Rosenthal Meat Center offers seasonal specialty meats for the holidays

COLLEGE STATION – ‘Tis the season to order traditional holiday favorites from the Rosenthal Meat Center at Texas A&M University, said Ray Riley, center manager, College Station.

The Texas Aggie Brand pre-cooked prime rib roast is available now at the Rosenthal Meat Center retail store. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Riley said popular holiday meats are being seasoned and slow smoked up to the Christmas holiday. 

The center’s retail store offers boneless hickory-smoked prime rib roast, briskets and spiral-sliced hams along with other items, including summer sausages and nationally renowned beef jerky, he said.

“They are all amazing cuts of beef and pork, and anyone who has tried our beef jerky or any of the many products we sell out of the retail shop know what type of quality and flavor they’re getting when they sit down for a holiday meal,” he said. “We have a very loyal customer base this time of year.”

For more than 15 years, the prime rib, seasoned with salt, pepper and an array of spices and slow-cooked for eight hours, has been a staple holiday offering that has grown in popularity, Riley said. Customers purchase more than 2 tons of prime rib from the retail shop during the holiday season.

“We’ll cook about 150 10-12-pound prime rib roasts leading up to Thanksgiving and 300 more for the month of December through Christmas,” he said. “It’s a great traditional holiday meat that continues to be wildly popular with our customers.”

The meat market is taking orders now, and Riley said prime ribs will be displayed in the storefront for walk-in customers through Dec. 21 for $12.99 per pound. The retail store does ship orders.

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.

Rosenthal Meat Center retail store customers purchase more than 2 tons of prime rib from the during the holiday season. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Dr. Jeff Savell)

Riley said social media has broadened the center’s popularity but it has remained a relatively obscure feature on the Texas A&M campus since 1983.

He said the most popular specialty smoked meat used to be a whole bone-in cured ham, but other offerings such as the prime rib and brisket have taken its place as customers’ holiday favorites.  

The retail shop also offers gift boxes that include beef sticks and jerky, beef and cheese summer sausage and wax-sealed cheddar cheese, Riley said.

“The Sportsman Snack pack is very popular. There’s also a cheese and summer sausage pack shaped like a football,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of different gift items. The beef jerky and snack sticks are great stocking stuffers and shelf-stable.”

The market has various cuts of beef, lamb and pork available throughout the year. It also offers Texas Aggie Brand beef jerky, which was named the best beef jerky in the country by the New York Times, he said.

Riley said all beef products are from cattle processed at the Rosenthal Meat Center for classroom instruction, including the Beef 101 program, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service educational programs are merchandised at the center’s retail market.

Walk-in customers are welcome, Riley said, but pre-orders by phone should be made to ensure prime ribs, briskets and spiral hams are available.

“An order guarantees they will get one,” he said. “We try to cook to meet demand. We want to get every customer’s needs met so when we close for Christmas we don’t have anything in the window.”

For more information about the Rosenthal Meat Center, go to https://agrilife.org/rosenthal/. Make phone orders by calling 979-845-5651.

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