Top Pick Of The Week

June 1, 2010

. .


Outstanding Berkshire (Kurobuta) pork had rich flavor and tender flesh. All photography courtesy Allen Brothers.

WHAT IT IS: Prime meats for home and gifts.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Allen Brothers has access to premiere products that most local butchers don’t carry (or can’t get hold of).
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love having a great steakhouse experience at home—with our superior wine, hash browns, creamed spinach and desserts.

.USDA Prime Meats
Page 2: Allen Brothers Selections


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Prime Meat

Allen Brothers can send anyone the ingredients of a top steakhouse menu—including the sides. Flipping through the pages of the website is the equivalent of a meat-lover’s Maxim magazine.

Just as with a steakhouse, the experience is not inexpensive. A very wealthy friend of ours stocks his freezer wall-to-wall with Allen Brothers meats and seafood the way the rest of us stock ours with supermarket frozen foods (the meats arrive fresh, not frozen).

But as a special treat or gift for those who are not in the chips, the experience is “prime.” The same top products that Allen Brothers sells to leading restaurants can be in your hands. (Note: Make sure your hands are competent to cook them properly, or invite someone who can do it for you.)

Alas, we could not eat the entire catalog, but we tried cuts of beef, lamb, pork and quail.


Who wouldn’t like a gift of a prime cut, prime rib roast?

  • Beef. We chose the strip steak and grilled it: excellent. If we could only go to Allen Brothers headquarters and taste all of the cuts! Whatever your favorite, they have it. The biggest challenge is making choices from the cornucopia of temptation.
  • Pork. The one-inch-thick pork chops were among the best pork chops we’ve ever had. We cooked them using the sous vide technique.*
  • Quail. An outstanding, flavorful whole quail arrived semi-boned and lightly marinated. It was very easy to cook (we roasted it in the oven, but it can go in the broiler or onto the grill).
  • Lamb: The lamb was the only course that was less than perfect, because it had a “beefy” rather than a “lamby” flavor.† However, we had previously had a rack of lamb that was just perfect.

*Sous vide instructions: Brine in a 10% salt solution for two hours. Vacuum with a dollop of frozen apple juice concentrate in a Food Saver bag and sous-vide at 139-140°F for 30 minutes. Remove from bag and brush with a mixture of soy sauce, ginger and a teaspoon of maple syrup. Sear on high heat for 30 seconds per side, and also sear the edges. Rest for 3-4 minutes before carving or serving the whole chop.

Sauté on all sides for a total of eight minutes of cooking on stove top on medium high.

So, send someone a roast...a steak and turf. For those who can’t cook, there are heat-and-serve entrées such as Beef Wellington, barbecued pork, braised short ribs, pulled pork, chicken and duck dishes, pot pies and just about anything someone might want to eat.

You can order heat-and-serve appetizers and sides: lobster chowder, creamed spinach, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, mushroom truffle mashed potatoes and buttermilk biscuits from Chef Art Smith.

Our next order will most certainly include the “steak dogs,” hot dogs that were rated best in town by the Chicago Tribune and tops in the country by Forbes magazine.

And if our ship comes in, we’ll certainly get the lobster tail sampler to taste the differences among the crustaceans of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the “home team,” Maine and Canada.

—Karen Hochman


Prime Meats

  • Preloaded Gift Cards
    $99.95 & Up
  • Berkshire (Kurobuta) Pork Chops
    $79.95 & Up
  • Kurobuta Pork Loin (4 Roasts)
  • Many Other Items Available


See it all at It doesn’t cost anything to look and drool!


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The Porterhouse steak may be eaten in a day, but it will be remembered far longer than the gift of a tie. Learn the different types of steak in our Beef Glossary.


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