Breaking down to individual cuts for other steak houses or grocery stores is either done at the retail level or at the large Packing Houses for grocery stores.
The top steak houses then age the Primals in house. When ordered, the steak is cut from the Primal, trimmed, cooked and served.
None of the Steak houses I know of use liquid smoke.
One can find retail butcher shops that do thier own aging of Primals and cut to order. You just have to look. There are two in the Chicago area that I use.
I have never heard of anyone using balsamic vinegar on a steak for carmelization?
Black pepper on a properly coooked steak is not scorched, so no problem with black pepper.
We grill to 100F internal and then let rest depending on the original thickness.
We eat when ready but certainly not just above room temperature. Cold steak is not for me.
At the retail level in most grocery stores what you are getting, no matter what the USDA Grade, is beef hung to minimum time, cut trimmed and boxed at Packing House and then shipped for final wrapping at the retail level. Some cuts are in fact wrapped also and have an overpressure of co2 to increase the visual shelf life. This packaging can be ascertained by bulging wrap.
The lower tier steak houses (chains) purchase thier steaks. cut and enhanced for potion size control and artifical palatablity. Find a Commrecial supplier website and investigate the options, quality of beef, portion size, mechanical enhancing as well as chemical enhancing and in the case of 'Prime Rib'(I use the term loosely) au jus supplied.
There are still Grocery stores that purchase Primals that are higly trimmed and cut thier own steaks and will cut to order. The steaks are usually in the USDA Choice range.
In my experience purchasing USDA top Prime from butcher shops perfomring thier own in house dry aging and then properly cookking said steak is not comparable to a place such as David Burke's.
Doesn't stop me from trying but every once in a while, it's back to Burkes.-Dick
Edited by budrichard, 19 February 2013 - 08:41 AM.