Kamis, 07 November 2013

10 Lessons on Beef

10 Lessons on Beef

Beef is the name given to the meat from the cow. It is eaten around the world and can be cooked in different ways. However, the cow is considered to be a sacred animal in India and therefore eating it in this country is forbidden. While it is mostly up to personal preference, there are certain rules that will ensure you get the most out of your beef. Add this to my Recipe Box.

Choose the Right Cut

    Depending on the type of meal you're intending to make, you will need to select the cut accordingly. For example, sirloin and fillet for grilling steaks, oxtail for slow-cooked stews, ribs for roasting and chuck and blade for stews.


    The taste of beef depends on its quality, i.e. how old it is, what the cattle have been fed and how it was slaughtered. It's worth spending a little extra money on good quality meat for the best results. Once you've found a butcher or a cut you like, stick with them.


    Beef should be firm to the touch and either bright red if vacuum packed or a purple red color if aged. Don't buy meat that has turned brown, gray or feels slimy, as this means it has been exposed to the air for too long.

Fat Content

    "Marbled" beef has a higher fat content and therefore remains juicier during cooking, retaining flavor. If, however, you're on a low-fat diet, buy lean cuts of meat like fillet or sirloin.

Storage Time

    Always check the use-by dates, but as a general rule, fresh beef will keep for five days in the refrigerator. Mince will keep for two days, as will cooked beef. If you're freezing it, eat within six months. Defrost slowly in the refrigerator, never at room temperature as this can encourage bacteria to grow.


    Never let the juices of raw beef come into contact with other foods, and thoroughly clean any surfaces or kitchen utensils you may have used with raw beef.


    It's usually a good idea to roast beef that is on the bone, as it retains flavor and helps to cook more evenly. Use ribs, silverside, topside, sirloin, brisket or flank and make sure you keep basting with juices.

Stewing and Slow Cooking

    You can use cheaper, tougher cuts of meat for recipes that require cooking for a long time in liquid as this will soften the beef. Leg, chuck, shoulder and skirt are good, as well as beef that has been labeled "stewing steak." Cook on a low heat and monitor for tenderness by sticking a fork in the meat from time to time.


    Use lean cuts of meat that have a little marbling, like sirloin, T-bone, porterhouse and fillet. You can marinate the meat first if you wish, before frying quickly at a high heat.


    Beef can be eaten rare, medium rare, medium well or well done, particularly in the case of steaks. Chefs' preferred level is medium rare, as they believe this is when the meat is at its most flavorsome, however it is up to the individual. The color of the beef will vary from a bright red for rare, light pink for medium or beige for well done meat.

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