USMEF conducted a trio of educational seminars in Mexico designed to show importers, butchers and chefs the superior quality and ready availability of U.S. beef and pork cuts. The activities — a butchers’ workshop at the IGA Gastronomy School in Aguascalientes and cutting and cooking seminars in Veracruz and Ensenada — were funded by the Beef Checkoff Program and the National Pork Board.
In Aguascalientes, a city in central Mexico with a population of more than 1 million, USMEF partnered with the country’s National Institute of Milk and Meat to educate butcher shop employees and their suppliers about the advantages offered by U.S. beef and pork.
“Butcher shops are one of the largest distribution channels for beef and pork products in Mexico and they tend to have a very good image with consumers, so it is important to educate them in the cuts available, along with all the positive attributes of U.S. beef and pork compared to domestic meat,” said Lorenzo Elizalde, USMEF trade manager in Mexico. “It is very important to train butchers on how to portion American-style beef and pork cuts, because these are the people who work face-to-face with Mexican consumers daily. They are perfect ambassadors for U.S. red meat.”
USMEF meat consultant Luis Pachuca’s hands-on instruction emphasized U.S. beef’s quality characteristics and how to break down a pork carcass into primal and portioned cuts. For beef, he explained how to derive portioned cuts from a full loin and a top sirloin. Breaking down the pork carcass, Pachuca demonstrated how to obtain jowl steaks, Boston butt, picnic, cushion, pectoral meat, pork wings, tenderloin medallions, back ribs, spare ribs and pork belly.
At the cutting and cooking seminars in Veracruz and in Ensenada, USMEF’s main objective was to show participants the importance of optimizing their use of beef and pork primal cuts.
The Veracruz event was attended by sales staff, buyers and chefs from companies such as Sigma Alimentos Food Service Villahermosa, Asadero Cien and RYC Alimentos Xalapa.
Pachuca cut and grilled the cuts and allowed participants an opportunity to sample them.
“This event helped our commercial partners learn about the optimal use of primal cuts, which helps them add value to the products they import from the U.S.,” said Elizalde.
The Ensenada seminar targeted company representatives and clients of La Canasta, a major importer in the region.
Pachuca taught participants how to obtain flat iron steaks out of the beef shoulder clod and chuck eye roll from the chuck roll subprimal cut. He also showed them how to fabricate picaña and baseball steaks from the top sirloin, and pork loin was used to obtain pork ribeyes. Attendees were able to sample each cut.
Pork belly and back ribs were also highlighted, cooked and served. USMEF chef German Navarrete taught participants how to grill portioned cuts in a Vesubio charcoal oven.