Categories
Packaged Food

Trader Joe’s Adds Beef Pho To Frozen Soup Selection

Photo courtesy of Trader Joe’s

For those who’ve tried pho — the iconic Vietnamese noodle soup made painstakingly by slow-cooking meat (chicken or beef) with charred onions, ginger, and a medley of spices — you’ll know that once the craving sets in, you’re not going to stop until you knock out an entire bowl.

While I’m always an advocate of the classic noodle restaurant (the best ones titled “pho” followed by a number) sometimes, you can’t get your fix if it’s too early or late in the day.

It turns out Trader Joe’s just added Beef Pho Soup to their list of frozen food options and features tender, seasoned beef, rice noodles, and a pho broth flavored with aromatic herbs, including basil and cilantro.

All you’ll have to do is pop it into the microwave for six minutes, or cook it on the stovetop for 10, and you’re good. But things wouldn’t feel complete without the necessary pho accouterments such as bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapeño slices, and perhaps a squirt of hoisin sauce and sriracha.

You can find the new pho entree in the frozen food section of your local Trader Joe’s. If anything it might help those pho cravings until you can make your way into an authentic restaurant. Though I gotta try it first and see.

Categories
Animals Grocery

New California ‘Beef Directory’ Helps Customers Buy Directly From Ranchers

For those in California looking to support local beef ranchers, especially during the pandemic, farmers’ markets have often been a place to go. It’s a way to feel more connected to our food system, rather than just buying branded steak from the grocery store.

For those that want to take it a step further, or find a rancher in their area to buy meat from, California now has its own “Beef Directory” you can access to do just that.

The “Beef Directory” breaks California into three regions: Northern, Central, and Southern. You can then track ranches in the area, get their contact info, and see what they sell. Many ranches will sell individual cuts of steaks, but often times, you can also purchase a quarter or half share of a cow. A typical cow yields 639 pounds of meat, 38% of which is turned into ground beef, if that helps you calculate how much meat is in each offering.

Right now, over a dozen ranches are listed on the California Beef Directory, with listing spots available for any other ranchers that want to get on the list.

Buying from small-scale ranchers and local beef producers helps local food makers around you continue to thrive, especially during a challenging time like this pandemic. It also can be more sustainable for the planet, as smaller ranches often employ more sustainable methods of raising their livestock.

For those living in other parts of the country or world, local beef directories may exist in your region that provide contact information for ranches, info on what cuts of meat they sell, or both.

Using these beef directories makes finding local beef, whether it be for restaurant or at-home use, a lot easier, and gets the general public more connected to original food sources once again.

Categories
News What's New

A Birria Festival Is Coming to Los Angeles, Of Course

Birria’s popularity appears to be reaching critical mass as Birriamania, an entire festival presented by L.A. Taco in honor of the stewed meat, will be held at San Gabriel Valley’s Santa Anita Park on March 21st. 

Very few foods had a moment like birria in 2019, as plates stacked with vibrant red, shredded meat-filled tacos lined Instagram explore pages and food websites alike– including ours

The new festival showcases many of the taco spots that became famous in the wake of birria’s explosion onto the scene, such as Teddy’s Red Tacos and Birria Gonzalez. 

There’s far more to birria than the oft-covered Tijuana-style birria de res, though. The line up reflects that, as it features the Zacatecan Birria Nochistlan and The Goat Mafia, a Compton-based joint that uses a more traditional recipe with goat meat. Other, more fusion-based choices, like L.A. Birria’s birria ramen, will be available as well.

In addition to a lot of tender meat and rich consomé, there’s also a prize at stake here: the fabled Birriamania Championship Belt. Each attendee will vote for their favorite birria, and a panel of judges with supreme birria knowledge will be in attendance.

Tickets can be purchased here for $19 until March 5th, when they become $30. Considering a ticket comes with four tacos and a beer, that’s not too bad at all. I’ve definitely spent $30 in much, much worse ways in LA. 

It might be time to skip the overpriced drinks and club cover charges, and spend a nice Saturday eating delicious birria and drinking cold beer. 

Categories
Restaurants Video

This ENTIRE Beef Shank Is Dropped Into A Deep Fryer, Katsu Style

There’s something primal and majestic about holding an entire slab of meat on the bone. Whether it be a tomahawk ribeye or a fat Disneyland turkey leg, that feeling calls to our inner carnivore and urges us to surrender to our most basic instincts and tear it apart.

That bone-in aspect has been the reason why steaks, pork chops, and other similar cuts of meat are often served bone-in. Beef shanks also come with the bone, but are typically braised to the point that attempting to hold it results in all of the rich, tender meat sliding off. At Momofuku’s Bar Wayō in Manhattan, however, you can get a whole beef shank served as if it were a massive fried drumstick.

Bar Wayō’s Katsu Beef Shank takes a whole braised hunk of beef, breads it, then drops it in the deep fryer. Then, when it’s ordered, it goes through a second breading and deep fry process before being served with a curry sauce, pickles, and other accoutrements. Turning it into a sandwich seems to be an especially baller move at the bar.

You can find the Katsu Shank on the menu most nights, but it’s available in hyper-limited quantities and on a first come, first-serve basis.

Categories
#foodbeast Animals Culture Health News Plant-Based Sustainability

Eddie Huang Goes Vegan Amidst Amazon Rainforest Crisis

Photo: May S. Young on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Incase you’re living under a rock or somewhere off the grid like Tibet, you’ve probably heard that the Amazon rainforest has been on fire for over three weeks. In a time where climate change is a hot button issue, this news should alarm you.  The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering over 5.5 million square kilometers and producing more than 20% of all oxygen. To give you an idea of how significant 20% is, the Amazon is referred to as our planet’s lungs.  Suffice to say, it plays a major role in the fight against climate change.

There have been a reported 72,843 fires in the rainforest this year, the highest rate since Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) began tracking them in 2013. What’s really crazy about all of this is the fact that news outlets only began reporting on the fire this past Wednesday. Word of the fire set the internet ablaze as news spread throughout social media, with news outlets receiving heavy scrutiny for the three-week coverage delay.  

Photo: Unknown on Pxhere, CC0 1.0

Thankfully, information on how you can help is now reaching the masses. In addition to speaking out, one celebrity is taking it a step further in an effort to show solidarity. Announcing that he is going vegan in response to the environmental crisis, writer, host, chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang had this to say:

“After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, I’ve decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat,” he wrote on Instagram. 

As a famed restaurateur and former host of Vice’s HBO show “Huang’s World,” Huang is no stranger to eating meat. He continued, “[I love food] but I don’t love what food tv and more importantly what food has become in our culture: a drug.”

With a newfound beef with beef, he explained further, “I’m going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems.”

View this post on Instagram

After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, Ive decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat. I love beef, I love ox tails, I love Peter Luger’s, I loved growing up in a steak house cutting NY Strip on xanax. It was soothing but beef is fucking us. Actually, we are fucking ourselves on multiple levels and we need to make changes. Im going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems. Eat fish, eat chicken, eat pork until the next crisis but if all u can do now is quit beef, please do it. I know a lot of ass backwards people think vegetarianism or veganism is some uppity white girl thing to do but its not. There have been Asian Buddhist Vegetarians for thousands of years, Ital Rasta, Hindu as well, this is not some new age thing to laugh at. We are getting back to roots, healing the Earth, and ourselves. Ive eaten my last bite of meat. I wish I had planned this better and ate my mom’s ox tail soup but fuck it. There really isnt time to waste. Some things have to start today. I started to get these feelings shooting the last season of Huang’s World and fasted for 5 days because my producer David’s mom said I looked sick. She was right. The 5 days not eating fundamentally changed me and I shot the second half of the season while intermittent fasting. Ive made a lot of food videos because I love food but more than anything because food was fertile ground for exploring difference, but I dont love what food tv and more importantly what food has become in our culture: a drug. I had a really rough 2018- early 2019, got high and just ate myself to sleep watching Harry Potter a lot lol but Im getting back on my shit. Take a moment, think about it, and reexamine your relationship with food because it’ll make the Earth and ourselves very very sick if we keep abusing it.

A post shared by Eddie Huang (@mreddiehuang) on

Whether or not he sticks to his guns and truly switches to vegan, the stance alone is a powerful one. Oftentimes it takes celebrities speaking out to inspire action on a large scale and Huang’s actions are certainly commendable. You definitely don’t need to go vegan in order to help, but everyone should feel inspired to do something. It can be as simple as sharing a post. Let’s hope climate awareness continues to grow as the world comes together to save the Amazon. 

Categories
Restaurants

A Los Angeles Pizza Joint Created A BIRRIA TACO PIZZA

I was in my mid-twenties when I first discovered the joy of a birria taco. A popular Mexican dish consisting of goat or beef meat, the protein is cooked in a spicy consommé, which is a rich broth. I would wait in line at the taco trucks on many late nights making sure I get a plate of fresh birria tacos. My friends and I would enjoy the juicy meat folded inside the tortilla and, if offered, dunk the tacos straight into the consommé.

Rose City Pizza in Rosemead, CA, is now offering another iteration you can enjoy the time-honored dish in, and thankfully, it’s a pizza. The Birria Pizza is the newest addition to the Rose City menu, joining the ranks of such iconic pizzas as the Elote Pizza, Al Pastor Pizza, and even a Filipino Breakfast Pizza.

To start hearty chunks of beef are braised with guajillo and ancho chiles, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and thyme overnight. They’re then seared, shredded, and added to the pizza.

On the crust, the birria is combined with mozzarella, diced onions, cilantro, lime juice, and a Chile de arbol salsa. Once sliced, it’s served with a cup of the consommé you can dunk your pizza straight into or enjoy on its own.

This isn’t Rose City’s first foray into taco-inspired pizzas either. The pizzeria went viral after offering an Al Pastor pizza a few years back where the marinated pork was sliced straight from a spit right onto the dough. It gained so much notoriety that it remains on the menu to this day.

How it’s birria-based brother will fare remains to be seen. Though, having tried it, I have a good feeling it will do just as well, if not better.

Fans of birria tacos may want to check this one out if visiting the Southern California area. While some may argue that soggy pizza is a sacrilege, Rose City’s crust game is so balanced, it’s like the pizza was made for the dunk. Just make sure to arrive early if you’re itching to try some. Due to its popularity, only a limited quantity of birria will be available daily.

Categories
Cravings

Come Get This Unbelievably Tender Wagyu Brisket At Upcoming Queen Mary Cook-Off

As a barbecue enthusiast, the quality of the meat you choose is essential to a proper beef brisket. If you’re using any kind of inferior meat, you better be a master of the smoke because you’re pretty much in an uphill battle. Now I’ve had briskets made with amazing cuts of beef before, but I’ve yet to see one that’s smoked with Wagyu meat.

For the unfamiliar, Wagyu beef is widely regarded as ultra-premium quality beef that’s of the utmost level of tender. And Wagyu beef brisket is exactly what The Q Joint BBQ is bringing to the world of barbecue.

Slicing up USDA Prime Wagyu Brisket, The Q Joint is an Irvine, California-based barbecue company that offers a plethora of smoked and grilled meats. This includes smoked, deboned chicken thighs, St. Louis-style ribs, and their 12-hour hickory-smoked brisket.

All their items come together in what they call The Judge’s Box which boasts: 1 chicken, 2 ribs, pulled pork, 2 slices of brisket, and 2 burnt ends.

This incredible platter of smoked delights can be found at The Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off. The annual event will be held on May 11 from 12PM to 5PM. There will be two competitions held during that day, one that pits BBQ masters together in a smokey cook-off. The other brings together some of the country’s best chili cooks to see who can craft the most delicious bowl of chili.

Sounds like heaven on earth.

Categories
Cravings Restaurants

16-Pound Tomahawk Steak Is The Regal Feast Of Your Carnivorous Dreams

Las Vegas is the capitol of decadence and there have been many instances where larger-than-life dishes satiated our eyes before they melted in our mouths. One such dish is a massive 16-pound Tomahawk Crown Roast found on the menu of MB Steak at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas that may or may not be a boss from Shadow of the Colossus.

The luxury steakhouse serves the $1,200 meal with a table side presentation, designed for 10 to 12 diners. Executive chef Patrick Munster slow roasts the 16-pounds of beef overnight at a low temperature to keep the cut as succulent as possible. It’s then cooked to a medium rare and carved in front of patrons in a spectacle of beef and bone.

MB’s tomahawk dinner comes with a selection of side dishes that are shared family style including lobster mac & cheese, creamed corn with king crab, maitake mushrooms with aged goat cheese, and creamed spinach with a poached egg and truffle gouda.

If you’re heading to Vegas and want to share this experience with a dozen of your closest friends and meat lovers, just be sure to call ahead. The tomahawk roast requires a minimum of 72 hours of advanced notice.