Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cost Break-Down: Breaded Tenderloin Supper

Breaded tenderloin supper is one of our family’s favourites.  Everybody gets excited when it’s on that days’ menu.  It’s usually a real treat meal for us.  So, last week, when we enjoyed it, I took the extra time to weigh or measure out all the parts and figure the cost for each component.  I’ll spare you too much of the extra math, but I will add it in a comment afterwards in case you’re curious how I got my numbers.

To bread the tenderloin, I dredge it in flour, then egg mixed with a small amount of water, then the breading. ( I can add a comment about the why and how of all the steps afterwards too). I use any sweet corn based cereal to bread.

75g flour : $0.05
125g Corn Pops: $1.33
1 egg : $0.16
3 lbs potatoes: $0.90
400g frozen corn : $0.99
250ml canola oil for frying: $0.58
Lemonade to drink: $0.67

Once I add in the cost of the pound of moose tenderloin ( which I calculated to be $0.52...if you want to know how I got that number see my post on the cost of our wild meat: Cost Break-Down of Our Family's Meat)
My actual cost for this meal was : $5.20 Wow, I guess I don’t have to feel like it’s only a treat!  That was 6 steaks and sides.  I have enough potatoes left over to fry as lunch tomorrow with the corn, I really could have cooked about half as much potatoes and corn.  I also had too much breading, but once you’ve dragged the raw meat through it, you can’t just save it for next time.  I could cut costs but simply not using as much next time.

Now, I never buy meat, but I looked at the flyers this week to see what you’d have to add if you did.  If you ditch the lemonade, and buy sirloin steaks, they are $3.99 a pound. You’re total meal cost would be $8 ( if you used a pound of the steak).  Or, the breading would be really good on chicken too.  For a pound of bone in, skin removed, split chicken breasts($3.79 a pound this week), you’re total cost would be $7.80.  Lots of these ingredients fluctuate in cost, but this is what making it this time cost me.

Additional Notes:
How I got these numbers:

10 kg bag of flour, I bought for $5.98. Divide by 100 to find the cost of 100g of flour :5.9 cents ( I rounded to 6 cents). cost of 75g of flour (6c X .75) = 5c

725g box of corn pops:$7.67. 725/125=5.8, 7.67/5.8=1.325, I rounded up to $1.33

20lb bag of potatoes = $6.00 ( I know this fluctuates, but this is what I paid for the bag I currently have) that’s 30c a pound.  I measured the potatoes I used, and got 3lbs. 0.90

250ml canola oil: $7 for 3L (3000ml/250ml = 12) 7/12=58.3  I rounded to 58c.

400g frozen corn, microwaved:2kg bag= $4.98 (2000g/400g = 5) 4.98/5 = 99c

The cost of a single egg, I had already calculated when I did bread, and the meat was also in a separate post.

Breading Recipe Directions:
I always pound the steaks with a meat tenderizer first, so they are thin and even.

I got this recipe from Alton Brown’s cook book, and I love it! It always comes out fabulous and delicious.  He has lots of great tips and tricks.

Dredge in flour first, and shake off excess. This very thin layer provides primer for the egg layer which will then cement on the crumb layer.  Dredge through egg beaten with a bit of water. This is like a protein glue that keeps your crumb coat from staying in the frying pan instead of on your plate where you want it.  Let excess drip off.  Put meat in crumb layer and cover both sides.  Let meat rest for 30 minutes, then fry. ( I put mine on one of those cookie racks so the bottom doesn’t get soggy)
You can use lots of things for the crumb layer, but our family likes any corn based cereal.  It makes it a bit sweet, which is a neat addition to the meat, and it crisps up so nicely.  I have used Cap’n Crunch, and we also like Corn Pops.  I blitz them in the food processor.
You need to get your oil up to 350 degrees F ( yes I am a nerd and I use a thermometer).  If your oil goes below 325, your food will be soggy instead of crispy.  Oil should come about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the meat when you pan fry it.

There you are, I’ve given away my secret to the yummiest breading!

1 comment:

  1. Your breakdowns are awesome. I come from a family of Moose and Caribou hunters and I've always wondered what our cost per pound is. This makes me want to weigh it all this coming fall!
    Your blog is terrific thanks for the inspiration!


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