Have you sorted your plans for Father’s Day yet? I like to let Father’s Day roll like how I do Mother’s Day. The Huz is cool with that, but it’s still nice to dole out a surprise or two. It’s a pretty safe bet we’ll be barbecuing on Sunday, and I want to make that special. So last week I popped into Calgary’s Urban Butcher and came across cold smoked steak. What is this carnivorous goodness you ask? Read on to find out, plus a chance to win a $50 gift certificate Calgary’s Urban Butcher.
What’s cold smoked steak like?
I’m no meat expert, but I know what I like. Since I had no idea what cold smoking was all about, I went to Urban Butcher’s Master Butcher to find out.
“By cold smoking the steaks, we introduce a delicious smokey flavour that permeates the meat and creates a succulent steak,” says Bob Choquette, Operations Manager and Master Butcher at Urban Butcher. “The steaks are still raw when you purchase them, so they still need to be grilled. But consider this a shortcut in the kitchen, if you enjoy the flavour created when using wood chips when grilling your steak.”
I don’t know if cold smoking is a deal in other cities, but apparently Urban Butcher is the first to introduce these kind of steaks to Calgary. The smoke it in house at Canadian Rocky Mountain Resort’s production centre. The steaks are first marinated in a mixture that’s free of gluten, then spiced with Urban Butcher’s signature Smoke House spice mixture, before finally being cold smoked.
You’ve got a choice between getting cold smoked ribeye or striploin steaks. We went with striploin, and one could’ve easily fed our family of three. The steaks were gloriously thick and juicy. They tasted similar to when we cook steaks (the good quality ones) on the wood fire out in Canmore. The cold smoke added a delicious depth to the meat.
The best butcher in Calgary
Remember Second to None Meats? Urban Butcher is located in the same spot as Second to None was in Mission and Willow Park Village. It’s sporting the same quality meats, property butchers, and the focus on sourcing locally continues, just in a spiffier shop.
Naturally I couldn’t just buy steaks when I popped in. First, I grabbed a pack of miso marinated wings. So good! They were savoury and a tad citrusy, with the slight tang of miso. The overall flavour was subtle, and the miso made this amazing (not sticky) glaze.
There were cherry tomatoes so sweet, you’d want to pop them in your mouth like candy. There were loads of Alberta veg from Broxburn. I also spotted free-range eggs, artisanal cheese and butter.
Meat is what they’re really known for, being a butcher and all… In addition to beef, chicken, pork and seafood, you can also nab:
- Brome Lake duck
- Marrow filled beef bones
- Nitrate-free bacon
I especially adored their vast selection of ready-made meals. There were a ton of meat pies, stocks, shepherd’s pie, gourmet pizza, lobster mac and cheese and the like. I grabbed a beef tenderloin lasagne and a pack of bison burgers. I’m still regretting not snagging a bottle of blood orange and honey salad dressing.
Have you ever tried cold smoked steak?