Photo by Steve Collins, courtesy of Silver Sage Beef
Alberta knows its beef—the province’s deeply rooted ranching history means farmers here take pride in raising cattle in the most sustainable ways. This, combined with Alberta’s wide-open spaces and rich soils that allow for natural grazing and its cold winters that are ideal for layering on fat, all amount to the must-experience taste of Alberta beef.
Here are four cuts to try.
Where it’s from: The striploin (or New York Strip) is taken from the short loin muscle.
Characteristics: This is one of the most flavourful cuts of meat, as it maintains a partial fat cap.
Try this: Brant Lake Wagyu Striploin from Vintage Chophouse & Tavern in Calgary. The server presents the dish on a butcher’s block and explains the cut, fat content and flavour profile. Pair this 12-ounce steak with a classic side like bacon scalloped potatoes.
Where it’s from: Rib-eye is the result of taking meat from the rib muscle (known as prime rib) and trimming out the middle (a.k.a. “the “eye”).
Characteristics: Like prime rib, it has flavourful fat marbling.
Try this: Grilled Rib-eye of Beef at RGE RD in Edmonton. The restaurant serves it with a side of mashed potatoes and a pot of braised beef and mushroom ragout, which the chef recommends pouring all over for ultimate flavour.
Where it’s from: The tenderloin is cut from the loin muscle toward the hip.
Characteristics: This is a lean, tender cut. It has no fat cap and is smaller than a striploin.
Try this: Chuckwagon Steak Benedict at the Chuckwagon Cafe in Turner Valley, just 45 minutes from Calgary. Diners flock here on the weekends for this popular dish, which consists of butter croissants topped with tenderloin strips and a creamy hollandaise sauce.
Where it’s from: Prime rib is cut from the rib section.
Characteristics: Plenty of fat marbling throughout creates full flavour and tenderness.
Try this: Prime rib with rosemary jus from Charcut Roast House in Calgary. Rubbed with local Brassica Mustard, salt, garlic, thyme and black pepper, it’s rotisserie roasted and sliced to order.