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Beef is a kind of meat obtained from domestic cattle. Beef is one of the most common varieties of meat eaten in international cuisine. The word beef is derived from the Old French language. Usually, cattle meat is cut into steaks and used in making various kinds of beef dishes. Beef dishes are commonly eaten as side dishes or main dishes. Beef stew, roasted beef, grilled beef steaks and beef curry are some of the beef dishes that are well-liked in global cuisine. History of Beef The introduction of beef as an edible item is done by the hunters of prehistoric times. Around 8000 BC, the domestication of cattle started providing access to beef as meat.

Culinary Use of Beef

Beef is one of the commonly eaten meats in various parts of world. It can be cooked in many ways including other ingredients also. Broiled beef, smoked beef steaks, beef curry, beef sandwiches, beef sausages and beef stew are the common and popular beef dishes. Owing to its high cholesterol level, beef is not suitable for those suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Beef recipes are famous worldwide as everyday recipes as well as festive recipes. Corned beef and cabbage, festive beef fillets, Jamaican roast beef are some of the festive beef recipes. Beef leftovers can also be treated to make beef dishes for everyday meal.

Cuisines Commonly Making Beef Dishes

Cuisines of America, Europe, Australia, Argentina and Africa make good use of beef as a principal meat. East Asian and South East Asian cuisines are also including some popular beef dishes. In some food cultures, as in Hinduism and Buddhism, beef is prohibited due to religious beliefs attached with cattle. Scandavian meatballs, Irish Roast beef, London broil and savory Swiss steak are the popular European beef recipes.

Preferable Cooking Methods for Beef Recipes

Beef is versatile and it can be cooked in a number of methods. Main cuts of beef are steaks, tenderloin, roast and short ribs. Different cuts are used for making various beef dishes with different methods. Some of the preferable methods for cooking beef are listed below:

• Grilling – This is one of the most common methods of cooking beef with dry heat. Grilling sears the crust of the beef and makes it flavorful. In some parts, this method is also known as barbequing.

• Broiling – It is also done similarly like grilling, but the heat is provided from above the meat.

• Roasting – Beef dishes made with this method are made in a hot oven. Basting of beef is done with fat and the drippings are used to make the gravy of beef.

• Stir-frying – It is the common method of cooking used in Asian recipes. Beef is cooked in a wok with other ingredients and cooked until done.

Nutritive Value of Beef and Beef Dishes

Zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, and B vitamins are some of the minerals that are present in beef. Beef and beef dishes are also high in proteins like other red meats. In spite of being a highly nutritious meat, excess consumption of beef is considered unhealthy. According to the study done by World Cancer Research Fund, red meat and beef are the cause for bowel cancer. It also contains high amount of saturated fats.

Buying and Storing of Beef

Beef should be picked from the market after carefully checking its packing date and expiry date. The spoilage of beef occurs very fast if meat is untreated or unprocessed. While buying beef it is recommended to check that flesh looks fresh and pink in color. It is always better to buy fresh cut beef from butcher’s shop. Storage of beef is also a very important task. Some points are here that should be kept in mind while storing the meat: • Store beef in the coldest part of refrigerator. • Beef can be frozen in refrigerator for not more than 3 days.

• Leftover beef dishes should be stored for at least 2 days.

• It is advised to cook beef as and when it is bought. Improper buying and storage of beef and beef dishes may result in beef becoming poisonous and unappetizing.

Types of Beef

Beef is categorized according to the cattle from which it is obtained. It is recommended to buy USDA graded beef as it is one of the most premium types of beef available. Some of the highly sold beef types are as follows:

• Black Agnus – This type of beef is obtained from red agnus or black agnus cattle and it is one of the most commonly available beef in America.

• Kobe – It is a high quality beef obtained from wagyu cattle. The cattle is properly fed and massaged in order to get premium quality, tender and juicy meat. Kobe is mainly taken from the Japanese cattle.

• American Wagyu – these cattle are fed and treated as Japanese Wagyu but not labeled as ‘kobe’ as they are not breaded in Japan.

• Australian Wagyu – It is imported to Australia in 1991 and has similar characteristics like Kobe and American Wagyu.

Beef Trivia

• In America, beef consumption is 77.8 million times each day.

• Ground beef is the most selling beef type.