COLLEGE STATION – Nothing says “I love you” quite like a heart-shaped ribeye steak for two, said Ray Riley, Texas A&M Meat Science Center manager, College Station.
For the past three years leading up to Valentine’s Day, Riley has made special cuts for folks who want to prepare a special meal for their significant other – a high quality 24-32-ounce ribeye butterflied and trimmed in the shape of a heart.
The meat market is taking orders now, and Riley said cuts of the steak will be displayed in the storefront for walk-in customers through Valentine’s Day for $14.99 per pound. The Rosenthal Meat Center market is open to the public 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and during certain time slots on special weekends and home football games.
“It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day surprise for a steak lover,” Riley said. “It’s a great thick cut of meat with beautiful marbling, and the heart says it all.”
Riley said he got the idea from social media in 2014 and has been offering the special cut to market customers each year leading up to Valentine’s Day.
“The steak has been a hit from the start,” he said. “We’ve sold out each year and hope that trend continues this year.”
The cuts are all from beef processed at the Rosenthal Meat Center for classroom instruction, including the Beef 101 program, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service educational programs, to be merchandised at the center’s retail area, Riley said.
“These ribeyes are held in reserve for this occasion,” he said.
Riley said the market also has various cuts of beef, lamb and pork available throughout the year. The market also offers Texas Aggie Brand beef jerky, which was named the best beef jerky in the country by the New York Times, and popular seasonal items like hickory smoked prime ribs.
Riley said despite the popularity of the heart-shaped steaks and wide recognition for other fare produced at the market, the Rosenthal Meat Center’s retail shop, which has been open since 1983, remains an obscure part of the Texas A&M campus.
“We’ve always been the biggest little secret in College Station if you ask me,” he said. “We have good, loyal customers, but there are students who come to A&M for four years and are gone without ever hearing about the market much less meat lovers in the general public, but we’re open to everyone.”
For more information about the Rosenthal Meat Science Center, go to: https://agrilife.org/rosenthal/.