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beef selection

It’s all about the fat

By | Angus Meats, Ground beef, News, Safety | No Comments

Ground chuck is a popular cut for burgers, maybe the most popular. That’s because it comes from the neck and shoulder area of the cow, a region that tends to be very flavorful and on the fatty side, with 16-22% fat content. “80/20” is how we refer to it and tends to be our beef blend of choice.

Hamburger that has been designed as a typical restaurant ratio is 80:20 lean to fat. Angus Brands tones it down just a bit with our 85/15 ratio which is recommended as a better ratio for taste and texture.

Which brings us to the question: Why does ground beef have fat?

Fat helps give ground beef a wonderful, buttery beef flavor. Generally, the higher the fat content in ground beef, the more juice it will deliver and flavor it will preserve. However, leaner grinds can deliver an equally desirable beefy flavor, depending on how they are used. So understanding what lean points are best for various applications can help you enjoy ground beef to the fullest without sacrificing your healthy diet.

Lean Points: 73/27 – 81/19
Attributes: Exceptional flavor and juiciness · Helps bind meat together for patties or meatballs
Best in: Burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, Salisbury steak

Lean Points: 83/17 – 89/11
Attributes: Delicious flavor and great texture · Ideal for use when beef is the king of the plate
Best in: Meatballs, leaner burgers, pizza topping, meatloaf, chili

Lean Points: 90/10 – 92/8
Attributes: Great for use as an ingredient when cooking · Ideal for making your favorite meals leaner
Best in: Lasagna, chili, enchiladas, burritos, spaghetti, casseroles, tacos, sloppy joes

Lean Points: 93/7 – 96/4
Attributes: Leanest grinds available · 96% lean grinds are given Heart-Check mark as a heart-healthy food · Primarily used as an ingredient in lean, healthy foods
Best in: Asian lettuce wraps, cabbage rolls, tacos, stuffed peppers, tostadas

Source: Cargill Ground Beef

How to buy prime rib

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Prime rib is expensive, so you want to be sure you get the best meat for your dollar. You’ll find it sold two ways: bone in, or boneless. We prefer the bone-in roasts as they taste better. They also make a slightly more impressive table presentation. Boneless roasts cook a little faster, so keep that in mind as it’s roasting.

Look for a roast with a layer of creamy white fat on the top. You’re going to roast your beast fat-side up, so the fat bastes the meat as it melts. The roast should be tied (though you can do this yourself at home) to keep its nice, plump shape as it cooks. The flesh should be bright red and the fat should be firm and white. Look for good marbling, if you can find it. Marbling = those skinny little strips of white fat shot through the meat. Most of it will melt as the meat roasts, contributing rich, and beefy flavor.
The USDA grades of beef include:
1. Prime–This accounts for less than 2% of the beef produced in the US. The quality is measured by the amount of marbling which gives the flavor and tenderness, and the age of the animal, which accounts for the texture of the meat. It’s usually purchased by upscale restaurants and isn’t readily available to the aver-age consumer.
2. Choice–This is the second highest grade of beef. It will have lees marbling than Prime, but if taken from the more desirable areas of the animal, such as the loin and rib section, could very closely equal the quality of Prime cuts.
3. Select–This accounts for most of the meat found in the grocery stores. It will have much less in the way of marbling and will come from older animals. It is not nearly as tender as choice or above, and is therefore much less desirable as a meat cut.