Meat lovers rejoice! The month of January has been set aside as a celebration of all things
Did you know that beef is Arizona’s leading agricultural product? In fact, Arizona produces enough beef annually to feed over 4.6 million Americans!
Here are some tips behind the meanings of the different cuts and grades of beef:
- Prime grade meat has the most marbling (the blend of fat and lean) it is best for broiling, grilling or roasting. Choose meat that has marbling distributed throughout the meat for a piece of beef infused with tastiness and juiciness.
- US Prime is the highest quality meat and has the most intramuscular fat and is typically found in upscale restaurants and hotels.
- US Choice is the cut of meat that’s high quality and what you will find most often in the supermarket.
- US Select is meat that is lean and lower in quality. It’s less tender than the prime and choice and is also available in your supermarket.
- The more tender the cut, the more it can handle dry heat cooking methods like grilling or broiling. If you use a less tender cut they should be braised or marinated before cooking. Choice grades of meat have less marbling but choice steaks or roasts can be used for broiling or roasting.
- Because select grades are not as flavorful or juicy as other cuts, you will likely need to marinate them before cooking.
- Beef from the ribs – rib-eye steak, back ribs or rib roast – are great cuts for roasting, grilling or broiling.
Different cuts of beef require unique cooking methods so keep that in mind when planning your menu. When you’re at the grocery store or butcher’s shop, the first thing to look for is the sell-by date, then choose the package of meat that is a healthy, fresh cherry red color in a package that isn’t dripping with excess moisture or blood.
In the past, beef has gotten a bad rap but here are five beef facts you might not have been aware of:
- If our ancestors hadn’t eaten red meat, the human brain would be one-quarter of its present size. The key reasons behind the growth in our intelligence and brain capacity is due to the ingestion of red meat and the vital protein and fat it provides.
- Protein in beef and lamb provides the nutrients our body needs for strong muscles.
- Red meat is a great source of minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium.
- Vitamin B12, crucial for a healthy nervous system can only be found in animal sources – like beef.
- Linoleic and palmiotelic acids, found in beef and lamb fats, have strong anti-cancer effects and help fight viruses.
Here are some beef facts we bet you weren’t even aware of:
- The United States has less than 10% of the world’s cattle inventory but produces nearly 25% of the world’s beef supply.
- There are more than 1.4 million jobs attributed to the beef industry.
- The US beef industry is worth about $175 billion and cattlemen raise cattle in all 50 states.
- Eighty percent of all cattle businesses have been in the same families for more than 25 years; 10% of them have been in the family for more than 100 years.
- The average per capita consumption of beef is 61.1 pounds.
- There are 29 USDA-approved lean cuts of beef.
- Steak is the most popular in-home beef dish; hamburger is the second most popular.