Rekindling a Love Affair with Beef
Written by Daryl Dean, Sous Chef.
We recently had a retirement dinner for our Catering Director, where we cooked a family-style meal for eight people. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, family-style dining is where the main course and side dishes are brought to the table and then passed between the guests, who take what they want and pass the dish on to the next person, as opposed to being served individual plates or helping themselves to a buffet.
Beefing up the Menu
During the menu planning for this meal, I ran into a wall for a red meat offering. As I normally do, I took a walk through the kitchen, to get some ideas. Then, I remembered that we had briskets brining for our smoked beef sandwiches…
That was my answer: Roast Beef. Since I was doing a family-style menu, it was perfect. Not only did it take me back to sitting at my mom’s table for dinner (roast beef nights were one of my favorites!), but also, it molded the rest of the menu into more of a comforting offering for the family-style dinner.
Love Heightens the Senses
One of my favorite sides that we included in this dinner was apple and beet chutney. When I plan a menu, I always like to include foods that complement each other in either color (visually), taste, or texture. With the chutney, the earthiness of the beets milds up the sweetness of the apples. These foods also brought some nice vibrant color to the dish. After all, I like to feed the eyes first, and then the stomach.
I love family-style dining because it lets everyone enjoy a lot of great dishes in a casual atmosphere. All in all, the night turned out extremely well and our guests were happy, all thanks to the versatility of brisket and the love for roast beef with gravy!