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cigno1

Low food cost menu items

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Hey all,

I did a brief search on this and didnt come up with much, hard to believe. I would like to hear some chefs and owners chime in on this one as every restaurant has some items that they make a killing on and their customers love.

thanks

Chris

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Anything Pork. Turkey tenderloins sold well. Local fish like grey sole, cod, haddock. Rib eye is value, , but cuts like beef shank(osso bucco), chuck, shoulder of any animal. But as these cuts are prepared well, and some chef in NY makes a name for themselves cooking it, the price will rise.

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but cuts like beef shank(osso bucco),

Osso bucco is veal

or pork shank or beef, or even lamb. Expand your horizons. Try deciphering what osso bucco means.


Edited by Timh (log)

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but cuts like beef shank(osso bucco),

Osso bucco is veal

or pork shank or beef, or even lamb. Expand your horizons. Try deciphering what osso bucco means.

The translation of osso bucco means "pierced bone", and of course traditionally osso bucco is veal, but many chefs, like myself take the libery of using the word to describe other meat prepared the same way. I have done lamb and pork this way and both were fantastic.

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Flat Iron steaks, Pork Shoulder, Pork Belly and Lamb Shoulder are some current ones. Great winter fare as well.


Edited by Ariel Schor (log)

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Flat Iron steaks, Pork Shoulder, Pork Belly and Lamb Shoulder are some current ones. Great winter fare as well.

Apart from the flat iron steaks and including previous posts in this thread it seems that braisable economy cuts (although veal osso buco can be pricey) are the way to go. This thread could get alot more interesting in the spring and summer when customers are less likely to enjoy a steaming plate of braised meat.

I am surprised that nobody mentioned any pastas.

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Flat Iron steaks, Pork Shoulder, Pork Belly and Lamb Shoulder are some current ones. Great winter fare as well.

Apart from the flat iron steaks and including previous posts in this thread it seems that braisable economy cuts (although veal osso buco can be pricey) are the way to go. This thread could get alot more interesting in the spring and summer when customers are less likely to enjoy a steaming plate of braised meat.

I am surprised that nobody mentioned any pastas.

At the establishment I work at, we have our dry pasta made by a local company, so it's not relatively cheap. I would have also considered vegetables like parsnips, rutabaga, beets, radishes, cabbage. If cooked with care they can be glorious garnishes.

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Anytime you can take something that you are otherwise going to throw away or not use, or something that you could get for dirt cheap, you are looking at a winner.

Finding a way to utilize trim from butering...like turning the chain of a tenderloin into tartare, or salmon belly into smoked salmon rilletes, etc.

Things like offal are usually great for making money, especially if you are good at dressing them up. Chicken liver mouse/parfait, headcheese--all that stuff.

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At my restaurant now we're doing an adapted Michael Mina recipe -- potato crusted blue cod, braised red cabbage, horseradish mash and a mustard sauce. The potato chips are the most expensive part of the dish.. each dish has a foodocst of like, 2 bucks.

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Cabbage is great. Holds up well to a cook/reheat, and can be cooked an infinite number of ways to adapt to any dish.

I love a classic red wine cabbage--red wine, RW vinegar, touch of sugar, salt, onion, and finish with some grated green apple. Really good stuff--great with pork and duck especially.

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I like the flavorful cuts of beef that you don't always see...hanger, flank, even beef heart has alot of flavor. Braised anything is nice--we do duck legs, short ribs, and veal shank--as it imparts taste and great texture.

Our chef usually saves scraps from our filet chains and turns them into ravioli when he's got enough. Money, baby.

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I love hangar steak, one of my favs, but it's starting to be trendy and come up in price a bit. A shame because it used to be DIRT cheap.

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In addition to the ones already mentioned here, anyone have more ideas for low-cost meats? In particular, I'm looking for a nice cut of pork that would take well to a few days of Zuni-style cure, but all inexpensive meat ideas are interesting to me.

I like the idea of low-cost ingredients prepared in a loving, relatively labor intensive fashion.

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I think the key to inexpensive good food is to shop for it daily/weekly. If you are not trapped by a menu you can save a great deal of money on veggies, fruit and sides by only buying what is on sale. Even the meat market goes up and down--braised meats are more expensive in the winter--opposite for tender cuts.

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I do a butter poached chicken breast which is quite cheap. Although I garnish the dish with shaved truffles. The Chicken costs me 93 cents but the truffles cost $4. In the week I sell a very good amount of salmon. The trim from the salmon is cured and smoked, which goes into a very popular brunch item, the smoked salmon scrambled eggs. We charge $18 for the dish which has a food cost of maybe $3, my Masters are pleased with that one. We also had a burger in the summer that was made entirely out of Angus and Elk Trim. The burger cost us nothing and was a hot seller on the patio. Although the Elk runs $87 the Kilo. So its all about balance.

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If you are building your menu correctly, any portion cut meat should have the weight of the trim included into the menu price. This makes anything produced with the meat trim pure profit. In other words, if it takes you 7 ounces of salmon to make one 6 ounce portion, your guest should be paying for 7, giving you one ounce of free salmon.

If you produce fish trim, save it up in the freezer and use it in a chowder, bouillabaisse, fish cake, etc. If you portion your own steaks, save up the trim for grinding, beef stew, or a pot pie.

Nothing beats free money.

-- Matt.

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