Living in Montana means I have no shortage of excellent beef. I’ve yet to have a bad steak or even a mediocre burger when I’ve shopped locally. Grass fed free range Montana beef is a luxury that is worth it.
I’ve got higher standards for meat because of it. So it was a very pleasant surprise to discover that the Czech appear to have the same affinity for meat as Montanans. I had some truly excellent beef in Prague. And I didn’t even eat a single steak. It was all peasant working class cuts.
Obviously I made time to explore beef goulash while in Prague. It’s not made with expensive cuts of beef. It’s generally Chuck or round. It’s stewed to be tender. The goulash I had at Pilsner Urquel was less than $20 and was absolutely stellar. I don’t drink but the few sips of dark beer I had cut the fat and spice perfectly.
I also I unexpectedly had one of the best burgers of my life at a butcher’s shop called Naso Maso. Their beef comes from Czech Fleckvieh cattle and is butchered in Jenc by hand. The shop only has a few seats but you can come in and order a burger to be grilled on the spot.
Blessedly the Czech don’t have the same regulatory habits as the Germans so meat can be served rare. Nothing is worse than overcooking a hamburger in my book. Smash burgers were clearly invented to sell low quality beef. The Maillard effect isn’t enough to overcome the fact that it is lower quality.
It’s a real pleasure to enjoy exceptional beef from people who clearly appreciate everything about the nuances of the execution. Montanans and the Czech clearly share similar values.