Tag: Wholesale Meat

4 Delicious Gravy Reductions That Start With Quality Meat

There are two types of gravies that are prepared in a commercial kitchen.  The first is a powder-based gravy that mixes with hot water for an instant garnish.  Depending on the quality of the instant gravy, they can taste good (particularly if the Chef augments it with some custom flavoring).

The second kind of gravy tastes the best.  It is the kind that is made from scratch in the kitchen, using authentic, flavorful meat drippings and natural fats, combined with a little cornstarch for thickening and custom seasonings.

Can you tell the difference between a powdered instant gravy mix and an authentic scratch-made gravy, with fresh seasonings? If you are a Chef or cook you definitely can taste the difference; and so, can your restaurant patrons.  At Miami Beef® we are fans of the ‘real thing’ and know how easy it is to create delicious scratch gravies to serve with our succulent steaks and chops.

We’d like to share 5 amazing gravies and reductions that you can try in your own restaurant.  For au jus to a thick beautiful gravy, in just a few steps using the drippings that you are already creating on reserve in the kitchen.

1. Southern White Gravy

One of the things you may not know unless you have traveled extensively through the American southern states is that brown gravy is very much an east coast and west coast thing.  When you ask for gravy in New York, you will be provided with a beef-based dark brown gravy for your meat.

In the American South, however, gravy takes on a whole new consistency, appearance, and flavor.  Known as Southern Gravy, or Country Gravy, it is a thicker consistency (similar to pudding) and it is white in color with flecks of black from the cracked pepper it is seasoned with.

Southern white gravy is served on chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken strips.  In fact, Americans from the deep south love their peppery thick white gravy so much, it is popular breakfast food.  You may have heard it called ‘biscuits and gravy’, and it is literally hot English muffin style breakfast bread, with a side order of bacon or sausage, and smothered in the thick white gravy.

Check out this recipe for Southern White Gravy.

2. Smoked Paprika Garlic Gravy

This recipe is for an easy but delicious poultry gravy that can be used on chicken or turkey.   The seasonings include smoked red paprika for a rich deep smoky flavor, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and chicken stock.

If you want to make a better-tasting poultry gravy, create your own chicken stock from drippings.  Simply take roasted or baked chicken reserve and strain it to remove any large pieces of skin or meat.  Next, take that reserve and place it into a saucepot, and add a 30% volume of hot water.  Stir the drippings until the stock appears consistent and well blended.   You will get a dense and delicious flavor with real poultry drippings than any commercial chicken stock.

Find the recipe for this spicy and interesting gravy here.

 3. Spicy or Savory Indian Gravy

If you love Indian foods like chicken curry or tikka masala, you are probably a fan of the delicious Indian gravy.  From region to region in India, the recipe for the standard gravy doesn’t really change that much.   It includes garlic, ginger paste, coriander, cumin and turmeric, pureed tomatoes, and lots of onion.

Try this recipe for a low fuss but delicious Indian gravy.

4. Beef Burgundy Sauce

Many people believe that the best method of creating a beef burgundy sauce is from standard beef stock.  But when you are preparing beef burgundy as a dish, you want to make sure the full flavor of the beef is present in the sauce (not just in the meat) when you serve it.

You can deglaze any roasted beef pan and condense a great Jus into a burgundy sauce, in just a few easy steps.  You will need about 1 cup of burgundy wine (typically a Cabernet Sauvignon is used) to complement the beef dish and create a succulent sauce.  When adding mushrooms, you want a woodsy full-bodied flavor, so the first choice is portabella mushrooms, or even a combination of portabella and Chanterelle mushrooms, which have a pleasant light pepper tastes that compliments roasted beef and red wine.

We like this version of the Beef Burgundy recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

Tips for Deglazing a Pan

This is one of the tricks you first learn in Chef’s school, which is to take a meat roasting pan and deglaze it to derive all the natural fats and flavors and create a risk au jus or thickened gravy.  But how do you know when you should serve meat with a light au jus, versus a thicker consistency gravy instead?

Jus (pronounced zhoo) is the process where the drippings from roasted meat are heated and allowed to condense, often without adding any additional seasonings.  During preparation, the intention is to retain the natural flavors of the meat and let the sauce thicken slightly. A jus is still going to be a thinner consistency than a traditional gravy, but the sauce is strained with wire mesh to avoid any bits of cooked meat or roasted skin.

What is Au Jus vs. Gravy?

Gravy, on the other hand, requires some doctoring.  First, the jus is removed from the pan, and then it is combined usually with some starch to allow it to thicken over low heat.  Red or white wine and other seasonings may be added to augment the flavor; a gravy can be a compliment to the meat being served by tasting slightly different and accentuating rather than blending in with the meat flavors.  Some traditional gravies include a large amount of salted butter, which also enhances the flavor and seasoning of the meat.

To create Au Jus, the deglazing method requires only a small amount of hot water.  No other kinds of stock are used because the goal is to preserve the original flavor of the meat drippings.  When deglazing a pan for a gravy, many Chefs opt to use white or red wine, stirring up the bottom of the pan to loosen fragments of meat that will be included in the gravy.  Flour or corn starch is added to thicken the gravy.


Take Pork Chops to the Gourmet Level at Your Restaurant

For some restaurant diners, there is nothing better than a thick juicy steak.  But when you want to order something different, an equally thick and juicy well-grilled pork chop is a whole new level of delicious.

We think that in general, restaurants put more effort into creating delicious steak entrees, but when it comes to the humble pork chop, there isn’t always that same commitment to creativity.  Is that why steaks are more popular than pork chops?  Because they tend to come with more interesting side-dishes, au jus, and other options?

We would like to share a little homage to quality pork.  There are many ways to create really delicious menu items for your customers that center around a premium cut of pork meat.  So, we got to work and decided to research some trendy and delicious ideas for our foodservice customers, to help you create some new and tasty pork dishes for your menu.

The Cadillac of Pork Meat Comes from England: Why Berkshire Pork is the Pinnacle of Excellence

When you ask the average consumer about different types of pork meat, they generally think of the pork chop or pork shoulder roast, ribs (bone-in) on the grill, and of course sausage and breakfast links or patties.  But there is one type of pork meat that few people have tasted.  And boy, are you missing out, if you have never tried the ultra-premium authentic Berkshire Pork.

You may be thinking that if you have tried one portion of pork, you have tried them all.  Berkshire Pork is recognized throughout the world as the most premium type of pork meat.  Bred exclusively and raised since the early 1800s, the Berkshire pig was raised in England.  In fact, the breed was originally raised and popularized by Queen Victoria, who owned the first boar to be recorded in the breed registry; a male by the name of Ace of Spades.

The unique coloration of the Berkshire pig denotes the authenticity of the bloodline, with an almost completely black coat, with 3-4 white socks, and a white underbelly. The origin of the breed goes back to a cross between the Chinese and Siamese pigs, introduced by British colonialists. The Japanese bred an exclusive line of pigs called the Kurobuta, which much like the Kobe and Wagyu premium beef, featured tender well-marbled meat.  In fact, Berkshire meat is often referred to as the ‘Wagyu of Pork’.

Berkshire pigs by traditional agricultural method, are permitted to be free-range, and they are provided with a natural fat-rich diet of corn, nuts, clover, apples, and milk.  The breed is still selectively produced, and in the United States, stock of Berkshire pigs are still in the direct lineage of the original breed developed by Japan and Britain.

Miami Beef® is pleased to offer premium, authentic Berkshire pork for our commercial customers.  Contact us for more information about the luxury cut, and delicious pork patties that can be served as an alternative to beef or poultry burgers.

Proper Restaurant Marinade and Grilling Methods for Fresh Pork

How your marinade your pork before oven or grilling, makes a big difference.  Pork meat has a higher level of fat compared to poultry or many cuts of beef, and that soluble fat is also able to absorb and retain flavors very well.  That means with a little creativity, your pork chops can take on some incredibly creative and internationally inspired flavors.

Speaking of international flavors, here are some creative ways you can experiment with amazing flavors for grilled pork chops in your establishment.

  • Sweet and savory pineapple and fresh ginger
  • Maple Dijon marinade
  • Balsamic vinegar and red pepper marinade
  • Curried yogurt Mediterranean marinade
  • Adobo pork marinade
  • Beer and mustard pork marinade
  • Chuquibambino style grilling marinade for pork


Plan to create about ½ cup of marinade per 1 lb. of prepared pork meat. The best method of margination is an airtight seal or container.  Oxidation of meat can impact freshness, and open-air can dilute the margination process.  Plan to marinate your pork for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, for best results.

You can also prepare bulk marinade packages of pork for the freezer, for up to a three-month period. Tip: make sure you thoroughly disperse the marinade in the refrigerator first for 24 hours before freezing, to allow the marinade to saturate the meat.

What Kind of Sauces and Side Dishes Deliciously Pair With Quality Pork?

In Britain and Canada, it is common for pork chops that are grilled or baked, to be served with hot apple sauce.  You can’t go wrong when you pair the moist and somewhat salty flavor of pork with fresh fruit compotes, jellies, grilled fruits or sauces.  And you’ll also notice that a large number of retail barbeque sauces for pork also include a sweet fruit composition.

Some of the best and most delicious fruits that enhance the flavor of pork include:

  • Raspberry sauce
  • Grilled apples or apple sauce
  • Blackberry sage sauce
  • Peach sauce
  • Fresh rosemary and balsamic strawberry sauce

Get creative with your menu and combine your delicious pork chops with some uncommon side dishes that are also perennial favorites.  Like this recipe for Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin from The Food Network, or this amazingly rich Butternut Squash with Onions and Pecan healthy side dish.  Polenta is the perfect side for a spicy pork portion; try this recipe for Oven Polenta with Mushrooms and Thyme.


We hope we have provided you with some fresh and delicious new ideas to innovate new pork menu items for your foodservice establishment.  Stuck for some economical ideas regarding healthy proteins to add to your menu? Contact our team at Miami Beef® for some expert advice.  We serve the global foodservice industry.


Creative Marketing to Stimulate Curbside Pick-Up

Restaurants and foodservice establishments that want to increase their takeout or curbside pick up revenue have to research new strategies to stimulate non-dining room orders.  Did you know that your profitability per order increases when it is takeout, delivery, or curbside pick-up?  That is part of the reason why the foodservice sector has seen so many successful ghost kitchens emerge in urban areas.  No dining room means lower manpower and overall operational costs and a higher profit margin.

  1. Create a Dedicated Take Out Area to Expedite In-Out Customer Traffic

Intelligent foot traffic design should be your top priority.  Put yourself in the shoes of your takeout customer.  They have called ahead and placed their order, and they have found a parking spot convenient enough to run into your establishment, process payment (if they haven’t done so already) and then leave with their food.

Now imagine that the dining room seating line or reception area is crowded with people waiting for a table.  And that crowd just happens to be standing in the exact same area as pick up orders are processed (at the cash register/reception desk).  So now, your takeout order isn’t so convenient, and it involves a waiting time that is comparable to the time they would have spent being seated to dine inside the restaurant.  That doesn’t work for customers in a rush.

Many restaurants have chosen to reconfigure their layout to provide an express pick up window or line for their takeout customers.  Not only is this express line fast, but you want to make sure you have experienced staff serving customers there, to double-check orders, deal with missing items or any other service issues promptly (without holding up the takeout processing time).

For restaurants that are smaller in terms of square footage and floor space, having a portable heated food warmer and storage cart is valuable.  If orders are clearly marked, the cart with prepared takeout meals can be situated near the front door, where your staff can quickly retrieve and then process the orders for your customers.

  1. Provide Alternative Payment Options

Customers that want to call ahead for a takeout order want prompt and easy service.  If they wanted to spend a great deal of time in the restaurant, they would opt to eat in the dining room instead.   It is important to offer the kind of expedited alternative payment options that your customers want.

Some customers prefer PayPal because they don’t use a traditional bank and can make a digital transaction easily from their smartphone.  Some may use other popular mobile payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay (which are becoming increasingly more popular due to low transaction fees compared to traditional debit cards).

Many consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to the cost of digital monetary transactions.  A dollar or two every time they use their debit card definitely starts to add up on a monthly basis, if they prefer to use a card versus cash.  Give them another affordable and fast processing alternative to pay for their order conveniently, and you’ll find those takeout or curbside pick-up customers returning more often.

  1. Time Your Orders Perfectly to Keep Food Fresh and Hot

All it takes is one bad experience with takeout to ensure that the customer will never order curbside pick up or takeout from your establishment again.   The top complaint from consumers about takeout is the temperature of the food.  When the customer picks up the order, it should be as fresh as it would be if it was served tableside to the diner.

While meats and vegetables tend to retain heat well, other types of food such as bread and salads can suffer some integrity loss, if they are prepared too quickly or queued in heated storage.  A warm salad is probably not the side dish that most customers would like with their meal, nor do they want soggy appetizers or entrees.

There are a variety of food scheduling tools, computer displays, and applications that can help prep teams ensure that they are timing the production of orders correctly to optimize quality and customer satisfaction at the time of pick up.  No one wins if a customer cancels an order.

  1. Dedicate Two Parking Spaces for Curbside Pick-Up Convenience

If you have a dining room and parking lot, it may be time to designate a couple spots by the front door to facilitate quick curbside pick-up for your customers.   How much of a difference can these designated spots make for a restaurant?

Consider your customer experience if they have to drive around for several minutes before they can find a parking spot, allowing them to run in and pick up their food order.  Not particularly convenient right?  And if they are in a rush, the whole benefit of calling ahead to promptly pick up food and head home may be lost.

While legal requirements for designated spots for special needs customers near the building must be accommodated, sometimes finding 1-2 extra parking spaces for food pick up orders can be a challenge.  But protecting that valuable space for pick up orders can be one of the best investments you make to bolster your restaurant takeout revenue.


Other successful marketing tactics target increased takeout or curbside food pick up orders on non-peak times and days of the week.  For example, if your restaurant has slower than normal traffic on Monday and Tuesday evenings, that is the perfect time to add a loyalty incentive for your customers.  Something like a free appetizer with every order over a specified dollar value, which is valid for takeout orders only.  Some restaurants have even developed their own loyalty app, that tracks the number of takeout orders the customer receives, and then rewards them with a discount, or a coupon for a free beverage or dessert.

Restaurant owners that consider their takeout or curbside pick up to be a unique and almost separate revenue source, are able to optimize that workflow that is required to have a successful order, production, and pick up methodology.  It’s a science; but if you are able to figure it out and master it, the result is increased profitability and sales for your restaurant.   And positive word of mouth (WOM) advertising from happy takeout customers.

What Does It Take for Restaurants to Offer Brazilian Style Steak Service?

Carving meat off a skewer, removed from a grill, and shared communal style? That is a tradition that goes back to our earliest human cultures and shared around the world.  It is, for all intents and purposes, the original way to barbeque a meal.

Even though this tradition of serving carved meat from skewer to plate touches virtually every culture around the world, it is Brazil that has laid claim to the method of grilling and food service.  If you have ever traveled to a South American country, it is an exciting experience to be in an authentic steak house and has so many options (literally) walking around the restaurant, waiting to be carved with a sharp blade onto your plate.

Piping hot, juicy and tender meat. It’s a mouth-watering delicious thought, which is why the United States is seeing a surge of new Brazilian Steakhouse franchises and independently owned restaurants popping up from coast to coast.

In this article, we wanted to share a few insights about what it takes for a restaurant to create a side-menu of Brazilian style steak or a full-service South American steakhouse.  We’ll talk about the quality of meat, marbling, and the preferred grilling methods, equipment, and other essentials for restaurant owners.

Start with the Right Selections of Meat for Brazilian Steak House Grilling and Table Service

Because our team at Miami Beef actually supplies many South American restaurants, hotels, and five-star entertainment venues, our family has traveled extensively through Brazil and other countries to explore how steak and chops are prepared in the traditional Churrascaria method.

One of the cultural aspects of dining in a Brazilian steakhouse is that it can be less formal and more intimate and personalized.  Authentic Brazilian restaurants that service in the Churrascaria tradition are about communal dining; it’s about sharing a large amount of food with family and friends.  And of course, it is also about the variety of meat that you can sample and dine on, in a Brazilian restaurant.

It is not just one type of steak, but many different seasonings and marinades, as well as other types of meat including poultry and pork.  Spicy, sweet, savory?  It’s all there to sample as the meat waiter goes from table to table, carving the sizzling hot meats onto the plate.

What kind of cuts of meat are most conducive to the Churrascaria or Brazilian Steakhouse style of tableside carving service?  There are five authentic types of meat (including beef) that have different seasonings in the traditional grilling style.

  1. Pkanha

This is the juiciest and most delicious cut (in our opinion) at an authentic Brazilian Steakhouse. The cut is a beef sirloin cap, which has a unique crescent shape of top sirloin.  What makes it extra juicy and full of rich beef flavor? There is a ‘cap’ of fat on the top of each piece.  As the meat grills, that fat naturally hydrates the meat to provide a tender and flavorful finish.

  1. Fraldinha

This cut is a more marbled sirloin, cut from the bottom, and resembles more the cuts of beef that are typically used in tacos and steak salads.   What is nice about Fraldinha is that the marbleized fat also makes for a tender portion of meat, hot off the Brazilian grill and skewer.

  1. Maminha

For individuals who do not like the fatty flavors, the Maminha style of Brazilian beef is a little dryer, and virtually free of fat.  It’s a red lean cut bottom sirloin. This kind of meat is generally served with a dipping sauce and may have a stronger flavor as the lean quality of the meat requires extra margination time and preparation.

  1. Cordeiro

This can be either a full leg of lamb, grilled in state, and carved tableside from the skewer, or it can be a large heavy sword of meat, comprised of layered tender lamb chops.  In a Brazilian steakhouse, the lamb is typically prepared Latin or Italian style, which means heavy use of fresh garlic, pepper, salt, and olive oil marinade.

In some Brazilian steakhouse restaurants, the drippings from the Cordeiro are prepared into a rich and thick gravy, which is then served with crusty bread on the side with the carved meat, and a salad or grilled vegetables.

  1. Linquka

There is a lot of variety in the Linquka.  It is always a pork sausage, but it can be a cured version and then grilled with spices like paprika and garlic, or it could be a mild fresh or smoked sausage.   It can be carved onto the plate or served with rice and grilled vegetables.

Authentic side dishes that are served in Brazilian steakhouses include beans, rice, polenta, cinnamon fried bananas, Pão De Queijo, garlic mashed potatoes, hot crusty bread and rolls, and oil and vinaigrette-based salads.

And don’t forget to offer the national cocktail of Brazil to your menu; the caipirinha (kai-purr-REEN-yah).  Get the recipe for the cocktail from The Spruce Eats.  Remember that most authentic Brazilian steakhouse models include a Prix fix menu for ‘all you can eat’.

What Kind of Equipment Does a Restaurant Need to Offer Brazilian Style Steak?

Unless you plan to make your business model an exclusive Brazilian style steakhouse, there are easy ways to incorporate this style of dining with your current menu.  Consider that for large groups, the Brazilian steakhouse experience or table service would be ideal.  Also, if your restaurant provides onsite catering (or private dining rooms) it could be an exceptional experience for your customers and a strong new revenue source for your business.

A large-scale rotisserie is required that can accommodate the industrial skewers (both large or group sized portions and individual serving sizes). Unlike a standard chicken rotisserie, the Brazilian style indoor grilling unit will be open in the front to allow for full-length lateral grilling and turning of the spit skewers.  Some high end commercial indoor rotisseries have automatic features to keep the skewers on rotation.

We’ve also seen smaller restaurants with countertop versions, offering Brazilian steakhouse-style menu options as weekly specials.  It is possible to integrate it as a reserved menu item and test it with your customer base before investing in a large indoor grill.

If you enjoyed the insights, we’ve shared about Brazilian steakhouse menu items, methods, and tradition, we’d love to hear your comments.  Email us at info@miamibeef.com or leave us a comment below.

How to Make a Signature Burger for Your Restaurant

Go into any restaurant in America and we virtually guarantee you will see a hamburger (or two) on the menu.  Did you know that every year, Americans consume more than 50 billion burgers per year? That works out to be about 150 burgers per person, per year!  So, it’s safe to say that burgers are definitely America’s favorite food.

Have you ever wondered why people order hamburgers at a restaurant, when they could order other things that they can’t prepare at home?  The truth is that restaurant burgers are typically not that different than frozen or fresh options for consumers in the grocery store.  But it is how the burger is prepared at their favorite restaurant, and how it arrives at the table that impresses diners.

You see, when you grill a burger at home, you may not have all the ingredients (or the time) to prepare one that is restaurant quality; stacked high with all the delicious toppings.  And so, when burger fans come to a restaurant, they want the ultimate burger experience.  And that means the traditional sides, and incredible toppings.

Many restaurants go the extra mile and create their own signature burgers.  A small selection of house made patties and toppings that is completely unique to their establishment.  In some cases, restaurants offer it as a LTO or limited time offer, but there are many benefits and ways your business can capitalize on a signature burger for your restaurant.

Choosing an Uncommon Patty like American Kobe or Wagyu

When you want to make a statement on your menu, start with an uncommon burger that will get your customers talking?  Premium American Style Kobe burgers stand above the standard patty, with a more rich flavor and superior marbling of the meat, which provides an incredibly juicy bite.

Customers see Kobe beef more often in the grocery stores, but it is still premium priced which means that average American doesn’t grill a lot of it at home.   In short, American Kobe has intrigue and everyone definitely wants to try it, making it a perfect new addition to your hamburger menu.

Another option to explore is the ultra-premium Wagyu beef.  Authentic wagyu is actually quite rare, and you can’t find it generally in your local grocery store.   So, like American Kobe (and even more so) the Wagyu beef burger on your menu would be an exciting addition that your customers would love to explore.

Take Your Wagyu Burger Over the Top with Toppings

When you choose ultra-premium Wagyu for your restaurant menu, you want to think about the kind of toppings you plan to include.  The sensation and flavors of this highest quality beef shouldn’t be masked by standard condiments; no one should really put ketchup on a Wagyu burger if they want to enjoy the full experience of the world-class beef.

But Wagyu can compliment gourmet and high-quality burger toppings.  How would you dress a Wagyu or American Kobe patty for culinary success?  We’d like to share some mouth-watering suggestions with you.

  • Grilled poblanos (trust us)
  • Grilled pineapple or pear
  • Bacon
  • Blue Cheese
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Caramelized onions
  • Grilled red onion
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Swiss cheese
  • Smoked gouda cheese
  • Muenster

With premium American Kobe or Wagyu beef as the base of your gourmet restaurant burger, it’s hard to go wrong with virtually any robust topping.  Just remember to keep the flavor focus on the tender beef of the premium patty.

How to Grill Wagyu and American Kobe Burgers

You don’t need a special grill in your kitchen or surface to prepare Wagyu or American Kobe burgers.  They cook with the same ease as other frozen or fresh burgers.   However, you will want to make sure that the internal temperature is 160°F for food safety purposes.   Undercooking any kind of beef burger can cause food borne bacteria health risks.

One step that many gourmet chef’s do when preparing a Wagyu burger is to let the patty rest under a lid without heat, to allow the natural juices to proliferate through meat, before placing it on a bun and garnishing with amazing toppings.  That’s the secret to an even juicier Wagyu or American Kobe beef burger.


Did you know that every year, our team at Miami Beef® produce millions of pounds of hamburgers and patties for our commercial wholesale meat customers?   All patties we produce in our USDA Regulated Headquarter plant are available fresh or individually quick-frozen (IQF).  We ship nationally and to international customers, supply institutional food service providers, and the hotel and hospitality industry.

After the past 100 years, you could say we learned a thing or two about creating delicious, healthy and nutritious beef patties and flavors that consumers enjoy.  If you would like to explore our Private Label services to create your own brand, or a specific burger seasoned precisely to your specifications for your restaurant or franchise, contact our team to learn more.


Red Carpet Luxury Burger Ideas for Restaurant Menus

The hamburger might be the most iconic official food of America.  In every restaurant setting from fast-casual to five-star fine dining, you will find at least two different hamburgers on the menu. No matter what clientele you serve at your restaurant, it’s important to create some delicious options that exceed expectations, that can become a best-selling entrée.  Because burger fans enjoy experiencing a quality hamburger, you can enhance their dining experience by innovating your own signature burgers.  All it takes are some quality ingredients, and inspiration to create that uncommon masterpiece, to give diners something to Instagram and share with their family and friends.

Where do you start? We’ll share some tips for cultivating your own classic and gourmet burgers that are unique to your establishment.  Miami Beef® has been the research and development team and wholesale resource for some of the best-known burgers across the United States.  And we’re ready to help you develop your next sales leading burger entrée.

Upscale Your Ground Beef Blend with Kobe or Wagyu

Want to create a burger that is a cut above the rest? Start by changing the composition of the ground beef you start with.  Standard chuck or lean ground beef provides good results, but if you really want to create an exceptional flavor, explore using a blend or 100% Kobe or Wagyu beef.

What is the big deal about Kobe beef?  American style Kobe reaches back thousands of years, where the several varieties of black Japanese cattle were selected and exclusively bred as a delicacy.  The desirable qualities of Kobe beef include a tender well marbled meat. The marbled fat that is trademark for American Style Kobe beef holds much of the rich beef flavors that are released during cooking.

The higher the quality of beef the more pronounced the flavor. If you are ready to innovate some luxury burger items for your menu, start with quality and uncommon ground beef and explore exciting toppings that enhance the rich taste of American Style Kobe or Wagyu.

Choosing the Right Bun and Bread Preparation

There is a lot of anticipation when a customer bites into a large juicy scratch burger, nestled in a fresh roll or bun.  Create your luxury burger from the bun-up by being selective about the kind of flavor and presentation you are providing and choose an uncommon bun to differentiate your menu item from your competitors.

There is nothing more delicious than a fresh home baked burger bun.  If your establishment has the capacity to bake your own buns, not only will you add the flavor of your gourmet burger, but you’ll set yourself apart with a signature bun.  It’s not hard when you explore recipes that provide that perfect combination of a textured exterior and soft interior bread.  Remember to stick to recipes that are designed for sandwiches with many toppings, to avoid sogginess.

Here are some scratch bun recipes to consider:

Health conscious consumers want to make a better choice, when it comes to commercial bread and carbohydrate consumption.  There are some great wholesale and retail providers that have created gluten free, and grain free burgers that are low in carbohydrates, and high in fiber.  Once example is the KNOW Better Buns, which provide 16g of protein per bun, 12g of fiber and less than 4g of carbohydrate per serving.

Get Inspired by International Gourmet Burger Toppings

 Quality beef burgers are the ultimate canvas for so many layered and sensational flavors.  When you look at some of the most expensive gourmet burgers in the world, you can start to see how outrageous (and delicious) burger toppings can be!

 Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

  • fresh mustard greens
  • grilled poblano peppers
  • basted and grilled prawns (surf and turf!)
  • Gruyere and fried egg
  • Candied jalapenos
  • Crabmeat and cocktail sauce
  • Feta and cucumber sauce
  • Chocolate coated bacon
  • Pickled mushrooms
  • Spicy beer mustard
  • Brisket and BBQ sauce

Ready to innovate your next sales leading gourmet menu item? Talk to our hamburger experts at Miami Beef®.  We have a full research and development team to help you customize the size, shape and seasonings in your burger.

We offer a variety of uncommon blends of ground beef for commercial food service customers, including:

  • Wagyu
  • American Style Kobe
  • Beef and Chicken
  • Pure Beef
  • Pure Veal
  • Black Angus
  • Pure Turkey
  • Beef and Soy blends

For scratch burger preparation, we provide our quality ground meat in four convenient sizes, from an 8 oz. log to 10 lb. bulk portions of fresh (never frozen) meat.  When you are creating exciting new gourmet menu items, start with Miami Beef®.

Balancing Healthy Restaurant Portions While Keeping Customers Happy

Portion control is an exact science.  One of the reasons that fast-food franchises are so successful, is that they have mastered the art of portion control.  They can reduce waste by being precise about the execution of preparation, how long it takes to cook each snack or entrée, and you can count on the same portion size in fast-food chains, no matter which location you visit.

Portion control is the most important aspect (beyond promotion) to your profit margin as a restaurant owner.  Not only do consumers care about the value they are receiving for the price they are paying for your food (and expect consistency), but it impacts inventory costs as well.

Miami Beef® has earned a reputation for quality, food safety and excellent customer service as a family owned meat processor, for almost 100 years.  Our long-term relationships with food service providers (from fast-food franchises to fast-casual restaurants and independent dining establishments) has allowed us to develop state-of-the-art portion control.

We’d like to share some tips and considerations for restaurant owners, hotel and hospitality, and institutional food providers such as educational organizations, to demonstrate how costs can be controlled (without reducing quality) with food portion control.

Quality vs. Quantity: An Important Shift is Happening Again in Food Service

Portion sizes in the United States are starting to undergo another revolution, that is being led by consumers who want to prioritize their health.  To demonstrate how much portion sizes have changed in the United States in the past 60 years, you have to take a look back to what a reasonable portion size was a home, and at restaurants for American consumers.

Every aspect of food service and manufacturing has been super-sized in the last few decades.  To illustrate what those changes look like, and how they have contributed to unhealthy eating habits and obesity, check out some of these interesting examples:

  • Hamburgers are now 23% larger
  • American dinnerware plates used to be 6” in diameter. Today, they average between 10” to an oversized 12” plate.
  • Mexican food servings are 27% larger per entrée
  • Soft drink serving sizes at restaurants are now 52% bigger
  • Dried snack servings (chips, popcorn, pretzels) are 60% larger
  • Bagels used to be 3” in diameter and about 140 calories. Today, they have doubled to an average of 6” in diameter and 360 calories per serving.

In fact, according to researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the only food type that hasn’t grown significantly in serving size is the pizza.  But if you have every had a Chicago or authentic New York slice, you might beg to differ.

As the food service industry began charging more for fast-food or dine-in meals, they felt pressure to add value for the customer, by increasing the quantity of food that was being provided.  This is where consumers first began to expect large portions of food, for a reasonable price, and measure their satisfaction with the restaurant based on portion sizes.

The most important conversation left out in that shift in consumer preference, was quality.  For instance, if the proteins on the plate (which are healthier but less cost effective for the restaurant) are small in terms of portion size, restaurants learned to compensate by adding economical side dishes.  That’s how we ended up at a junction where up to 50% of a plate in a fast-food or fast-casual diner or restaurant can be French fries. They are low cost, fast to prepare, and visually appealing to the customer because they fill a bulk area on the plate to increase perceived value.

The complicated relationship with ‘portion distortion’ followed, and large portions became almost competitively necessary for restaurants to survive. It inadvertently created an unintended impact on consumers; it increased both portion expectation and the amount of food that Americans began to consume daily.

Because we are all more aware today than ever before, about the health consequences and risks of obesity and high-carbohydrate diets, there is an important shift starting that returns to our moderate portion habits of the 60’s and 70’s.   Health conscious consumers value quality, instead of quantity.  They are nutritionally focused at home and make the same choices when they dine out.  They can actually be deterred by huge portion sizes (particularly of low nutritional value foods like potatoes, rice or bread).

How Restaurants Can Make the Switch to Quality Ingredients and Healthy Portion Sizes

Every profitable and successful restaurant kitchen we know, has a quality food scale right in the middle of the preparation area.  Portion control during ingredient preparation is critical to ensure the same consistent presentation for customers by menu item.  It also means consistent preparation and cooking time, and quality control that helps protect the profit margin for every entrée or appetizer served.

If you are planning a menu, consider that moderation is actually a marketable benefit for these health minded customers.  Provide the nutritional information on the menu or on-table kiosk, to help your customers make informed decisions.  Remind them of recommended portion sizes and which menu items adhere to healthy serving size guidelines.

Your wholesale meat supplier is an important part of your portion control and profitability strategy as a food service provider or restaurant owner.  Learn more about the steps we take at Miami Beef® to ensure the quality and consistency of the wholesale meat we provide our commercial customers, and contact us to learn more about national and international supply services we offer.



7 Ways That Restaurants Can Reduce Food Costs

The restaurant industry is competitive, and when it comes to surviving and thriving in most markets, controlling costs and operational expenses is key. The most expensive single area that can be impacted to help increase profitability are food costs, and we’d like to share seven ways your business can focus on economy, to help you grow.

  1. Constantly Calculate Your Food Cost Ratios

Pricing is a mathematical equation that starts with two important factors; what the menu item actually costs to prepare and deliver to the customer, and what the customer views to be a fair and competitive price for the meal.

Balancing the two ratios is an ongoing challenge.  Naturally, consumers would like to pay as little as possible for a quality meal.  However, when your customers know that they are receiving a delicious and nutritious meal, it is easier to justify the price threshold you need to protect your profit margins.

Because food costs can vary due to competitive production factors, supply and demand, increased shipping and delivery and other factors, the exercise of calculating food cost ratios on all menu items should be done on a monthly basis.

Visit Toast for a good resource page and free Food Cost Ratio Calculator.  The article is informative and will take you through a step-by-step process of accurately measuring your food cost per serving and how to maintain a record of trends to plan your meat and produce purchasing more efficiently.

  1. Digital Tablet Menus and Signage

We have all been to restaurants and witnessed how digital tablet menus and signage are being increasingly used by both fast-casual and fast-food establishments.  What are some of the savings that business owners can expect by switching to this type of menu?

When wait staff take an order verbally, there are always a percentage of the customer orders and preferences that are not communicated accurately to the kitchen.  The result? The customer sends back the entrée and items, and the kitchen must prepare again (from scratch).  This results in a loss of production time and doubles the cost to the restaurant owner.

Studies have shown that the digital kiosks for ordering on the table reduce order error by as much as 60%.  That is a big improvement.  Not only that, but it helps reduce verbal order time at the table, and customers enjoy seeing a digital menu of all their options.  It is also easier to display specials and flash-sale items to customers.

  1. Maintain an Accurate Inventory

Theft is an unfortunate but very real aspect of food service management, and it can get expensive for business owners when staff over-indulge in food (during their shifts), or in some of the extreme cases, when kitchen workers leave the premises with supplies.

Security is a priority for any establishment, not only in the customer service area but in the staff areas and food preparation centers.  Many restaurants include inventory as a once daily record keeping activity that sous chefs are required to complete at the end of their shift.  This helps to reconcile the daily volume of meat, fresh produce and other ingredients with the sales receipts for the day.  It also makes it easy to detect when food delivery orders are shorted (have all deliveries reviewed by a staff member for accuracy before accepting the invoice).

  1. Leverage Seasonal Menu Specials

Certain cuts of meat and entrees have a more seasonal appeal.  For instance, during the hot days of summer, restaurant guests are less likely to order a pot roast entrée than they are a fresh grilled steak with a side salad.  Or a fire grilled scratch made burger.

When selecting your meat and ingredients, consider the seasonality of your order and look for opportunities to purchase discounted ingredients during the time of year when that produce is more readily available.  Tweak your menu to capitalize on specials that will offer you a boost in profit margin, thanks to the reduced cost of in-season produce.

  1. Choose Prime Vendors and Wholesale Partners

When you have a relationship of integrity with your wholesale partners for meat and produce, you can rely on their advice regarding quality products.  Using the same wholesale vendor can also help you earn a volume discount as a weekly or monthly customer.

Don’t let price alone dictate which wholesale food providers you use.  It’s not a good deal for your business if the meat that arrives is at or close to expiration date.  Or if there are food safety issues and concerns that can jeopardize the health of your customers and create a legal liability problem.

Choose meat and produce food suppliers that have an established reputation for quality and service and ask them for advice on cost saving or seasonal products and opportunities for you to innovate higher profit margin entrée items.

  1. Reduce Waste

From the menu items to you prepare to the way you process your ingredients, there are many important steps to help your restaurant reduce profitability loss associated with food waste.  A new study conducted by the USDA in 2018 revealed that the restaurant industry loses $2 billion dollars in profits annually because of food waste.

Since food costs can account for 25% to over 30% of your overhead daily expenses, it’s important to develop a strategy that involves tight inventory control and proper food handling procedures.  What else can your business do to cut food waste?

  • Freeze bulk orders in portions that are sealed for freshness and portioned for fast food preparation.
  • Train sous chefs to cut meat and other fresh food ingredients in ways that promote freshness and reduce spoilage. Review food safety and storage requirements frequently with staff to avoid waste.
  • Don’t over-prep ingredients. Do an analysis on typical ingredients required for each food preparation station and avoid bulk pre-preparation that can cause spoilage.

Some items such as desserts can be high-cost, and as they approach their Use By date, you can offer a daily special to move those items at a reduced cost.  This also works for restaurants who have bakeries where day-old products can be sold retail to visiting customers to help recoup production costs.

  1. Create a Team Strategy with Your Staff

How many times have you asked for extra condiments, and had a restaurant drive-thru server provide you with a handful of expensive dipping sauces, creamers or other order add-on’s?  This is one small example of how employee behavior and attitude can dramatically impact your bottom line as a restaurant owner.

Hiring qualified and responsible staff is part of the success strategy for any business, from fast food to luxury restaurant establishments.  But many restaurants do not provide adequate training or go to the extra effort to foster a team effort, when it comes to saving on costs.

Having a weekly meeting or monthly meeting with your staff to review sales statistics can actually help.  Demonstrating some of the costs, and where their diligence can help can create a new attitude that will save you money.  Employers that provide recognition for cost-saving ideas or rewards for employees who routinely set a good example by putting the restaurant’s business goals first, benefit tremendously.

Remember that incentives don’t have to be expensive!  It can be a point system accruing for paid days off, an Amazon gift card or some other tangible that expresses recognition and appreciation for staff that demonstrate innovation, and that extra effort.


Balancing costs and protecting your profit margin means investing the time and effort to closely monitor the food you buy, and how it is used in your food service establishment.  If you would like more information about the quality meats available to our commercial customers, contact our team at Miami Beef®.

Let’s Celebrate the Humble Burrito: History and Menu Ideas

The first Thursday of April every year, the humble burrito is celebrated Nationally in the United States.  And while hamburgers are without a doubt, the first and most popular hand-held protein meal, you would be hard-pressed to find any city or town with at least a few restaurants that didn’t specialize in Mexican food or offer their own house burrito as an appetizer or entrée.

So, what is the big deal about burritos?  We’ve done a little research to celebrate National Burrito Day on our blog, and we’d like to share some innovative ways that your restaurant or food service establishment can embrace one of the most unofficially popular holidays of the year.

Some Fun Historical Facts You Didn’t Know About the Burrito

Hundreds of years before the first burrito was invented, the tortilla became an international sensation.  It all started in 1519 when the tortilla was discovered as an Aztec food by the Spanish conquistadors who invaded the territory now known as Mexico.   Part of the terms of surrender agreement between Hernan Cortes and the Aztecs living in region ruled by Moctezuma II, was that his troops be provided with native food to sustain them.

As you know, the Aztecs were primarily an agricultural and scientific society, and one of the crops that they raised for a variety of their foods was corn.   The cornmeal was dried and then ground into a textured flour, that was then used to make tortillas, filled with meat.  And the leaves of the corn were used to prepare ancient tamales, which included lentils and fresh vegetables.

It didn’t take long for the Spanish invaders to fall in love with the tortilla and tamales, but they began to modify the regional food to include their preference for beef, chicken and cheese.  The Spanish also introduced the Aztecs to wheat as a food resource and provided seeds that started to change their corn-based diet to include wheat.   If you have ever wondered why both corn tortillas and flour or wheat tortillas exist in parallel, that’s when the cross-cultural exchange happened.

The burrito was created for portability.  As you can imagine, eating meals in the 1500’s was vastly different than how we eat now.  It was essentially ‘fast food’ for busy farmers, warriors and workers.  For soldiers from Spain, it was a delicious and nutritionally balanced meal they could enjoy anywhere, with minimal preparation time or ingredients.

But who gets the credit for introducing the burrito to America?  It’s a hotly disputed historical mystery to be honest.  Some people believe that it originated in a north west Mexican state called Sonora, which is a wheat growing territory that is credited with the invention of the flour tortilla.

Others believe that the burrito was introduced to the United States from migrants in Chihuahua Mexico, and the revolution of 1910. History claims that there was a man named Juan Mendez who sold pre-prepared burritos while transporting his food (the first food truck?) on a small donkey.  And that the name burrito comes from the ‘burrows’ these vendors used to ride.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s when the burrito really became popular as a menu item in the United States.  The food migrated with Braceros (migrant agricultural workers) into areas like Texas and California, which are still very much “burrito and taco territory” with a preference for Mexican food unlike other states in the North East.  The managers of the Braceros were required to feed their workers, and the burrito was a convenient and nutritious food they could pack for each worker.

Today, Mexican food is so ingrained in the American culture that the sales figures would surprise you.  According to a Simmons National Customer Survey (2017) there are reportedly more than 59,000 Mexican restaurants across the United States.  They were also able to measure that over 110 million Americans ate tortillas in 2017.  That’s a lot of burritos!

How to Build a Traditional Burrito

Everyone has their own spin on creating a delicious burrito, but traditionally the burrito has been made from a corn tortilla.  Fillings can include shredded lettuce, ground beef, rice, cooked or refried beans, cheese, salsa and / or guacamole.  In Mexico however, the traditional burrito remains purist, and unless it is a tourist location (catering to a more America preference) the humble burrito consists only of a corn tortilla and refried beans, and meat mixture.

One of the most important aspects of creating a delicious burger, is starting with a freshly made scratch tortilla. While pre-made tortillas can be toasted to enhance the flavor, the fresher the better when it comes to burritos.  Customers expect the rich flavors and softness of a fresh tortilla, and value the difference in flavors.  Don’t forget to garnish with fresh cilantro too or add it as an option for your menu; it is one of the hallmarks of really authentic and quality Mexican food.

Get Creative with These Tasty New Takes on the Classic Burrito!

Since most restaurants offer (at the very least) a burrito on the appetizer menu, how can food service businesses differentiate their assortment, to pull in more repeat customers?  The meat burrito can take so many delicious forms, that all you need to do is apply a little culinary creativity and some research, to add some really innovative contemporary burritos to your restaurant or food service menu.

Idea 1: Carnitas Burritos with Poblano-Corn Salsa

Carnitas is another easy to prepare protein option for delicious and juicy burritos. Pork roasts or chops are slow cooked using mild to spicy seasonings, and then shredded by hand to preserve long strands of tender meat.  Fresh or frozen kernels of corn are mixed with the heat of both jalapeno and poblano peppers and fresh lime juice in this version that your customers would love.

Get the recipe here.

Idea 2: Chorizo Potato and Queso

Nothing says authentic Mexican cuisine quite like getting a little spicy Chorizo in the mix!  At Miami Beef® we provide a variety of ground meats and quality Chorizo sausage, and our commercial wholesale customers can even customize a unique blend of beef, or pork and chorizo.   It’s easy to create your own signature secret recipe that is unique to your establishment or chain of restaurants.

What we love about this Chorizo Potato and Queso recipe is the heartiness of the diced potato, and of course the spiciness of the Mexican sausage. Don’t forget a dusting of paprika and garlic, to really pronounce all the layers of flavor in this combination.

Get the recipe here.

Don’t overlook the value of a mini-burrito on your restaurant menu.  If your establishment offers bar service, trust us that a hearty miniature burrito (or a few different varieties) would become an instant top-seller.  It’s the ultimate satisfying hand-held meal or snack.

The Interesting History Behind Satisfying Salisbury Steak

No matter what time of the year it is, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a plate of Salisbury Steak, with the favorite stick-to-your-ribs side dishes like buttery peas and carrots, and mashed potatoes.  Don’t forget the thick beef gravy that gets poured on top.  It’s classic home-food and something that Americans enjoy both at home, and as a scratch kitchen menu item at pubs, or fast-casual restaurants and dining establishments.

What is not to love about preparing Salisbury steak? It has all the rich meaty flavors, without the extended cooking time, which means that it can be prepared quickly and without much mess.

A Close Cousin to the Hamburger

Like the name implies, we have Hamburg Germany to thank for the popularization of the hamburger patty.  In the late 19th century, sailors from German brought the delicious meal to the Port of New York, where the minced beef was smoked, lightly salted and then served along with onions and breadcrumbs as a quick hearty meal.   In 1873, historians say that you could buy a plate of Hamburg steak with all the toppings for about 11 cents.

Today, some people wince at the idea of having a hamburger for breakfast, but the truth is that in the late 1800’s it was the protein of choice to start your day.  In fact, it was such a popular health food, that hospitals even served it to patients raw or slightly cooked, with a raw egg.   Which doesn’t sound appetizing compared to our contemporary tastes, but it was a vitamin and protein rich meal at a time when proteins were both expensive to purchase, as well as difficult and time consuming to cook.

Why Is It Called ‘Salisbury Steak’ and Who Is It Named After?

Did you know that Salisbury Steak got its start as a famous food in America, when it was used as stand-by high-protein meals for soldiers during the American Civil War?  It makes sense, when you think about it, because of the nutritional content of the meat and the fast preparation time.  Not to mention that for American soldiers fighting through cold weather, it was a taste of home and comfort food during some pretty difficult conditions.

A physician named Dr. James Henry Salisbury was an early dietician and studied gastrointestinal health, digestion and nutrition in the mid 1800s. One of the most serious threats to American soldiers during the Civil War was wasting, due to malnutrition, and symptoms of chronic diarrhea.  Dr. Salisbury was convinced that while other types of food like soup and bread, and some fruits and vegetables were provided to the soldiers, it was really protein (and specifically beef) that they needed to stay healthy.

The challenge was cooking and preparing meat for the troops, as well as the increased costs of providing high-protein meals for them.   Toward the middle and end of the American Civil War, soldiers were looting communities in search of food, given the shortage of funds to supply the advancing soldiers (on both sides).

Soldiers were traditionally provided with ‘soldier biscuits’ which were dried, and which contained some fortified vegetable and fruits, but the high yeast content and the low protein content of the biscuits began to create disease.  Wounded soldiers that were nutritionally famished, didn’t heal quickly to return to active duty, and the Northern and Southern American armies were forced to start addressing the nutrition they provided to their troops (or lose the war).

During the American Civil War, Dr. Salisbury tested his theory by providing “chopped beef” which was a little easier to digest for soldiers than root vegetables and other protein sources.  After the war, he wrote a book called “The Relation of Alimentation and Disease” which could be one of the first real diet trending publications, that helped people understand the link between health and a balanced diet, which included animal proteins rich in B vitamins.

Dr. James Henry Salisbury was also one of the first physicians to indicate that animal fats were necessary for metabolic health; something that contemporary nutritionists have embraced again, after a long-time social moratorium on animal fats.

American Quality Standards for Salisbury Steak

Salisbury steak as a product, can be a mix of different proteins.  Per the United States Department of Agriculture standards, Salisbury steak must have a minimum meat content of 65%, and up to 25% of that can be derived from pork.   If the pork meat is de-fatted, the limit is 12% pork meat in the constitution of the Salisbury steak.   No more than 30% of the Salisbury steak can be fat.

Extenders or fillers can be used in Salisbury steak, which also help to reduce the cooking time in this fast-preparation protein, however meat by-products are not permitted.  Extenders may include bread crumbs, flour or oat flakes, but the limit for approved fillers is not to exceed 12% of the product volume. Soy proteins may be added but are limited to 6.8% or less by finished product volume.

The rest is a proprietary blend that depends on the processor, and that is where much of the flavor is unique and innovated to specification for commercial clients.   Special seasonings, and the addition of fresh vegetables such as onion, mushrooms or sweet peppers may be added, along with binding ingredients such as eggs, cream, buttermilk, water, vinegar or brine.

To be labeled as Salisbury steak, the product must be completely cooked.   It may not be called “hamburger patties” if it contains a blend of animal proteins and fats.  So, while you may think a Salisbury steak is just a burger with gravy on it, there is a distinctly different recipe and food standards behind it.

Most of the standards mentioned apply only to Salisbury steak produced in USDA Inspected meat processing facilities; other products may not carry the USDA inspection label.   Salisbury steak must be pre-cooked prior to being frozen, or the product label must state “Patties for Salisbury Steak”.

Add Salisbury Steak to Your Menu

The classic flavors of tender beef, or a blend of pork and beef is rich and satisfying.  When combined with the American favorite side-dish of mashed potatoes and gravy? You have the perfect comfort food, and Salisbury steak fits on just about any scratch or fast-casual menu.  It is also popular for pubs and bars, as an economical lunch special.

Make Miami Beef® your first choice in quality Salisbury steak.  Try our common blends of beef, chicken, turkey, pork and veal or explore our premium flavors of Homestyle, Italian, Economical and true Salisbury seasoned patties.