Meats Lab Hosts Open House
Workshops at Shepperd Arena educate community
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 13:10
The NDSU Meats Lab held its first open house with free workshops and meat samples for the public.
The Department of Animal Sciences sponsored the open house at Shepperd Arena from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.
To begin the open house, Ashley Lepper Blilie taught a quick workshop, entitled “Degree of Doneness,” on how to cook a perfect cut of meat.
Graduate student Austen Germolus said he was pleasantly surprised at the turnout for the Meats Lab’s first open house. Germolus is getting a master’s degree in meat science and works at the lab fulltime.
He taught a workshop on meat selection, explaining how to choose the best cut of meat and where that meat comes from.
There are two different types of beef, and according to Germolus, “the muscles of posture…don’t do a whole lot, so they are the more tender cuts.” Those are the middle meats like the rib eye, sirloin or porterhouse.
Germolus showed exactly where the cuts came from on a cow, pig and sheep carcass.
One good piece of advice he gave was to check a cut of meat for toughness. The meat will have muscle fibers or tissue.
“If you’ve ever seen a skirt steak or flank steak, it kind of pulls apart and you can see the individual muscle strands are very long,” Germolus said. A tough cut of meat should be cooked slowly, in a crockpot or broiled in an oven in order to make the fat “melt away,” he said.
The open house also offered tours of the facilities and free sample products of sausage, ham and even lamb meatballs.
Most of the attendees were community members, but the Meats Lab hopes to encourage more students to learn more about its facility. The lab is open on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for retail and also to answer any questions about the products.
The meat is all bought locally, and the price is determined from the hanging weight of the carcass. In order to interest students, the lab is considering selling cuts of meat that are cut in odd angles that normally won’t sell easily but taste the same, and “I would eat it,” Germolus said.
The Meats Lab also provides pamphlets on how to cook and select meat, as well as a pamphlet called “Confident Cooking with Beef” – what Germolus referred to as the “bible of beef.”
For more information on the Meats Lab products and prices, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/ansc/facilities/shepperd-arena.