grilling meats. I sometimes find 1/4 cut up frozen chicken for as little 10 pounds for $5.00. I stock my freezer at this price.
Hint avoid chicken breast for grilling. Chicken breast are the most expensive chicken cut and are less flavorful and tend to dry out when grilled on a BBQ pit or backyard grill.
Goat, pork and many sausages, hot links, bratwurst, and others are often on sale at bargain prices as well. I’m not a big fan of turkey, but, turkey breast and drumsticks can be found at prices anyone can afford.
Aside from selecting more affordable cuts of meat, grill or stir fry more vegetables fresh out of your backyard garden or farmers market. Summer squash, egg plant, zucchini, corn on the cob, onions, brussels sprouts, carrots, potato wedges, mushrooms of all kinds can turn a common frank(hotdog wiener) into something special. Your choices are only limited by your imitation.
Before grilling vegetables add water, beer or bourbon whiskey soaked mesquite wood chips to your grill fire to impart that special smoked wood flavor to your grilled vegetables.
Do avoid all those supermarket dips and spreads that are high in salt, sugar and fat. Make your own avoiding all those unhealthy salt, sugar, fat highly processed, full of preservatives found on supermarket shelf’s.
Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil it will add that special flavor to your grilled vegetables and salads. Try a squeeze of lemon or lime juice on meats, vegetables and salads for a nice surprise flavor. Don’t over do the citrus juices, a little goes a long way.
Think about serving more healthy all fresh vegetable salads. Cole slaw, farmers salads, mixed salads are all fast, easy and healthy choices. Farmers Salad
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