Friday, October 5, 2007

Battle Royale Steak, FIGHT

I love going out to eat (as you can see from this blog) but there are certain things I like to prepare at home. One of those things is steak. I rarely rarely rarely have a good steak when I go out. I have decent steaks, but nothing that makes me go *hMmmMmm yumm* while I'm chewing its wallowing in my mouth. So I take it upon myself to make my own steak. The past month I've been experimenting on Costco steaks, trying to figure out the right amount of seasoning and cooking time to make that perfect rare to medium rare steak (on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being rare and 3 being medium rare, I want a 2!). So after finally (so I believe) getting the right cooking method I decided to have a "steak off". Knowing that a Costco steak would not do this competition justice I decided to get some high quality meat.

I gathered my brother, Nick, and Jason and fired up the grill/oven for a little taste test.

Bryan Flannery v. Siesel Meats . Just to preface, the Flannery steak's look a little brown because they've been in the freeze (vacuum wrapped) for about 6 days (in case there is confusion, I personally froze it, it came fresh). The Sisel was purchased the morning I cooked it.

Hailing from Nebraska by way of San Diego, weighing in at 15 oz's and 1 inch thick, a local San Diego favorite... Siesel's!!!
A strict fitness regime allows Siesel's Prime NY to be nicely marbled. A local favorite , respected by quite a few.. The butcher shop was recently purchased by the Cohen group that also owns Iowa Meat Market. hopefully it doesn't disappoint.

(funny story when I went to purchase this. Funny as in.. the butcher is an @$$hole.
me: "hi, do you have any dry aged usda prime?"
butcher: "no, just choice ribeye"
me: "hum... lemme get the usda prime strip"
butcher: "why do you say usda"
me: "um.. i'm just reading off the label, i fumble less with my words"
another butcher: "sir do you know what USDA stands for"
me: "(ready for a joke) you tell me"
butcher #2: "united states department of agriculture *looks smug and walks away*"
me: "uh... okay. i thought you were going to tell me a joke")

The challenger coming via 2-day UPS from Brandt Farms by way of Costa Madera in Northern California, weighing in at 14 ozs and 1.5 inches thick.. dry aged for 30 days ...Bryan Flannery's Prime NY strip!!
A heavyweight favorite on the Ebob forums, steak from a butcher loved all over America. Carried by Dean and Deluca. Strong bits of marbling are scattered all through the strip.

After an even seasoning of Kosher Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper and drizzled with high end California cold pressed olive oil, the two strips were tossed on the grill at 550F. (I couldn't get it any hotter). After about 5 minutes on each side to get a nice sear, I put the steaks in a Le Creuset french oven and put it into the oven at 225 degrees.
And boom. Steaks.
The general consensus was good flavor on both of them. Of course, the flavor is as much a skill of the cook (hehehe) as the steak itself. But both held its own on that aspect.
Where the steaks started to really pull away from each other was the tenderness as it hit your mouth. Both steaks gave way easily to our knives, you could have used a butter knife on either steak and you wouldn't have to work on it at all. Yet when it hit your mouth the tenderness and texture couldn't be more different.

The Siesel was a little bit dry, it tasted just a little better than the steaks I buy from Costco. They have a good flavor, decent texture, but definitely nothing to write home about. When you chew it, you have to give it a few chews before you could swallow it, but at the same time it seemed to dry out the more and more you chewed it. This was odd cause I really thought the marbling on the Siesel's was superior to the Flannery.

Based on the attitude at Siesel's, the price/quality ratio I don't believe I could ever go to Sisel's again. BUT if you'd like to try it here's the location.They do have alot of Choice cuts, but they are all 14-15$ and if their Prime tastes almost like Costco Choice... I think I'll stick with the 7$ a pound Costco steak.

4131 Ashton St
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 275-1234

On the other hand the Flannery was like butter. I honestly believe that's the best word to describe it. Its not so buttery like high end kobe where you can only eat slivers at a time, but it really just melts under the pressure of your teeth. Its so flavorful and moist I was sad I could only share to little of it with everyone. I kid you not, when you bite into it the juices just flow out.

Every single taster liked the Flannery steak. Jason said it was one of the best steaks he's ever had while he was eating it. My brother actually threw away part of the Siesel steak (MONEY WASTER!!!). And Nick just nodded his head with a "mmmmm" while agreeing with everything Jason said. My friend Chris split the shipping with me when I ordered the steaks and also gave it TWO THUMBS UP!

There you have it, an unanimous decision, Bryan Flannery steaks! And the best part is.. The Flannery was actually cheaper after shipping! (per lb.) He also sent me a nice box of dark chocolates that i promptly gave to my Port loving friend. If you want to experience the love and disgustingly good customer service that is Bryan Flannery feel free to shoot him an email at There's no online ordering yet, he told me they hope to have it up in the next few months. He can give you the price breakdown of the types of meat he has (or if you want i can email it to you myself) . The worst part of eating these steaks.. is the fact that everywhere you go whether it be Ruth Chris, Morton's, Rainwater on Kettner's they'll never match up to this California "super prime" (affectionately called, he picks only the top 5% of the prime)

1 comment:

Captain Jack said...

Hey Clayfu,
You know that freezing steak is a wierd sort of tenderizing process. It has something to do with the ice crystals that form inside the flesh. In the case of high prime, dry aged tenderloins, it is a bad move as they become too "mushy." I would like to see how an unfrozen, Flannery's dry aged prime ribeye holds up against an unfrozen Lobel's of New York high prime (they claim top 2%), dry aged ribeye (they ship unfrozen overnight express). I freeze steak too for convenience, but I don't think it is optimal for a high-end shootout.