Thursday, September 9, 2010

Love Me Tender(loin): Steak Hits a Sweet Spot this Valentine's Day

Love Me Tender(loin): Steak Hits a Sweet Spot this Valentine's Day

Survey Reveals Americans’ Passion for Beef as their Most-Loved V-Day Meal

Denver (Vocus) January 20, 2010

February is a month dedicated to love and affection, and Americans have spoken: nothing says amoré like a great steak dinner. Sixty-one percent of Americans said they favored a nice meal on Valentine’s Day, as opposed to flowers or even gifts. And what’s on the menu? Sixty-two percent of Americans profess their love for steak as their most desired Valentine’s Day meal, according to a recent survey conducted by Pelegrin Gray for The Beef Checkoff Program.

“During this month of romance, many Americans will share special moments with their significant other, often centered around a delicious meal,” said Dave Zino, executive chef for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Now, new survey data shows that when Americans want to create the perfect ambiance with a meal that’s sure to impress and even ignite some sparks, a succulent steak like a filet mignon or T-bone is just the ticket.”

The survey confirms that steak continues to fan the flames of many devoted lovers across America:
 Nothing says love like beef and backrubs: Forty-three percent of Americans said they would choose a steak meal to kick off a romantic evening of hot tub time, back rubs and champagne.  They call me Dr. Love: Americans associate steak as a “best match” for love (44%), romance (42%) and passion (41%)—more so than chicken, pork or fish.  Let’s meat: Beef (36%) is more often associated with “magnetism” than fish (22%), pork (21%) or chicken (21%).

And what’s more, research shows naturally nutrient-rich lean beef can fit into a heart-healthy diet. So while you may feel like you’re indulging, eating for the sake of your heart doesn’t mean having to give up one of your favorite foods*.

Americans Love Lean Beef
With 29 lean cuts available and with low steak prices, it’s not surprising that America loves irresistibly succulent, great-tasting beef. According to survey results, 50 percent of Americans associate beef with celebrations, compared to chicken (18%), pork (17%) or fish (15%). Whether enjoying the popular filet mignon, T-bone or sirloin, or one of the many other flavorful cuts, Americans’ love affair with beef is no secret. According to survey findings:
 Atmosphere for Romance: Sixty-five percent associate a great beef meal with romantic notions including candlelight, red wine and linen tablecloths and 67 percent agree that serving steak to someone best says “I love you.”  An Impressive Selection: Sixty-two percent serve a beef dish if they are hoping for their partner to express gratitude or appreciation for their efforts.  The Perfect Pick: When choosing a meal for a significant other, 61 percent say they would order beef at a restaurant to express how much they care.

To create a steakhouse-caliber meal, Chef Dave notes that rubs, marinades, and proper cooking techniques are key. “Use simple rubs made with fresh herbs and garlic to enhance the flavor of naturally tender steaks like the T-bone. Practice proper cooking technique by using long-handled tongs, rather than a fork, for turning steaks because a fork will pierce the beef and release flavorful juices. Also, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the side of a steak to check doneness; between 145°F, which is medium rare, and 160°F, which is medium, is ideal for steaks,” Chef Dave said.

How Do I Love Beef? Let Me Count the Ways
In honor of Valentine’s Day and to kick off Beef Lover’s Month, Chef Dave offers two delicious ways to create romantic moments.

To celebrate perfect pairings, the culinary experts at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association created a special T-Bone Steak for Two recipe that is as delicious as the first kiss you shared with your Valentine. Like any good relationship, the T-Bone is the perfect blend of two, in this case two of the most prized cuts of beef—the top loin and the tenderloin. Paired perfectly with a cocoa-based sauce and a colorful vegetable, such as roasted red peppers, the T-Bone for Two is the ideal way to show your love some love.

“Most people are surprised to learn that the T-bone contains two of the most popular and lean steaks. One person can enjoy the tenderloin, or filet mignon, beef’s most tender steak, and the other can cut into the top loin, a tender, flavorful steak, also known as a strip steak,” noted Chef Dave.

For the more than half of Americans (53%) who prefer filet mignon to accompany candlelight, red wine, linen tablecloths, and romance, Chef Dave suggests cooking up Filet Mignon with Herb-Butter Sauce and Mushrooms to fit the mood perfectly.

For the full T-Bone Steak for Two and Filet Mignon with Herb-Butter Sauce and Mushrooms recipes and more suggestions on how to create the perfect steak dinner, look to the Newsroom section of BeefItsWhatsForDinner. com for simple tips and instructional videos.

About The Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The Checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national Checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

Consumer-focused and producer-directed, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and its state beef council partners are the marketing organization for the largest segment of the food and fiber industry.

*Siri-Tarino, PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutri. Published ahead of print. AJCN online. Accessed 1/13/2010.

Karli Freeman
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Brittney Osikowicz
Brittney. osikowicz(at)ketchum(dot)com

# # #