The latest phase of MLA’s Masterpieces program puts the spotlight on two beef cuts that are often underrated and under utilised in foodservice – chuck and skirt.
Claire Tindale, Marketing Manager – Foodservice for MLA said the Masterpieces program was designed to add further value to the entire carcase, keep plate costs down and ensure beef remains a core component of foodservice menus across Australia.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, always looking for innovative dishes to try.
This poses both a challenge and an opportunity to come up with exciting dishes and source well priced ingredients that will keep customers happy and bottom lines healthy,” Claire said.
“Chuck is a great cut and it makes up approximately 7% of a carcase, compared with 1.5% for fillet, so there is plenty of opportunity to expand its use.
In Australia we tend to cube it and throw it in a casserole, but it can be broken down into multiple muscles to create a variety of tasty dishes, including roasts and even grilling cuts.
“Skirt is another underrated cut, which is so full of flavour, wonderfully textured, and able to provide a real point of difference for chefs on their menus.”
The Masterpieces program positions non-loin cuts of meat as fashionable and versatile ingredients that allow chefs to showcase their skills and reduce plate costs.
It provides support and resources to restaurateurs, wholesalers and chefs that includes butchery information and menu ideas.
“Non-loin cuts are used widely in overseas markets, but a lack of chef experience using these cuts, and perceptions of low quality and limited versatility has meant they are not commonly used on Australian foodservice menus,” said Claire.
Masterclasses conducted by MLA in partnership with foodservice wholesalers around Australia throughout the year will assist the rollout of the second phase of the Beef Masterpieces program.
An advertisement promoting the revamped cuts ran in major foodservice magazines during August including Foodservice magazine, Restaurant & Catering, Café Culture and Clubs NSW, further supporting the launch of the program’s second phase.
The new Masterpieces booklet draws inspiration from global cuisines and demonstrates the versatility and creativity that can be achieved using chuck and skirt for all types of menus, from casual pub meals to fine dining elegance.
“Masterpieces is all about adding more value to the entire carcase and keeping plate costs down, so beef remains firmly embedded on menus in foodservice, casual and fine dining,” added Claire.
Following the release of the first volume of Beef Masterpieces, which promoted the nontraditional cuts – oyster blade, bolar blade, flank steak and point-end brisket – many foodservice outlets and wholesalers reported an increase in sales of the ‘new cuts’.
One wholesaler reported a year-on-year sales increase of 1,771kg of oyster blade from 158kg following the first instalment of Masterpieces, and an increase from 18kg to 579kg of flat iron steak.
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