Ground Beef

Beef

September 9, 2013

Basic Cuts of Meat

Beef

Just what is dry-aged beef?  Dry-aged beef has been stored for 14 to 21 days in a humidity and temperature-controlled environment.  Dry aging allows moisture to evaporate and enzymes to break down some of the meat’s fibers.  Dry aging intensifies the flavor and creates a tender texture that some describe as buttery or velvety.  Only the most valued cuts are used to produce this special product.  Dry-aged steaks may cook a little faster than the same non-dry aged-cut but the target doneness temperatures are the same. 

Ground meat requires special handling.  Whether it is beef, poultry, pork, lamb or veal, ground meat carries the greatest potential risk of food-bourne illness.  It should be thoroughly cooked before eating because the grinding process introduces potentially harmful bacteria throughout the meat.  The USDA recommends cooking ground meats to a internal temperature of at least 165° F for poultry and 160° F for meat. 

One reason that beef raised without artificially stimulating growth hormones costs more is because it takes longer to raise.  It takes approximately 20 to 24 months vs. about 16 months, which incurs more feed expense.  You should look for grass-fed beef that has been raised on a vegetarian diet (not corn), not confined, pastured raised and no antibiotics or hormones added ever. 

The best value beef cuts are: Ground Beef, Skirt Steak, Chuck Roast, Chuck Steak, Top Sirloin, Cube Steak, and Stew Meat. 

Cooking Time Estimate For Roasting: Depending on the cut, should be about 20 minutes per pound at 350° F for medium. 

Best Cooking Methods For Steak:

Rib Steak (Rib) Grill & Pan-Fry

Filet Mignon (Loin) Broil, Grill, Pan-Fry, Sauté

Porterhouse (Loin) Broil, Grill, Pan-Fry

T-Bone (Loin) Broil, Grill, Pan-Fry, Sauté

Strip Steak (Loin) Broil, Grill, Pan-Fry, Sauté

Top Sirloin (Loin) Braise, Broil, Roast, Pan-Fry

Hanger (Flank) Braise, Broil, Grill, Pan-Fry

Flank (Flank) Braise, Grill

Skirt (Flank) Braise, Grill

Chuck Eye Steak (Chuck) Braise, Broil, Grill, Sauté, Stew

Flat Iron Steak (Chuck) Broil, Grill, Pan-Fry, Sauté

Bottom Round Steak (Round) Braise

Eye Round Steak (Round) Braise, Sauté

Beef Round Cube Steak (Round) Braise, Grill, Sauté

Top Round Steak (Round) Braise, Broil

London Broil (Varies) Braise, Broil, Grill, Roast

Best Cooking Methods For Beef Roasts & Smaller Cuts:

Rib Roast Bone-In (Rib) Roast

Rib Eye Roast (Rib) Grill, Roast

Tenderloin (Loin) Broil, Grill, Roast

Top Sirloin Roast (Loin) Roast

Tri-Tip Roast (Loin) Broil, Grill, Roast

Fresh Brisket (Plate) Braise, Stew

Flat Cut Corned Brisket (Plate) Braise

Shoulder Roast (Chuck) Braise, Stew

Chuck Roast (Chuck) Braise, Stew

Bottom Round Roast (Round) Braise, Roast, Stew

Eye Round Roast (Round) Braise, Roast, Stew

Sirloin Tip Roast (Round) Broil, Grill, Pan-Fry, Sauté

Short Ribs (Flank) Braise, Stew

Beef Kabobs (Variety) Broil, Grill, Sauté

Extra Lean Round Cubes (Round) Grill, Stew

Shank Bone-In (Round) Braise, Stew

Beef Liver Slices (Variety) Sauté

Target Temperatures:

The USDA recommends cooking all whole muscle cuts of beef to at least these internal temperatures to ensure that potentially harmful bacteria are destroyed.  Some people may choose to cook their meat to lower temperatures, depending on preference.  Ground beef should be cooked to 160° F.

Desired Doneness: Medium               Target Temp: 145° F     

Texture: Warm/Firm                         Center Color: Light Pink

Desired Doneness: Medium Well        Target Temp: 155° F

Texture: Very Warm/Firm                 Center Color: Gray, Tinged With Pink

Desired Doneness: Well Done            Target Temp: 165° F

Texture: Hot/Dense/Hard                   Center Color: Grayish Tan

Residual Heat: Residual heat continues to cook meat after you’ve taken it off the grill or out of the oven or pan.  It’s important to factor this rise in temperature into your timing and remove the meat from the heat before hitting the target temperatures above – an average of 5° for steaks up to 15° for large roasts.

Steak

Building A Healthier Burger

June 19, 2012

Building A Healthier Burger

 

Nothing says grilling season like a hot & juicy burger.  You can enjoy an American favorite that is new and improved by giving your burger a healthy twist without skimping on flavor.  Here are some things that you can do to create a better burger. 

Choose Your Patty:  For a classic burger it is important to choose the leanest ground beef available.  Purists will tell you to use the fattiest ground beef, but if you are trying to cut down on fat and create a healthier burger try using lean meat.  I like to use ground sirloin.  You also might try: Ground Turkey Breast (usually 99% fat free); Ground Buffalo/Bison (naturally sweet & lean); Veggie Burgers (usually has one seventh the saturated fat of traditional burgers); Fish Burgers; Salmon Burgers (rich in omega-3); Mushroom Burgers (made from large grilled Portobello mushrooms). 

 

Jazz Up Your Burgers:  Spices and condiments are key here.  Mix in or season your burgers with salt free or low sodium spices.  You can get creative here to suit your tastes or mood.  I like to use Cajun spices, Italian spices and sometimes a touch of curry spices. You can get a fiber boost and add texture by adding chopped or grated vegetables or herbs. 

 

To Bun Or Not To Bun:  Who says a burger must be served on a traditional white bun?  Feel free to serve your burgers on 100% whole grain buns or pita pockets.  If you are going for a totally bunless burger you might want to try sturdy lettuce or cabbage leaves. 

Accessorize:  The tasty trimming options are endless, but here are a few ideas.  Choose condiments that are low in fat, sodium and sugar.  Read the labels on varieties of ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, relish and salsa.  Choose low-fat or fat-free varieties of cheese.  The white cheeses tend to be lower in fat such as Swiss or provolone.  Top your burger with grilled onions and sliced tomatoes.  Instead of using iceberg lettuce try radicchio, arugula or romaine.  While you’re at it add cucumber slices, radish slices or red pepper rings for some extra crunch.

 

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