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Those of us living in North American and are beef lovers and have lots of beef recipes need to thank Hernando Cortez. He brought the first cattle to North American in 1519. And since then beef consumption per capita has risen to about 63 lbs. Of that, ground beef accounts for about 64% of all beef served at home. Thanks to Mr. Cortez we have the main ingredient for our beef recipes.
Ever wonder about the beef you are purchasing. Where is comes from? The quality? Do you know the different cuts of beef? More than 90% of beef we purchase originates in the United States, while most of the rest comes from Canada. The steers are usually 18 – 24 months old and weigh an average of 1,000 pounds. Each steer after being butchered yields about 450 pounds of beef. Each is divided into 8 primal cuts for wholesale. These are:
- small flank
The organs are considered variety meats.
Corned Beef with Apricot Glaze
Beef cuts are inspected and graded by the U.S.D.A. for quality. This grading is optional. The grades are determined by estimating the age, the amount of fat marbling and texture, color and appearance of the ribeye. The top three grades of beef are Prime, Choice and Select.
- Prime - You will find Prime grades cuts to be the most tender, juicy and flavorful. According to the National Cattlemen Association only about 2% of all U.S. beef submitted for grading are quality graded Prime. Most of the Prime is sold to restaurants.
- Choice - Choice is the next grade after Prime. This grade is what you will find your local retail groceries that you will be using for your beef recipes.
- Select -Select grades are usually less expensive cuts of beef. The tenderness and juiciness will vary. Though they may be leaner cuts, they will often not be as tender and juicy as Choice or Prime.
The following are America’s top-selling cuts used in beef recipes. I’ve included some recipe suggestions.
- top round steak (boneless) –Swiss Steak
- ribeye steaks (bone-in) – Grilled with a Barbecue Dry Rub
- ribeye steak (boneless) – Grilled with a Rosemary Garlic Paste
- bottom round roast (boneless)
- chuck under blade pot roast (boneless)(also good for use in beef stew recipes) –Pot Roast
And of course, you can purchase ground round, ground chuck and ground beef. Ground round and ground chuck usually have less fat than ground beef.Recipes for ground beef are abundant.
Bean and Beef Casserole
1/2 lb. sliced bacon, diced
1 lb. lean ground chuck
1 chopped onion
1 - 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 - 15. oz. can lima beans
1 - 16 oz. can pork and beans
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. mustard
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3 tbsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Rinse and drain kidney and lima beans thoroughly. Fry bacon, beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is translucent. Drain. In a greased casserole dish, combine meat and onion mixture with all of the beans. In a separate bowl, blend the remaining ingredients together. Stir this sauce into the bean and beef mixture. Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350° F. Remove cover and bake an additional at minutes.
Do you know what to look for when selecting a cut of meat for your beef recipes?
- Bones (should there be any) should have a pinkish tint
- firm fine textured, cherry red beef marbling to help retain moisture during cooking
- the outer fat should be minimal and look creamy not yellowish
- Always check the “sell by date” for freshness
- Cold, tightly wrapped packages with little or no liquid (the more liquid you see the longer the beef has been packaged)
There are many varieties of Beef Stew Recipes. With a little change of herbs, spices and vegetables you can make a beef stew that can be unique. Generally speaking, beef stew recipes have potatoes, carrots, onions and of course, stew meat. I like to try different vegetables and herbs and spices to make a pot of stew that is different than your typical stew. You will find that by buying a chuck roast cut and cutting into cubes at home is more cost efficient. Plus you get to choose the cut you want in your beef stew recipe.
Steak recipes can vary from grilled, marinated, rubbed, simmered or baked. Of course, I think grilling is the favorite around my house. The steaks you use in your steak recipes will vary depending on the dish. Ribeyes, either bone-in or boneless, are great for grilling. As are strip steaks, sirloins and of course, T-bones and Porterhouse. Round Steaks are great for Swiss Steak and making Simmered Cubed Steaks.Click here for Rubs and Marinades and add loads of flavor to your steaks.
Pot Roasts are an easy and quick meal to prepare. I brown, simmer and cook my roast and vegetables in the same pot, thereby saving on doing a lot of dishes. I used all types of cuts of beef for my pot roast. Beef chuck, bottom round, and rump are a few that have proved to be for making a delicious pot roast. These are also good for roasting in the oven.
Click here for Appetizer recipes to go along with your Beef recipes.