Entertaining for a special occasion becomes less intimidating when you know exactly what to cook. Armed with knowledge of the numerous beef cuts and USDA grades, consumers can be prepared to host family or friends for an extraordinary evening in any occasion. This article will provide you with information to make you a smart beef shopper.
(BPT) - Hosting dinner for a special occasion can be stressful. Whether you’re gathering with family for the holidays or making something new for friends, you want to deliver an entertaining evening and impress your guests with a pristine meal that everyone enjoys. A delicious beef cut is the focal point of a dinner that will treat guests to a night they will remember.
Beef is a traditional choice for many special occasions, including preparing a nostalgic favorite for the family or creating a meal from one’s cultural heritage. Guests of all ages identify beef cuts as a delicacy.
Cargill surveyed consumers to learn more about their perceptions of beef and when beef is on their plate. Among American beef shoppers who were asked about beef cuts (such as steaks, roasts, etc.):
Consumers view beef cuts as a savory entrée and want that luxury on their plate at special occasions. Selecting the perfect cut for a specific occasion can be a challenge, though.
Sterling Silver Premium Meats outlines the wide variety of beef cuts and details what each one brings to the table. Tenderloin steak is lean, yet succulent, with a fine buttery texture. Filet mignon is cut from the tenderloin and serves as a stellar main course, perhaps as a mushroom filet, at a small gathering. Tenderloin can also be incorporated into a sophisticated mac and cheese recipe or a petite tender flatbread.
Ribeye is one of the best-known steaks and a favorite at steakhouses everywhere for being rich, juicy and full-flavored. Prime rib steak comes from the same section as ribeye, but the cuts are larger since they include the ribeye and the bone.
If you want a portion friendly entrée, short ribs are rich in tenderness and flavor, and are easily divvied up among the guests at a party. There are tons of recipes for short rib meals and appetizers including: smoky tomato braised short ribs with polenta, chipotle-braised short rib tacos, mini ancho short rib tamales and short rib sliders.
Skirt steak is tender and flavorful too, and it’s perfect for the grill. An indulgence that’s just as enjoyable as an individual steak as it is in stir-fry or fajitas, skirt cuts can create many different delectable dinners.
For a more affordable meal, ideal for large gatherings with families and friends, serve brisket or roast beef. Brisket incorporates some variety into the eating experience and is best when roasted slowly at a lower temperature. Add a puree to your plate for a complete slow braised brisket meal. Pot roast is economical and versatile. It can be tenderized by cooking in liquid for hours or cut into cubes for stew that can be shared by a big group.
Most consumers responding to the Cargill survey also said that USDA grades are important to them, but many shoppers lack an understanding of how to use the USDA grading system as a guide when purchasing beef.
While surveying the meat case at the grocery store, consumers can scan for the USDA grades on packaging. For a high-quality cut of meat for a special occasion, shoppers should grab a Prime cut, which has amazing tenderness, juiciness, flavor and fine texture. USDA Select grade beef offers a leaner protein source with slight amounts of fat and marbling. The Choice grade features moderate marbling and flavor and is a little less lean than Select cuts.
Entertaining for a special occasion becomes less intimidating when you know exactly what to cook. Armed with knowledge of the numerous beef cuts and USDA grades, consumers can be prepared to host family or friends for an extraordinary evening in any occasion.
Wondering what to cook for an upcoming holiday gathering - or just a family meal? A beautiful beef roast is a feast for the eyes and the stomach, sure to impress guests of all ages. With a few expert tips and tricks, you'll be sure to serve a perfectly cooked roast packed full of flavor. Here's a "how to" guide to make you a roast expert!
(BPT) - Wondering what to cook for an upcoming holiday gathering? A beautiful beef roast is a feast for the eyes and the stomach, sure to impress guests of all ages. With a few expert tips and tricks, you'll be sure to serve a perfectly cooked roast packed full of flavor.
Roasting tips from the pros
No matter which cut of beef you select to serve, there are some tried-and-true tricks chefs use to get the juiciest, most delicious results. The pros from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. and the Beef Checkoff are the experts on all things beef and offer these tips for the perfect holiday roast.
Step 1: Use tools of the trade
Before you start, consider investing in an ovenproof meat thermometer. This is particularly important when roasting larger cuts. Unlike an instant-read thermometer, an ovenproof meat thermometer stays in the roast while cooking. This helps you avoid opening the oven unnecessarily and poking multiple holes in the roast, causing you to lose some of the juices.
Step 2: Select your cut
When cooking for four people or fewer, it is best to purchase a steak. For larger parties, a traditional bone-in roast is a popular option. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a roast that has one rib for every two people. To save time in the store, you can even call your meat counter in advance to order the exact size roast you need.
Step 3: Preheat and prep
It’s important to set your oven to the appropriate temperature for your roast. For a bone-in Ribeye roast, 350 F is generally recommended, but make sure to check your recipe for specifics. While your oven preheats, season the roast according to your recipe, then sear. While it's possible to develop a crust on your roast through slow roasting, you may get tastier results by searing it over high heat at either the beginning or the end of the roasting time. Most recipes will specify whether and when to brown the meat, but when in doubt, a quick sear before popping the roast into the oven won't hurt.
Step 4: Go low and slow
When placing the roast in your roasting pan, preferably on a roasting rack, you want to place the beef on the rack fat-side-up and bone side down (if your cut has bones). Using a rack improves air circulation and promotes even cooking. Once your roast is in the pan, you’ll want to insert your ovenproof meat thermometer with the tip centered in the thickest part of the roast, avoiding the bone, if the cut you select has one. Cook as recommended, being sure not to overshoot your target temperature as it will continue to rise after pulling the roast from the oven.
Cooking times vary depending on both the cut of meat and your desired doneness. For example, if you're cooking a bone-in Ribeye Roast for four to six people at 350 F, you can plan for a cook time as short as 1 hr 45 min for medium rare, targeting an internal temperature of 135 F, or as long as 2 hr 45 min for medium, with an internal temperature of 145 F. For specific roasting time guidelines for a bone-in Ribeye Roast, as well as other cuts, you can visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.
Step 5: Let it rest
Once you pull the roast from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil (this is called tenting) and let it rest. It is important to let your roast rest so the juices have time to re-absorb into the meat ensuring a tender, juicy roast. Larger roasts need more time to rest, often as long as 15–20 minutes. Those few extra minutes provide a great opportunity to make an au jus from the reserved beef drippings and plate side dishes.
Step 6: Carve and serve
The most important tool for properly carving your roast is a sharp knife. And, if you're using a meat fork to help carve, try not to pierce the roast to hold it in place. If you want to avoid this risk altogether, you can use the back of the fork instead or simply opt for tongs. If you have a rib roast, cut each slice along the rib bone. And remember to always cut across the grain for maximum tenderness.
Haylie Duff shares best tips for quick and healthy family meals.
(BPT) - It can be a struggle to prepare a nutritious meal the whole family will enjoy. Finding time to spend around the table during back-to-school season can be particularly challenging, but not impossible.
Actress, chef and mother of two Haylie Duff has a few expert tips and tricks for crafting nutritious meals on a time crunch.
1. Use pre-made ingredients to reduce prep time.
Keeping the fridge stocked with pre-made ingredients is a simple time saver. Adding ingredients such as pre-cut vegetables or hard-cooked peeled eggs to on-the-go snacks or family meals is an easy way to boost the nutrition of a recipe without all of the prep work.
2. Plan a meal-prep day each week
Preparing meals ahead of time to pull from the fridge or freezer and pop into the oven will help save time and reduce stress. Setting aside a couple of hours once a week to plan and prepare meals can make the school week more relaxed. Plus, planning means more time around the table with loved ones during mealtime.
3. Add slow-cooker recipes to your weekly routine
On busier days, let a slow-cooker do all the work. You can make tasty recipes, such as roast chicken with steamed veggies, a quiche or a healthy pasta dish. Simply put the ingredients in the slow cooker and fire it up. In the meantime, you’ll have more time to spend playing with the kids or helping them with homework.
4. Stock up on quality, versatile ingredients
It is so important to nourish children with top quality ingredients such as Eggland’s Best eggs, which are packed with superior nutrition compared to ordinary eggs at the grocery store. These eggs contain more than double the vitamin B12 compared to ordinary eggs, which helps transform food to energy to keep the entire family energized throughout the day. They also contain six times more vitamin D, 25% less saturated fat, more than double the omega-3s and 10 times more vitamin E.
For a make-ahead snack the whole family is sure to enjoy, try these Buffalo Deviled Egg Bites from the American Heart Association and Eggland’s Best.
Buffalo Deviled Egg Bites
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot wing sauce (lowest sodium available)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon finely crumbled low-fat blue cheese
1 tablespoon chopped celery
Eggland’s Best is a national supporter of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good movement and is encouraging consumers to try out the recipes available at recipes.heart.org.
When cold weather hits, it’s natural to seek comfort in a variety of forms: warm blankets, layers of sweaters and delicious, hearty meals like Chickpea, Spinach and Coconut Curry, Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables, and Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese.
Recipes and Tips Rooted in Goodness
(Family Features) When cold weather hits, it’s natural to seek comfort in a variety of forms: warm blankets, layers of sweaters and delicious, hearty meals. Winter is the perfect season for spending time indoors honing cooking skills to take your culinary creations to the next level.
Opt for Seasonal Produce
While the days of peaches and watermelons may be over, dropping temperatures bring a slew of seasonal produce made for cool-weather cooking. Think winter squash, apples, root vegetables and cauliflower. Try using a seasonal food guide to learn what produce is in season in any state at any time of the year. Cooking with seasonal produce helps ensure your food is in peak form at its most nutritional and flavorful state.
Find more winter recipes at farmtoforksauce.com.
Simple Recipes for Shorter Days
With less daylight hours during the winter, many people tend to get sleepy earlier. Quick weeknight dinner recipes are usually ideal, especially when they take only 30 minutes or so to prepare. Easy dishes are perfect for those nights when you want something savory and delicious, but you also want to get into pajamas and onto the nearest couch as soon as possible. Few things are better than a warm bowl full of flavor like this taste-tempting curry recipe bursting with caramelized onion and roasted garlic notes.
Chickpea, Spinach and Coconut Curry
Prep time: 20 minutes
The Perks of Passive Cooking
Wintry weekends call for warming meals that bring an extra sensation of coziness through the wafting aroma of slow-cooked dishes. Wintertime is the perfect season to break out your slow cooker or put your stove on low heat and let fragrant dishes such as Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables simmer slowly and fill your home with enticing smells.
Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Prep time: 20 minutes
Find Comfort in Your Favorite Foods
Almost nothing beats pasta and sauce on a chilly night. When craving warm and filling meals during winter, a quality, jarred pasta sauce like FarmToFork can add simple goodness to hearty dishes like Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese. Made with sustainably grown, vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh garlic, basil and onions, the sauce brings rich, distinctive flavor to a variety of cool-weather favorites from traditional pasta recipes to soups and oven bakes. During the season of giving, comfort and warmth can also be found in doing good for others, which is why FarmToFork supports Big Green, a national nonprofit organization that partners with low-income schools around the country to bring garden-based learning and food literacy curriculums to children.
Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese
Prep time: 15 minutes
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