I recently was asked by Canadian Beef and Canada Safeway to partake in a site visit at Canada Safeway to learn more about Canadian beef products and how Safeway supports the beefing industry in Canada.
Doing this one was a fun and easy opportunity for me to accept. I love meeting with my local butcher to talk about weekly sales and recipes and Safeway is my neighbourhood grocery store (by choice).
I met with Mike Peet, a Meat Merchandiser at Canada Safeway with over 25 years experience in the industry (this man knows his meat!).
During our “meet”ing we talked extensively (it’s always great to talk with someone who really knows and loves their meat!) and as it turns out, Mike had some great tips to help keep your grocery budget in check:
- Plan ahead with your recipes.
- Use the Canada Safeway website to look for sales and you can also create a printable shopping list.
- Watch the flyer online and stock up when the sales come.
- Be sure and transfer the meat out of their white meat trays and into freezer bags before freezing to ensure quality.
- Date your items before placing into the freezer so you can use accordingly.
- Keep an inventory of what you have in your freezer so items get used before too long and you don’t buy more than you need.
Some great tips from Mike about cooking different cuts:
- The front and hip sections are the toughest (the parts that move the most) and therefore best to slow cook in liquid
- The back quarter is the next best and is good for roasting in some liquid (think beef broth and chopped onions!)
- The sirloin and outside round are the best, most tender cuts and are great with just some Montreal Steak Spice (on the BBQ or cooked in the oven under a loose tent of foil).
A few interesting facts (and a myth laid to rest):
- The best time to go in and ask for special cuts is between 3pm and 4pm. You can also call ahead to your local Safeway and they will do any special cut you request. They do all their own cutting on site.
- Beef product comes in 3 days / week at Safeway (a very high turn around, really surprised me).
- Myth busting – Ground beef is NOT made from leftover scraps of meat / fat. It is taken from a lesser grade animal and they only use AA and AAA beef.
In the end, not only did I leave craving a big, huge steak but I had a renewed excitement to try some new beef recipes for my family and had some fabulous tips to share (thanks Mike!). If you’re curious to educate yourself about beef and it’s nutritional value or want some fun new recipes to try be sure and check the Canadian Beef website (it’s always best to go to the source!) and they have fabulous, FREE downloadable recipe booklets.
P.S. I love the “Ask an Expert” feature, a great way to find answers when you’re cooking or looking for nutritional information about beef.