We have a butcher down the road from us. A butcher that actually has large cuts of meat and breaks them down. I am a kid in a candy store. I asked if they had beef neck. They did. I asked why? I really wasn't expecting a yes. Rather I was hoping for we can get it for you if you give us enough notice. What people around here do with it? They mentioned they have a large Mexican population that comes in and has the neck sliced thin. The neck is then marinated and eventually grilled. I lit up with the idea. I always think of neck meat as an item to be slow cooked.
I bought a pound, sliced as they would for marinating and grilling. At home we skipped the marination and only salted the meat. I grilled the slices on one side. The meat was thin and I didn't want to obliterate it. Of course I really had no experience with grilled beef neck. I was going with instinct and experience. I grilled an onion alongside the beef. I cut the onion into pieces and added it to a bowl with the grilled beef. I let the meat rest and the flavors and juices blend.
The meat had a variety of textures from melting to chewy. The onions added sweetness and additional char grilled flavor. We ate the meat with red leaf lettuce, sesame bread and assorted pantry salsas.
Today we took some ideas and integrated them into our wheelhouse. The proximity to the butcher will allow us to dive much deeper into broadening our uses with the beef neck and beyond.
May 7, 2006