By Montana Grant

Posted: December 11, 2022

Have you been to a restaurant lately and ordered a steak? You discovered quickly that you needed a fat wallet to get a decent steak dinner. Whether you ordered a Prime Rib, Ribeye, Sirloin, Porterhouse, or Filet, the cost will be well over $40-$60 a plate. The plate may just include the steak and a baked potato. Everything else will be added on.

Locally around Bozeman, there are no specials or deals. No Prime Rib Friday’s or Holiday discounts. The Oasis restaurant was sold recently. It just opened and their steak special is Ribeye with a baked potato for $60!

We all can remember the good old days when $20-$30 was a value. You would think that in Montana, where we grow beef and potatoes within a mile of some restaurants, there would be a better value.

When I shopped at Costco, I watched restaurant owners load carts with Costco cuts. They pick and choose what they think are the best cuts. Heck, a decent backyard griller can cook a restaurant quality steak from a local store.

When you ask why the giant increase in cost, you will hear the same thing. Covid and the Pandemic elevated the costs of everything. Sadly, flu season has always been around and will always be around. Prices did not go up when flu season happened before.

The truth is that Restaurants charge more because they can. They can sell half as many meals but still make the same profit, especially when the cost of the sides, wine, beer, and… are also overpriced. The same energy narrative relates to meat. Climate change, fewer CO2 emissions and less clow to release flatulent gases are part of current political agendas. This includes pricing us out of fossil fuels and flatulent cows.

Fat Wallet and wealthy people don’t care about the huge cost increases. The average guy just can’t get a break unless you…

Grill your own meat. You can still find quality, local meat processors that offer a more reasonable option. Consider buying a half a beef and celebrate steak dinners that you prepare. Even if the uncooked steak is pricey, it will be less than half of the restaurant bill and tip. My go to meat processor is Amsterdam Meats near Belgrade and Deemo’s in Ennis, Montana. Meat is pricey but is top quality, local, and well below ant Restaurant bill.

Using a Trager Grill, or your favorite backyard cooker, you can create meat dinners that are superb and better than most restaurants. Even a Foreman Grill in the kitchen can make a wonderful steak. Simply use the same techniques that make your favorite steak special. Add some fresh produce and you have a special and more personal meal.

Start with a simple marinade for the meat. I use a half cup of olive oil and cheapo red wine. Add some Montreal Steak seasoning or your favorite spice blend. Honestly, less is more. There are also some special ways to finish a steak in cast iron and butter that add amazing taste and presentation. Search for unique recipes and try them out.

Everyone has their own idea of what a special steak is. Practice your cooking craft and master your recipe. Great ideas are available online or on YouTube. There are also plenty of TV shows that will show how it is done.

Temperature is key when grilling a steak. Stay within the parameters of Rae to medium and life is good. Eating a quality steak cooked too much is a sin. The longer they cook, the tougher and less flavorful they become. Instead of wasting a prime steak that’s overdone, serve them a hamburger.

When you get beef from a processor, you also get excellent ground beef. All the cuts are clean and perfectly wrapped. Steaks tend to be slightly larger than any Restaurant portion. A meal grilled with love is a wonderful way to celebrate a holiday, anniversary, or birthday. Use the money that you save from the exorbitant restaurant bill to add a good bottle of wine, lobster tails, shrimp, or other tasty addons that you can’t afford at the restaurant.

Cooking and grilling are wonderful skills that anyone can learn. Beat the expense by growing your talents at the grill.

“WHERE’S THE BEEF?” It’s on your grill!

Montana Grant

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Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing