One of the great pleasures in life is catching up with family and friends over a harvest feast. As the year draws to a close and the leaves change colour, spending time with the people you love is the best antidote imaginable to the shorter days and colder nights.
If you’ve been a truLOCAL customer for awhile, you probably know that if you want to have a meat box delivered to your house so you can sample the best local meat without having to spend hours comparison shopping at supermarkets and speciality butchers, we are the perfect choice.
But if you have mostly used your truLOCAL meat box to stock up on essential Canadian meats like chicken breasts, ground beef, and bacon, you may not immediately think of us as your number one choice when you have lots of mouths to feed.
Since we first opened our local meat delivery service, we have worked hard to provide Canadians with the most sustainable options for all their gourmet meat needs. And while our convenient, individually-packaged meat portions may be perfect for meal prep, or grilling up a quick steak after you get home from work, we also have a range of options that are perfect for larger gatherings.
In this post, we’ll talk about some of our quality products that are ideal for feeding larger groups, and we’ll also provide some tips for how you can prepare, cook, and serve your favourite holiday cuts. Bon appétit!
Grass Fed Seasoned Rump Roast
If you are looking for a quick, affordable way of feeding a large number of people, then a rump roast is one of the best cuts available.
Rump roasts come from the powerful muscles of a cow’s hind leg, which makes them extremely lean (and an ideal cut to choose if you want a low-fat roast that is still packed with flavour). At truLOCAL, we are proud to source our rump roasts from cows that have been raised and finished on a grass diet, imparting them with a rich, earthy flavour.
But because rump roasts are so lean, you need to use a few key kicking tricks to bring out the best flavours and textures. If you really want to wow your guests with grass-fed beef rump roasts, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Grass fed rump roasts are even leaner than grain finished ones, so the trick is to keep them from growing dry and tough
- Proper preparation can help you keep the meat tender: however you cook it, remember to go “low and slow” for the best results
- Braise on a stovetop before cooking to sear in the juices
- For stovetop cooking, use a Dutch oven or slow cooker that will keep the meat moist and tender as it cooks
- If you decide to cook it in the stove, make sure to pour plenty of broth into the pan to keep it from drying out, and keep the heat low.
If you’re trying to figure out how much meat to order for your rump roast dinner, a good rule of thumb to follow is that one pound of meat generally feeds around three people. If you need several roasts, remember that you can order multiple one-off meat boxes in addition to your regular truLOCAL delivery!
Black Forest Ham
Black forest ham has long been a Canadian favourite. Whether you want cold cuts for a sandwich or are looking for a big family roast, black forest hams are a great cut of meat to have around (which is the reason they are one of our most popular paleo-friendly products here at truLOCAL!).
While black forest hams are a perfectly serviceable meat, delicate in flavour but substantial and satisfying, really bringing out the full flavour of the pork takes a bit of work.
There are plenty of ways to make your roast black forest ham pop, one of the most popular ways to serve these roasts is with a sweet glaze.
Unlike heavier, richer meats like beef, duck, or buffalo, black forest hams tend to go really well with sweet and tangy flavours — it’s one of the reasons why honey and mustard are one of the most popular combinations for glazing (if you want give your ham a distinctly Canadian flavour profile, you can also consider swapping out the honey for maple syrup).
If you don’t have much experience roasting black forest hams, however, and are wondering just how glazing works, here are 5 simple steps to follow when prepping and cooking your truLOCAL black forest ham:
- A glaze is essentially a layer of caramelized sugar coating your ham, and because sugar burns so easily, the trick to a perfect glaze is timing
- For this reason, you should only apply the glaze thirty minutes to an hour before it is set to finish cooking
- When you combine the ingredients to create your glaze, it should have the consistency of a sticky paste (runny glazes will simply slide off the ham)
- Apply the glaze with a spatula. If the ham is particularly large, apply multiple layers, starting an hour before the ham is finished
- If your recipe called for studding the ham with cloves, remember to only remove the cloves after the ham has entirely finished cooking
The great thing about cooking a black forest ham is that you can prepare more ham than is needed, and keep the rest for ham sandwiches and snacks for the coming week!
Sirloin Tip Roast
If you have ever studied up on the different cuts of beef, where they come from in a cow, and what makes them unique, you probably know that the sirloin tip is, like the rump roast, from a flavourful but well-exercised part of the cow.
This means that it is a good cut to buy when feeding people on a budget, so long as you use one of these great cooking techniques to keep it tender, moist, and tasty. One of the classic ones, straight from French cuisine, involves braising it in red wine. Here’s how it works:
- Start by patting your sirloin tip roast dry and coating lightly with salt, pepper, and white flour.
- In a cast iron skillet or braising pot heat up two tablespoons of butter at a high heat and braise both sides of the roast until the meat turns a light brown colour. This will keep the juices in the beef while it cooks.
- Remove the roast and, in the same skillet or pot, sauté onions and garlic, adding a cup of red wine when they become translucent.
- Place the roast back in the pan, and add four cups of beef stock and some rosemary. Cover and cook in the oven at 250 degrees for four to six hours.
- When the beef has finished cooking, you can remove it from the pot for slicing, and then use the drippings to flavour the gravy.
One of the main benefits of cooking your roast using this method is that, after the initial prep time, it requires relatively little work. This means you can set it in the early afternoon, and spend the rest of the day preparing side dishes and getting the house ready for your guests!
But this isn’t the only way to prepare a sirloin tip roast — you can also chop it up to make sheet pan steak fajitas when you’re cooking for lots of people.
These fajitas are one of our favourite steak recipes, and they’re also a great way to make your meat go a little further if you’ve got a lot of people coming to your gathering. They also make a great appetizer, so if you are looking for something quick and shareable to serve before the main course, make sure to build your box today so that it includes sirloin steaks or tip roast.
If you’re a fan of barbecue, there’s a good chance you’ve cooked brisket before. This legendary cut of beef has rapidly become one of the most popular meats for Texas-style grilling, but it also has a long culinary history going back to eastern Europe, where it was a staple part of Jewish cuisine in countries like Poland, Ukraine, and Russia.
The brisket comes from a cow’s strong pectoral muscles, and for that reason it is one of the toughest and fattiest pieces of beef. Traditionally, it was considered a lesser cut when compared to more desirable portions like the prime rib or sirloin, but this meant that it was less expensive and more affordable for low-income people.
Brisket is not as naturally tender as other cuts of beef, when prepared and cooked properly, it can become the star of the show.
Just because grilling season is over doesn’t mean you have to wait until next summer to take a crack at cooking brisket. If you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed this fall, a roast brisket can be the perfect way to impress your friends with your culinary prowess. Here’s how you can do it:
- The best way to prep your brisket for roasting is by brining it in a saltwater bath overnight with lots of flavourful spices. This will soften the meat, and give it some flavour before cooking.
- When you are ready to cook the brisket, wash the brine off, pat the brisket dry, and prepare your dry rub. There are lots of great dry rub recipes out there to try, so choose find a version whose flavour profile fits the meal as a whole.
- Like the rump roast, the key to cooking a nice tender brisket is to take your time and keep the heat low. And in order to keep the brisket moist, it’s a good idea to wrap it loosely in tin foil to keep the steam and juices in.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and cook the foil-wrapped brisket for about an hour and a quarter per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees. Open the foil, and cook for a further forty-five minutes, until the temperature gets above 200 degrees.
- Before serving, let the brisket sit for at least thirty minutes. This will give the juices a chance to settle and redistribute.
- When serving, slice against the grain.
Brisket may take awhile to cook, but it is one of the most rewarding cuts to prepare, and it’s sure to impress your guests with its tenderness and flavour.
And when you order a brisket from truLOCAL, you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality local beef, raised in sustainable and environmentally friendly ways!
Canadians value togetherness. It’s one of the reasons so many of us are willing to travel hundreds of kilometers to be with our loved ones for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
But if it is your turn to host, this very togetherness can be cause for anxiety. Where will everyone sleep? What happens if the weather is bad? How are you going to feed so many people?
While we can’t help you find extra beds, or stop that blizzard from descending, truLOCAL can remove the guesswork from your holiday menu and help you find the best local ingredients for your family feast.
Whether you are looking for a black forest ham, a sirloin tip roast, or a nice brisket, a truLOCAL meat box is the best way to get the highest quality ingredients in the most convenient way. Give us a call to find out how we can help