Chicago Cut Steakhouse
One, Chicago Cut Steakhouse uses Colorado beef that’s been raised around 1,300 feet above sea level. David Flom, managing partner at Chicago Cut, and his team sampled beef from different elevations, going up in five-hundred-foot increments. They liked what they ate when the cattle was raised between 1,300-1,400 feet. At lower altitudes, less than 500 feet, the muscle was determined to be loose, the muscle didn’t seem strong enough, and the flavor was not as intense as the team wanted. When they went to beef raised at higher elevations, they found the muscle tissue to be denser, but going too high meant the muscle was too tough. Flom and team selected the steak that was raised at the sweet spot, and that’s what they serve to their guests at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.
Two, Chicago Cut Steakhouse dry ages their steak to minimize moisture and maximize flavor. Flom told us that about of third of a steer’s body weight is water. If the water is left in, the flavor of the meat is diluted. Flom and his team put the meat in a refrigerator that maintains the temperature at thirty-six degrees and humidity at sixty-five percent, which evaporates water from the tissue. You don’t want to make the meat dry, so you don’t want to get to a zero water factor, but the Chicago Cut Steakhouse team aims for ten to fifteen percent water, so there’s still moisture in the meat and the diner tastes more of the delicious muscle.
Three, Chicago Cut Steakhouse does all their butchering onsite so that the meat doesn’t oxidize and begin to get funky before it’s fired and served. At many steakhouses, even some of the big names, you’re eating steak that was butchered maybe a day or so ago; then it’s probably heat-sealed in a Cryovac bag (and the heat-sealing could even actually cook the meat a little: ugh). You won’t see that at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, where all the meat is hand-cut by an in-house crew of butchers, so although the steak is aged, the cut is fresh, which is about as good as it can get with red meat.