With beef especially, the attention should be on quality, not quantity. Buy the best cuts that you can afford. Beef should be a rich red colour, not brown. The fat should be creamy coloured and well marbled into the flesh. Beef should not have a strong smell. The flesh should be firm to the touch, not soft and mushy. If the meat is pre-packaged, check that there is no excess liquid and that it is within the sell by date.
The most tender cuts of beef are loin and fillet. These cuts require very little cooking and if sliced thinly, can be eaten raw as with steak tartare. Prime cuts are best for roasting and quick cooking methods such as frying and grilling. Tougher cuts are best cooked slowly and for longer.
Before cooking, trim any excess fat, especially on cheaper cuts of meat.
And the following gems from Food in England...
"Beef is good meate for an Englyssheman so be the beest be yonge... Olde beef and cowe flesshe doth ingender melanclye humoures. (yet)--if it be moderately powdeyd and the grose blode by salte be exhawtyd it dothmake and Engylssheman stronge.
Martylmas beef, which is called hanged beef, in therofe of the smoky howse is not laudable...if a man have a peace hangynge by his side and another in his bely tha which doth hange by his syde shall do hym more good!"
Rib of Beef
"A good honest fellow had a spare rib on which he intended to sup with his family after a long and hard day's work with his two little boys, each with a swich of wood that had been carried four miles, cheered with the thought of the repast that awaited them. In he went , and found his wife, the methodist parson and a whole troop of sisterhood, engaged in praye, and on the table lay scattered the clean polished bones of spare rib...."
"A wife, a steak, and a walnut tree-
The more you beat 'em, better they be."
William Cobbett - 1763 to 1835
We have an interactive meat cooking time calculator here.
Orkney beef is a PDO registered beef derived from cattle born, reared and slaughtered in the group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north coast of Scotland known as the Orkney Islands. The distinctly different texture and flavour of Orkney beefis largely due to the topography, geology and climate of the Orkney Islands which imparts specific characteristics to the grass and herbage providing the main diet of the cattle.
The Orkney Islands have traditionally been known for the production of quality beef. The exclusive use of Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn/Blue Grey cows gives the beef its characteristic flavour. Only cattle from the defined area may be slaughtered and dressed in accordance with the set specifications in the designated area. The product is marketed fresh and chilled only.
Reference: The European Commission
PGI Scotch Beef is derived from cattle finished in Scotland which have been slaughtered and dressed in abattoirs located in Scotland. After slaughter and dressing the beef may be marketed as a whole body, as a whole side, as part sides (hindquarter/forequarter) or as cuts of beef. Typically presentations of the product may be described as follows:
- Whole Carcase; Whole body excluding all inedible offal, hide, head, feet and all edible offal.
- Whole Side; Half the carcase split lengthwise in equal proportions.
- Hindquarter: The remaining portion of the Side after removing the forequarter by cutting between the 10th and 11th ribs.
- Forequarter: The remaining portion of the side after removing the hindquarter.
- Cuts of Beef: Beef carcases may be divided into many different hindquarter and forequarter cuts, the cutting lines of which vary according to regional preference. The cuts may be presented bone-in or boneless as required by the customer.
The area in which the cattle are finished, slaughtered and dressed for subsequent marketing is defined as the mainland of Scotland from the border with England including the islands off the West Coast, Orkney and the Shetland Isles.
At least since the turn of the 19th century, and probably before, Scotch beef has enjoyed a reputation in the market place as being distinctly different to beef from other countries and as having a quality and characteristics attributable to Scotland. These are:
- specialist beef breeds with naturally suckled calves.
- relatively extensive farms based on grass feeding wither grazed or conserved as hay or silage.
- highly competent stockmen.
- linkage to a skilled processing industry to ensure optimum levels of flavour and tenderness.
Since 1974 the Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association has funded a continuous advertising programme to support the product. The product is identified at the point of sale as Scotch Beef and this is against the trend of current practice in the retail trade where identification of the country of origin of beef at the point of sale is not a common practice. Consumer recognition of the product is high. It is recognised as a premium product and it is priced accordingly.
For generations Scotch Beef has been renowned for its consistently superior qualities in terms of presentation, flavour and succulence and it has established a high reputation in the UK meat market and beyond. Traditionally fed on lush green pasture, the product is much sought after and demands a premium price.
It boosts the economy of Scotland and it provides employment for a significant number of people. There is therefore a high level of commitment to maintaining the reputation of Scotch meat and to meet growing consumer demand for Scotch beef. This has led the industry to initiate quality assurance schemes which are aimed at selecting superior carcases which have been produced, dressed and cut by fully trained people. The industry's marketing efforts are buttressed by the Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association established in 1974 by the National Farmers Union of Scotland. The Association is funded by levies and it is governed by a board which includes representation from all sectors of the Scottish meat trade. The Association undertakes extensive marketing activities in the wholesale, retail and catering markets in the UK and overseas, and it has provided support and encouragement in developing the quality assurance schemes mentioned above.
Each farmer controls his own herd and the cattle are sold for slaughter when they reach a suitable stage of finishing. The cattle may be sold on a deadweight and grade contract or by auction. In each case the producer is required to certify that the cattle were finished in Scotland for a period of not less than 3 months as required by the Commission Regulation on determining the origin of the meat and offal, fresh, chilled or frozen of certain domestic animals. Abattoirs are required to maintain records to ensure traceability of each lot purchased.
The cattle are slaughtered and subsequently dressed in accordance with the relevant specification defined in the Standard Conditions for Deadweight Purchase of Cattle, Sheep and Pigs - published by the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC). During the dressing operation carcases are normally split lengthways into two sides of equal proportion. The slaughter number, the date of slaughter, the classification details and the cold weight of the carcase/sides is recorded on each carcase/side or on a label attached to it. After dressing the carcases are transferred to a temperature controlled environment where they are held until they are dispatched to customers or transferred to a cutting area for cutting into hind/forequarters and/or for breaking down into cuts of beef. If the sides/part sides are to be divided into cuts, they will be prepared and packaged in accordance with customer requirements. After which they will be held in a temperature controlled environment until despatch to customers.
Reference: The European Commission
PGI Welsh Beef is defined as meat taken from cattle which are bred, born and reared in the geographical area of Wales. The breeds producing the meat are the indigenous Welsh Black Breed, the Hereford from the adjacent English Border country, and these breeds crossed with each other or with any other recognised beef breed. After slaughter and dressing the beef may be marketed as a whole body, as a whole side, as part sides (hindquarter/forequarter) or as cuts of beef (including minced beef). Meat profiles on the whole are convex, with very good muscle development and a wide, thick back, up to a well rounded shoulder. Solid to the touch, with a loose and consistent texture, the well developed muscles are of a deep red nature and have fat that is yellowish white. The meat is generally well marbled.
The unique reputation and qualities enjoyed by Welsh Beef come from traditional feeding on abundant grazing in Wales. Welsh grassland is characterised by heavier rainfall, higher land and poorer quality soils than England. The total land area of Wales is 2.1m hectares of which 1.7m hectares (82%) are in some form of agricultural use. The agricultural areas are generally hilly, with 60% of the land lying over 150 metres above sea levels and 27% of the land over 300 metres above sea level. The altitude, combined with steep slopes and high rainfall leads to poor soils and this is reflected in the proportion of low grade land which comprises 80% of the agricultural land. The preponderance of relatively poor land, climatic and other physical constraints over a large area of Wales means that a higher proportion of the land is devoted to a grassland farming system. Over 96% of the agricultural land is under permanent grass or used for rough grazing and just over 10% is grass that is under five years old. The efficient production and use of grass is central to the well being of Welsh agriculture. The grassland management skills of the Welsh farmer is noted world-wide with Welsh farmers regularly winning awards for their grassland management. The grass leys in many of the regions of Wales are interspersed with heathers and indigenous fragrant wild herbs.
The farms of the region are typically family farms having a mixed flock of sheep or herd of cattle. Holdings in Wales are on average smaller than the UK as a whole. The smaller average holdings is reflected in smaller herd sizes for beef (around 22 in Wales) as well as the structure of the workforce. The husbandry skills of the Welsh livestock farmer have been passed down from one generation to the next. The Welsh cattle industry is richly documented for its importance from the Celts, the Romans, the Normans and up to the present day. There are numerous historical references to Welsh cattle production given in 'The Drovers' Roads of Wales' and 'Medieval Wales' by Hewitt.
Animals are sold either dead-weight to abattoirs or at livestock markets. Each producer controls his own herd of beef animals which are reared on relatively extensive farms based on grass feeding whether grazed or conserved as hay or silage. Cattle are slaughtered at between 24-27 months of age. The cattle are slaughtered in approved abattoirs, which are situated in close proximity to the point of production to minimise stress and produce better meat The animals are slaughtered and dressed in the abattoir in accordance with the Meat and Livestock Commission's Standard conditions for deadweight purchase of cattle, sheep and pigs.
At all stages of the production process records are kept to ensure traceability of the product. At the abattoirs the slaughter number, the date of slaughter, the classification details and the cold carcase weight are recorded. This information is attached on a label to the carcase. Minimum requirements with regard to the traceability of the product are:
- Cattle raised extensively on grassland.
- Veterinary records according to Government requirements.
- Traceability compliant to Farm Assured Welsh Livestock Protocol. AH cattle are tagged with producer's herd number printed on the tags.
- Transport and slaughter identification according to Government regulations.
After dressing the carcases are transferred to cold stores where they are kept to a temperature of 3C until taken to refrigerated vehicles kept at a maximum temperature of 4C, for despatch to customers or transfer to a cutting area for breaking down into cuts and joints. If the carcasses are to be divided into cuts, the cuts will be prepared and packaged in accordance with customer requirements. The meat and cuts will be held in temperature controlled environments before despatch to the customers.
Reference: The European Commission
How much does one cup of beef weigh?
Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:
|Beef||raw - minced||
|225 grams||8 ounces|
|Beef||cooked - chopped/diced||
|150 grams||> 5 ounces|
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.
Pages in category ‘Beef recipes’
The following 165 pages are in this category, out of 165 total.