Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™

Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™ knows steaks. For over 110 years, we have provided quality, gourmet beef, lamb, pork and veal. The Stock Yards® brand was founded in the Chicago stockyards in 1893 and has set the highest standards for quality, consistency, integrity and most of all, service. Our customer base has since grown from the neighborhood families to some of the finest hotels, resorts and clubs in the country. To maintain our tradition of excellence, we understand the importance of outstanding service to our customers.

The Story
Over the years, the Stock Yards® reputation for providing premium beef in the foodservice industry has become well known to operators and chefs alike. With an attention to detail and an emphasis on customer service, the line has grown to cover all of your “center of the plate” needs. The Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™ pioneered the concept of offering carefully selected and aged beef to customer’s specifications. In the 1950s, we became the first company in the hotel/restaurant industry to offer hand cut, portioned steaks. Soon after, we joined an elite group approved by the USDA to offer USDA Prime and USDA Choice steaks.

Our history has allowed us to develop quality specifications, unparalleled in the industry. Today, each Stock Yards® steak is hand selected and cut for close trim and uniform thickness to provide the best possible plate presentation. All beef is carefully and naturally aged to produce the ultimate level of tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Only native cattle, known for their larger muscle mass and greater marbling qualities, are used. Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™ only purchases from packing plants that have been inspected by a quality assurance team with specifications that exceed the USDA standards.

Stock Yards Meat Packing Company uses the latest technology to vacuum seal fresh cut steaks. Our specifications call for each steak to be individually packaged. However, accommodating our customers is our primary concern. Although our emphasis is on a fresh cut program, our facilities are well equipped to handle a quality frozen program, or to pack in bulk. All of our bone-in steaks have a bone guard to protect packaging and provide the best steak possible. Working together, our facilities offer the best aged, corn fed beef on the market. Each facility, located across the country, is USDA inspected— that’s the law—but on top of that, our own quality assurance team ensures our standards are being met.

It has been said that the fine art of butchering is a thing of the past—not at Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™. We employ expert meat cutters so you don’t have to. We have the experience and desire to develop and utilize training programs and apprenticeships to preserve this fine trade for generations to come. At Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™, we understand the emphasis you put into your "center of the plate” presentations. As such, we are committed to having the best trained staff of butchers so your chefs can do what they do best—create! Today, we have grown into an internationally recognized company, known for our dedication to selling only the highest quality meat products available. All over the world, chefs, foodservice operators and managers know that if the name says Stock Yards®, it's nothing but the best.

The Aging Process
Aging beef is assessed in terms of time
and temperature. This natural process,
sometimes referred to as “conditioning”
or “ripening,” must be controlled
throughout to improve the palatability
of meat. The aging process affects
tenderness, flavor and juiciness.
Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™
follows strict guidelines and written
specifications for each step of the process. Our quality assurance teams ensure compliance. The result: the best cut steak available to your customers.

Things to consider in an aging program:
1. Dollar investment
2. Refrigeration space
3. Proper temperature control zones
4. Specific rotation program
5. The importance of utilizing Aged Trimmings
6. The importance of keeping the pipeline filled

Wet aging is the Stock Yards Meat Packing Company's standard process. Dry aging is also an option to our customers; however, our cut shops must be contacted in advance in order to utilize this process.

Dry Aging v. Wet Aging
The principle difference between these two aging processes is wet aging takes place in the vacuum sealed bag, whereas dry aging is taken out of the vacuum sealed bag and placed on a rack in the open air. Either way, the aging process occurs naturally, inside the muscle structure. It is critical in both techniques to maintain temperature at 34 degrees (F).

Additional factors must be in place to ensure that dry aging occurs properly.
Because the product is now out of the bag, the room must have relative humidity of 82 to 85%.

Beef is 72 to 75% water, and if the humidity is not controlled, it could cause
excessive shrinkage and a dryer product. Another important factor is airflow.
The airflow in the controlled environment must be kept moving to ensure maximum yield and finish. Dry aging is thought to produce an acid-like or tart flavor. Others describe it as a nut like flavor. If there is too much moisture or not enough airflow, then the chance for mold to grow on the product can occur. This will impart it’s own set of flavors.

In the beginning, dry aging was the only conditioning process, but with technological advancements, wet aging has become a viable option. Also consider that back in the days of beef on the rail, the whole side was dry aged. Today, we dry age subprimal cuts, which involves more surface area and additional trim. Dry aging will also have additional shrink and trim loss. The debate continues as to which process is better. The answer lies in personal flavor preference and economics.

Stock Yards Meat Packing Company™ assures it’s customers that every step of the process is monitored for quality control and maximum yield. Our goal is to provide you with the resources to give your customers the best dining experience possible. Together, we can create memories.

Using over 110 years of tradition, pride and consistency, our cut steak program covers every detail to ensure that your customer has the finest dining experience possible. From hand selecting each cut to aging our beef before it’s trimmed and cut to rigid specifications, our premier cut steak program is designed to give customers the flexibility to develop any concept. A variety of styles combined with every size imaginable, not only includes beef but Pork, Lamb and Veal. We are committed to giving you 100% yield so you may concentrate on your menu.

• Founded in 1893 in the stock yards area of Chicago, the Stock Yards® brand has set the highest standards for quality, consistency, service and integrity.

• All beef is carefully and naturally aged to produce the utmost level of tenderness, juiciness and flavor.

• Only “Native Steer Cattle” known for their larger muscle mass and greater marbling are purchased.

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