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.
You know protein is essential to a balanced diet and maintaining energy and many products are now boasting protein content, but do you know what foods are healthful high sources of protein? And do you know how much protein you really need?
(BPT) - You know protein is essential to a balanced diet and maintaining energy and many products are now boasting protein content, but do you know what foods are healthful high sources of protein? And do you know how much protein you really need?
How much protein do you need?
With 18 grams of protein per serving, beef is high in protein, easy to prepare and can support a healthy diet. However, only 62% of American beef consumers consider ground beef to be high in protein and just 70% of them consider beef cuts to be high in protein, according to a recent consumer study conducted by Cargill.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate site outlines the amount of protein in various sources. Common portions of beef, such as a small steak or lean hamburger, have more protein than most other options in the food group, like pork, chicken, nuts, seeds, beans and peas.
According to the USDA Dietary Reference, people should be consuming about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight as part of a balanced diet. So, someone who weighs 150 pounds needs 60 grams of protein each day.
Why is it important to achieve a substantial daily consumption of protein? Protein helps repair cells, boosts energy and keeps us satiated longer. It sustains you through a long work day, boosts your stamina for exercise and ensures you don’t get hungry again soon after eating a meal.
People are also increasingly interested in consuming more healthy fats with their protein. Beef is packed with Omega-3 healthy fats that help prevent the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. In addition to the nutritional value and protein content, this cost-effective option delivers flavor, convenience and cooking versatility.
How to choose the right beef
Even consumers who regularly buy beef struggle with selecting the best cuts for their purpose, and many of them lack an understanding of how to use the USDA grading system as a guide when purchasing beef.
At the grocery store, consumers should look for the USDA grades on packaging. Choosing USDA Select grade beef offers a leaner protein source with slight amounts of fat and marbling. For a high-quality cut of meat for a special occasion, a Prime cut of beef offers abundant marbling and flavor, but it is not considered lean. The Choice grade of beef offers moderate marbling and flavor and is a little less lean than Select cuts.
When choosing ground beef, each cut is an excellent source or protein and is similar in flavor and tenderness, but varies in fat content:
Among the five food groups, protein provides consumers with nutritional benefits and the affordability of beef makes it a clear-cut selection as part of a balanced diet.
It’s true that classics never go out of style, but they can also evolve to keep current while still maintaining their original appeal. One updated idea is for stuffed peppers, such as with this recipe for Southwestern Bean Salad Stuffed Peppers.
A Classic Recipe Makeover
(Family Features) It’s true that classics never go out of style, but they can also evolve to keep current while still maintaining their original appeal.
For example, take the iconic tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich duo. Today’s tomato soup might be seasoned with herbs and garlic, and the grilled cheese might swap goat cheese and mozzarella for the traditional American or cheddar. Meatloaf could be prepared with sriracha replacing Worcestershire sauce or other seasonings.
Another updated idea is for stuffed peppers. It’s easy to give them a Tex-Mex spin simply by using a can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad as the base for the filling. The salad already has black and kidney beans, hominy and corn in it, as well as a slightly spicy dressing. Build on that flavorful combination by adding browned ground beef or turkey, cheese and tortilla chips. Poblano peppers could be substituted for bell peppers for an even more authentic south-of-the-border flair.
While this meal in a pepper bakes, make a salad of spinach or other greens topped with avocado slices and orange segments. Dinner is done and on the table in under an hour. For more easy, flavorful dinner ideas, visit READsalads.com.
Southwestern Bean Salad Stuffed Peppers
Variation: Ground chicken or turkey breast may be substituted for ground beef. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to skillet and heat until hot before adding ground chicken or turkey and onion to skillet.
Nutritional information per serving: 252 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrate;
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