Who Says You Can't Get Good Beef In Costa Rica?

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It is a known fact... Costa Rica is not recognized for the quality of it's beef, at least not in the the gastronomic eyes of North Americans and Western Europeans.  In fact, gringos who know Costa Rican beef claim its some of the worst meat they have ever eaten.  I can attest to that... for it took two days of slow cooking in a crock pot to get a piece of tenderloin soft enough to where it can be chewed!  That is NOT an exaggeration.

This has resulted in us eating much more fish, chicken and pork, the results of which have been reflected in our blood tests.  In fact, Fran's doctor told her that her cholesterol is so low that she needs start eating more RED MEAT!  He even wrote that to her as a prescription!

However, finally we found a place that imports beef from Nicaragua and it is (surprisingly) quite good and reasonably priced.  Located directly across from the Liberia International Airport, in a modern looking industrial park, are the offices and refrigerators of Carnes San Martin,  a provider of high quality Nicaraguan beef.

Two months ago we tested the beef by buying a slab of a Delmonico cut.  We brought it home, cut, vacuum packed and froze the steaks for later consumption.  It was a huge success.  While not the quality of a piece of beef from Ruth's Chris or a Morton's Steak House, the beef was damn tasty and quite chewable.  We made everything from grilled steaks, Beef Stroganoff and even Quesadillas.  It turned out to be a home run.


The pricing seemed to be quite good as well.  We purchased a 4.1 kilo slab of Delmonico steak at 3,380 colones per kilo.  That's $3.04 per pound in USD.  We also bought a 2.37 kilo slab of Tenderloin which we will cut down into Filet Mignon for only $6.06 per pound!

In total, we spent 29,737 colones ($59.00 USD), yielding enough meat for 17 individual meals. That's $8.42 a meal, and does not include meals from the leftovers.



MAKING THE PURCHASE


TRIMMING CUTTING AND PREPARING FOR THE FREEZER


VACUUM BAGGING THE STEAKS FOR THE FREEZER

As I prepared the beef for the freezer, I took the opportunity to trim off some of the additional excess connective tissue and ligaments commonly not found on beef purchased in your local butcher shop.  But that's the price you pay to get good quality beef at low prices in Costa Rica.


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