Beef - types, health benefits and secrets of cooking


Beef - types, health benefits
and secrets of cooking


Beef is a meat that is very popular among many people. It is obtained as a result of the slaughter of cows and bulls. The product has excellent taste and consumer qualities.


The quality of meat has a direct dependence on the age of the cattle: the older the animal was, the tougher the meat will be, as it contains a lot of rough muscles. Quality beef is colored red. The color depends on several aspects:

On the health of the cattle (pallor indicates the presence of some disease);

the slaughter (brown-red color is a sign that the blood has not been drained);

the method of storage (uneven color is a sign of repeated thawing).


The most popular parts of the carcass: brisket, neck, loin and shoulder.

Beef meat is classified, dividing it into 3 grades:

highest - brisket, back, fillet, oguzok, kostrets and okovalok;

first grade - abattoir, shoulder blade and shoulder part;

second grade - slaughter and shank.



Quality beef has a fibrous marbled structure, colored red and has a pleasant smell. The fat should be uniform, soft and colored white and creamy.


Like any other product, beef is divided into three categories, the belonging to which is influenced not only by the age of the animal, but also by the fat content of the product.


The appearance of beef of the first category should correspond to the following. Muscle tissue should be normally developed, and the fat layer should start from the tail of the carcass and continue to the eighth rib. Also, beef of this type should have a lot of subcutaneous fat. If the carcass of young cattle is used for cutting, it is acceptable for the meat to have no fatty deposits.


Beef parts


From various parts of beef, you can cook quite a lot of different delicacies, since this type of meat is considered quite juicy, moderately soft and very tasty. However, it should be remembered that to create a particular dish, you should take only the part of beef that is specified in the recipe.


When cutting the carcass, the following parts of beef should be obtained:

1. Thigh. It is also called okovalk, small nut or oguzk. The meat is very juicy and without fibers. This part of beef makes excellent roasts and rump steaks.

2. Cow's tail. Before cooking, it should be cut into pieces (about five centimeters long). It is very often used for cooking a hot dish. Also from the ox tail cooks advise to make a stew.

3. Tenderloin. This part of the beef is located in the posterior lumbar part of the carcass. It is soft enough and moderately juicy. The loin is obtained by cutting the meat from the okovalka (mostly taken from the inside). In cooking, this part of beef is subjected to stewing, boiling, baking, and also made into tasty medallions.

4. Calves. The meat contains a lot of tendons. Excellent for making roasts and grilled meat. Also, this part of beef is used for cooking cold cuts, hot dishes, stews and aintopf.

5. Brisket. This part of beef contains flesh with a film and fat, which are interspersed. If you separate the meat from the bones, you can make meatloaf. If the brisket is cut into pieces, it is better to take it for stewing or for boiling broth.

6. Shovel part. This part of beef with a small content of fat and tendons. In cooking from this product you can make a lot of different dishes. From the shoulder part is good to fry cutlets, cook broth for soup, stew goulash, also the product is suitable for baking in the oven and cooking meatloaf.

7. Pashina. The part of beef taken from the sternum. On the flesh there is a large amount of fat and tissue layers. Before cooking, experts advise removing the film from the pashina so that the meat is not too tough. Suitable for cooking hot dishes, and also acts as a filling for pies.

8. Rulka. A part of beef taken from the front legs of the carcass. Excellent for cooking cold cuts.

9. Back. It is a thick edge, to which belong such parts of beef as ribs, entrecote and loin on the rib. From this meat it is recommended to prepare cutlets and roast beef. You can also bake the flesh in the oven as a whole piece. Ribs are suitable for boiling broth.

10. Sirloin. This is a thin edge, which includes the loin and part of the loin. The meat is not very fatty and quite tender. It is suitable for making meat dishes (rolls, goulash, roast beef, kebabs, steaks, chops, medallions and azu).

11. Neck. It includes the back of the neck and the back of the neck. Sufficiently hard meat, however, this does not impair the flavor qualities of the dish. Neck needs to be cooked for a long time and in enough water, so this product is used for stewing and boiling. The neck is ideal for baking in the oven. Also this part of the beef can go for minced meat. The back of the neck is taken for boiling broths.

Beef should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in food paper or foil. A whole piece is recommended to store no more than 4 days, and cut into pieces only 2 days. As for minced meat, it is better to use it within a day.


If you want to freeze meat, then first blot it with a towel and wrap it 2 times with foil. In this case, the shelf life of a whole piece increases to a year, and sliced and minced meat up to 4 months.


To determine the freshness of beef, you should carefully inspect, smell and touch the meat. The basic characterization of fresh and quality beef is based on the following criteria. The color varies from dark pink to brown shades. The edges on cuts of meat should not be weathered.


You can also determine the quality of beef by the color of the bones and joints. If they are white in color, it means that the meat is fresh enough.


The structure of beef should be dense, when you press on the meat, it should immediately return to its former shape. If you feel the meat, it should not be sticky. The fat is soft enough, creamy in color.


How to distinguish beef?


Distinguish young beef from old beef can be distinguished by such criteria. In a young animal, the meat is a rich red shade, and the fat is white. Old beef is characterized by a maroon color with yellow fat. You can also realize that the meat is old by simply pressing it with your finger. In old beef, the depression remains for a long time, and in young beef immediately takes the same shape. The odor of the meat also plays an important role. When cooking old beef, there is an unpleasant odor, and when cooking young, the flavor is almost absent.


Distinguish veal from beef can be distinguished by appearance, color and smell. The difference between the two types of meat is that beef is only a bright red shade, while the color of veal varies from light pink, pink with gray coloring and up to red-pink. Also a significant difference is the texture of the meat. Beef is quite tough, with the presence of tendons and films, and veal is much more tender and does not contain tendons. In addition, the latter type of meat has a milky flavor with the presence of a sour-sweet smell. Veal, unlike beef, practically does not contain fat, and if it is present, it is white in color. The fat of beef is of a dark-white color, sometimes yellow, but this is if the meat is old.


To distinguish marbled beef from ordinary beef, you should know that to obtain marbled meat use only young cattle, which in the last four months fed on grain or grass feed, as well as little movement, so the meat is fat, tender and juicy, with a marble pattern in the form of fat flecks. The difference between the two types of beef is also in the price of the product. Marbled will cost much more than regular beef.


You can distinguish pork from beef by several criteria. The former, unlike the latter, is only pink in color, with the presence of fat. When boiled, beef will change its hue to gray, and pork - to white. Also, the difference between the two types of meat is taken into account in cooking. Pork is more suitable for frying and beef for boiling, as this product is tougher and takes longer to cook. Frozen pork will always be pink in color with layers of fat, while beef will be maroon in color.


To distinguish beef from mutton, you need to carefully examine the appearance of the two types of meat. The latter, unlike the former, does not contain marbling, fatty tissue does not crumble, odorless. During cooking, mutton smells much more fragrant than beef, but the taste of cooked mutton is much worse.


Useful properties


The useful properties of beef are due to the presence of complete iron and protein, which have the ability to oxygenate the cells. Given this, it is especially useful to consume this type of meat for people who lead an active lifestyle and are engaged in sports.


Beef contains collagen, which is the main building material for the ligaments located between the joints.


There are in beef and B vitamins, which are necessary for muscle tissue and for the normal activity of the nervous system.


The meat contains zinc, which takes part in the production of immunity. And due to the presence of choline, the consumption of beef normalizes the level of cholesterol in the blood. Given the content of iron, when consuming such meat improves the composition of the blood and the process of hematopoiesis. A large amount of beef contains potassium necessary for the cardiovascular system. There is in the meat and ascorbic acid, strengthening the walls of blood vessels.


Beef contains sulfur, which takes an active part in the metabolic processes in the body. Due to the presence of sodium and chlorine normalizes the water balance and reduces swelling of the body.


Contained in the meat of phosphorus and calcium - minerals that take part in the restoration and strengthening of bone tissue.


Beef also contains vitamin A, which improves visual acuity, as well as vitamin PP, which is part of the enzymes.


Use in cooking


Beef is very popular in the cooking of different peoples. On its basis, many different dishes are prepared. Beef can be subjected to various culinary treatments: frying, stewing, boiling, smoking, steaming and grilling. Also from the meat make minced meat, which are used in baking, for cooking cutlets and as a filling for dumplings, pancakes, etc.


Beef is perfectly combined with vegetables, mushrooms, cereals, fruits and berries. It is recommended to combine meat with red wine, also this alcoholic beverage can be used in marinade and during stewing.


There are many culinary recipes for cooking beef: in batter, in dough, in spices, in a roll, with vegetables, berries, under different sauces, with mushrooms. You can independently experiment with beef, getting new delicious dishes.


Although beef is considered a tasty and flavorful meat, but without spices you still can not do without. Since this meat can be cooked in a variety of ways, different spices are used for each dish.


During cooking, such seasonings for beef are put in the broth, such as herbs, bayberry, peppercorn peppers. The same spices are used for cooking meat, which will then go into salads or pies.


If kharcho soup is prepared, in the dish you should add burning peppers, garlic and hmeli-suneli. Instead of hops, it is recommended to use paprika, celery, basil, parsley, coriander, bay, marjoram and mint.


For roasting meat, experienced cooks advise taking such seasonings for beef as tarragon, onion, sage, garlic, rosemary, dill, chaber, marjoram, oregano, basil, chili, rosemary.


For braising beef, it is best to use thyme, onions and herbs. If the meat is braised with vegetables and tomato, it is recommended to add marjoram, oregano and rosemary. Also sometimes paprika, sage, mint, hyssop, cloves or oregano are put in beef stew.


To ready beef should be served with sauces such as garlic, red, sour cream or white. Cooked meat also goes well with mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, a mixture of garlic, dill and sour cream.