There are some very good deals on meat this week. As everyone is probably aware by now it has been a very hot dry spring and summer in the American Midwest this year. What some may not have realized is the likely effect on food prices. Because so much of the animal feed, corn and soybeans, has been lost this year, farmers and ranchers are facing much higher feed costs. This will cause a corresponding rise in all foods dependent on grains; meat, eggs, milk and other dairy products, bread and cereal etc. For meat this situation usually results in farmers and ranchers selling off a larger proportion of their herds just before the harvest to reduce them to a size they can afford to feed, causing a temporary reduction in some prices. This is followed by price increases, sometimes very steep increases.
So what does this mean for the consumers? If they possibly can, they should stock up on items which can be frozen, or which have a long shelf life. Chicken parts freeze well. It’s usually more efficient to re-package them in quantities which are easily thawed and used. It is best to double bag, getting out as much air as possible. Use the heavier weight freezer bags. The same goes for ground beef. Buy a lot if it goes on sale again, and re-package in 1 or 1 ½ lb quantities for ease of use.
Do not try to freeze too much at once in a home freezer. It will freeze faster and better if packages are not too thick and are placed in a single layer either on the floor of the freezer or on an unoccupied part of a shelf.
Milk, unfortunately, does not freeze well (and is probably too bulky anyway). Cheese, especially low moisture types like parmesan or romano, can be frozen. Cereal keeps well in its original packaging.
In all food preservation just remember that the cooler, darker and most free from air something can be kept, the longer it is likely to last.
As you likely know, a new grocery store opened in Prescott this week, just down towards Wal-Mart off of Willow Creek. It’s called Natural Grocers and is a Natural Food Market. The produce is all certified Organic, as are the meats, cheeses etc. The produce is beautiful. On sale this week are:
- Large Colorado Peaches
- Canned organic fruits and vegetables
- Organic cheese, select varieties
Be sure to bring your own bags for checkout. They do have bags in produce, but not at the check stands.
In honor of Julia Child's birthday, she would have been 100 years old Wednesday, we are featuring one of her most used recipes, from her first work, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Pan Broiled Steak. (slightly modified to suit our time and place)
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This week’s electronic coupons include: $1 off Kraft Mayo, $1.11 off Carving Board Lunchmeat or Oscar Meyer Franks, $.99 off a gallon of Safeway ice cream.
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- Chicken Breast, Eating Right, boneless skinless $1.99/lb
- Beef Round Tip steak, Rancher’s Reserve $2.99/lb
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- Hillshire Farms Gourmet Creations, sausage, 12 oz, select varieties $3
- Ground Beef, fresh, any size pkg, 80% lean $2.99/lb
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- Large Navel oranges, $.88/lb
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- Sun Chips or Ruffles, 8.5-10.5 oz bag, select varieties BOGO*
- Safeway pasta, select varieties $1
- Cheese, Lucerne, select varieties, 16oz $ 2.99
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$1 for many items in most departments including: 42 oz Arizona Tea, 8 oz Albertson’s butter, Hunt’s canned tomatoes, Gardettos, Chex Mix, Mi Ranchito tortilla chips, Hunt’s Ketchup, Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, Manwich, Mini Carrots, 16 oz. etc etc etc
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- Ground beef, 85% lean, 3 lb or more $2.99/lb
- Beef, steak or roast, London Broil, Cross rib or Bottom Round $2.99/lb
- Chicken parts, Sanderson Farms, bone in, jumbo pack, split breast, drumstick, thighs, leg quarters $.99/lb
- Lettuce, red, green or Romaine $1
- Black Plums $1/lb
- Haas Avocados $1
- English Cucumbers $1
- Bartlett pears $1/lb
- Eggplant $1/each
- Kellog’s cereal, 9-15 oz or Malt-O-Meal Cereal, 21-27 oz $1.88
- 8 pack Hershey’s XL bars or 8 pk small bars $1
- Blue Bunny ice cream, 56 oz $3.50
- Many service deli items $4.99/lb
Three Day Sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday - Kroger Boneless chicken breasts, frozen, 3 lb bag $4.77/bag; most Shamrock items 50% off regular price
Buy 10 selected items, get $5 off your order. Items include: American Beauty Pasta, Ragu pasta sauce, Doritos, Palmolive dish detergent and many others
Meat and Seafood
- Beef Chuck steaks or roast, boneless $2.88/lb
- Chicken, Foster Farms, any variety BOGO
- Land-o-Frost Lunch Meats, 16 oz $3.50
- Ground beef, 80% lean, 3 lb chub $2.99/lb
- Northwest red Cherries $2.99/lb
- Bell peppers, red or yellow $.99/each
- Broccoli or Cauliflower $.99/lb
- Bar soap, Coast or Dial, 2 or 3 pk $.88
- Sour cream or Cottage cheese, 24 oz $2
- Frozen vegetables, Kroger, 8-12 oz, select varieties $1
BOGO Buy One, Get One of equal or lesser value free
Pan Broiled Steak a la Julia Child
Serves 4-5 (depending on the number of other dishes served)
Two pounds of boneless rib eye steak, about 1 inch thick
One pound of crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
¼ cup finely chopped onions
1 ½ Tablespoons oil
1 ½ Tablespoons butter
For the sauce
½ cup dry sherry or dry white wine (or home made beef stock or water, if you must)
2 Tablespoons softened butter
You will need a skillet which will hold the meat in a single layer, preferably with a little space between each piece of meat. If you can’t fit in the meat in a single layer, use two pans.
Trim most fat from around the meat. Make small incisions in the side if there is any membrane surrounding it. (This will keep it from curling in the pan.) Make sure your meat is totally dry. Use paper towels if necessary.
Place the oil and 1 ½ Tablespoons butter in the skillet on medium high heat and heat until the butter stops foaming. Be careful not to let it brown.
Now put in your steaks, let them sear. Then cook for 4 minutes, being careful to adjust the heat to keep the fat from burning. Turn over and repeat the searing and cooking. Don’t try to move the meat around in the pan at first as it may stick—if you wait a while it will release from the pan on its own. Steak will be medium rare after a total of 8-9 minutes. If you like medium cook another minute or so on each side. Use a meat thermometer to check doneness or cut off a small slice.
Remove the steak to a hot platter and immediately season with a little salt and pepper.
To make sauce.
Add onions and mushrooms to hot fat. Let cook a few minutes. Skim off fat if there’s too much. Then add the wine (or stock) Reduce rapidly, stirring, until it has a syrup like consistency. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. Remove from heat and swirl in the softened butter.
Pour a small amount of sauce over each serving, adding some mushrooms. Serve with baked or mashed potatoes.
For variations in flavor add a few finely chopped fresh herbs just before removing from heat.
Based on “Pan Broiled Steak” from “Mastering the Art of French” Cooking by Julia Child and Simone Beck, available from Alfred Knopf.
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