The Meat Lover’s Guide to the Basics

How to stock, cook and prepare chicken, pork and steak

Jason Hine, owner of EC Wilson Meat Co., sits at the helm of a Pacific Northwest meat dynasty. He is the fourth generation of this company that started in Pike Place Market in 1906. He talked to Reflections about his insider knowledge on how to stock your fridge and other tips and tricks.


Kitchen Staples

Hine says there a few simple, classic staples to always keep on hand. Here’s his grocery list:

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: “They are reasonably priced, and you can make so many things that are delicious. It’s also a high-flavor ingredient, easy to work with, cooks fast and remains moist even when cut up in small pieces.”

Pork tenderloin or boneless pork loin: “I like to talk about cuts that are healthy and often overlooked. A lot of pork is as healthy as chicken, plus both cuts are really cost-effective as well.”

Filet or top sirloin: “Filet is always healthy. Top sirloin is too, and those cuts always have great flavor and are a great source of protein. You can’t go wrong with cooking either of these medium rare. Just never grill a filet.”


Tips and Tricks

Hine says the biggest mistake most people make is choosing meat without marbling. “Most look for the cleanest, reddest cuts of meat without the appropriate proportions of fat. But those are the most flavorless, toughest options. You should look for white speckling in pork and beef,” he says.

When grilling, be sure to rub in the spices first and go heavier than you think you should. You can season the meat while cooking, but really make sure you go heavier—it will impart the best flavor.

Also for summer grilling, you can’t go wrong with skirt steaks, but make sure you get the outside skirt steak, not the inner cuts. Rib eyes are always good too.

My favorite piece of meat of all time is Ibérico Secreto. It’s extremely hard to get your hands on; it’s the skirt from pig in Spain. It’s delicious—nothing can compare.


Perfect Preparations

Bellevue Club executive chef Dan Gilmore shared his favorite ways to prepare different cuts

Steak Rub

½ cup salt

¼ cup fresh rosemary

¼ cup smoked paprika

¼ cup chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar


First, make green salt. Place the salt and rosemary into a food processor. Grind it until the salt has turned green and the rosemary has been pulverized. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to mix. This steak rub is a little spicy, so adjust to taste. It has a southwestern flair and is incredible over wood or charcoal. The sugar assists with caramelization and crust formation.



Pork Brine

8 cups water

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup salt

1 yellow onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ cup peppercorns

4 six-inch rosemary sprigs

2 tablespoons mustard seed

2 cinnamon sticks


Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir, cover and turn off the heat. Allow it to cool slightly, and then refrigerate until cold. If pressed for time, use only 1 cup of water to heat. Once cooled slightly, add 7 cups of ice. Pour the chilled brine over your pork cut of choice. Pork chops and pork tenderloins should brine for about 4 hours. Pork loin roasts go twice the time. Pork tends to dry out during cooking, and a brine helps season as well as helps with retaining moisture.


Paprika Fennel Marinade

¼ cup smoked paprika

2 tablespoons fennel seed

¼ cup fresh marjoram

¼ cup fresh rosemary

¾ cup parsley (stems are fine)

¼ cup garlic

¾ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons salt

½ cup fresh lemon juice


This recipe works well with chicken—roasted works well but grilled is best. Boneless chicken is fine, but grilled chicken skin with this marinade is fantastic. Save some of the marinade to baste the chicken with after cooking it and during the resting period. Puree all ingredients together until smooth. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add some marinade, but save some. Refrigerate the chicken and allow to marinate overnight. Turn and massage the bag every so often. Grill or roast the chicken and baste with reserved marinade before serving.  

*For safety, do not baste the chicken with used marinade.

More Reflections

Continue reading Reflections and don’t forget to check back
every two weeks for more articles.

Bellevue Club


  • M-F:
  • SA:
  • SU:
  • 5 A.M. – 11 P.M.
  • 6 A.M. – 11 P.M.
  • 6 A.M. – 9 P.M.
11200 Southeast Sixth Street,
Bellevue, WA 98004