Beef

Beef, the meat of the young ox or bullock, can be more variable in quality than other meats and the price will fluctuate according to availability. Obviously, the prime, tender cuts are always more expensive because there are fewer of them on the whole carcass. The tougher cuts, which are cheaper, are equally nutritious and, if they are cooked cor- rectly, provide delicious, dishes.

Beef (and other meats) contain a high proportion of protein and are valuable sources of iron and Vitamins Bl and B2. Beef is ideal for would be slimmers as the carbohydrate content is nil.

When buying beef, look for meat with a fresh red colour that has a brownish tinge. If the colour is too bright it means that the meat has not been sufficiently aged and will be tough and lacking in flavour. The meat should be marbled with fat. This will make the meat moist and tender when it is cooked. The fat should be a creamy colour.

The amount of meat you buy depends on family requirements, but an approx-imate guide is 4-6 oz. of boned meat or, 6-8 oz. of meat with bone per person.

The United States, Ireland, Argentina and Russia are among the largest pro-ducers of beef. Connoisseurs, however, consider

Scotch beef the best. The cuts pictured here are British cuts.

This term describes the cooking of meat by radiated heat-in olden days meat was hung on to a spit and roasted over coals or wood. Nowadays roasting is generally done in the oven, and is the best method of cooking the prime cuts. Suitable Cuts

Ribs (Top, Fore and Back) Sirloin, Top Rump, Whole Fillet. Preparation

Preheat oven to hot 425°F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C). Place a little cooking fat in a roasting pan and heat in the oven. Place meat in the hot fat then turn over to seal all sides. After cooking for 15 minutes reduce temperature to moderate 350F (Gas Mark 4, 180 C). ( (

1 Neck

2 Foreribs

3 Sirloin

4 Rump steak

5 Chuck

6 Back ribs

Topside

Rolled boned brisket

Top rib

10 Top rump

11 Silverside

12 Shin

13 Flank

14 Leg .-‘

Cooking Time

Rare: 15 minutes to the pound and 15 minutes over (Meat thermometer tem-perature 140°F).

Medium: 25 minutes to the pound and 25 minutes over (Meat thermometer temperature 160°F).

Boned and rolled beef: 30 minutes to the pound and 30 minutes over (Meat thermometer temperature 175°F).

After cooking leave the meat in a warm place for 10 minutes. This makes it easier to carve.

Braising is a mixture of roasting and stewing. The meat is cooked on a bed of vegetables with a little liquid, in an oven-proof casserole with a tight fitting lid. The moisture produced while cooking makes this an ideal way of cooking the medium cuts of beef. Pot roasting is similar, the only difference being the meat is cooked in a saucepan on top of the stove and then if liked transferred to an ovenproof dish and browned in the oven. Suitable Cuts

Brisket, Silverside, Thick Flank, Topside. Preparation

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Fry both sides of the meat in hot fat for 2 minutes to seal in the juices. Place on a bed of fried vegetables (or according to recipe). Cover the casserole with a tight fitting lid. Cooking Time

40 minutes to the pound for thinner cuts.

45 minutes to the pound for thicker, or stuffed, cuts.

This long slow method of cooking at a low temperature in the oven or on top of the stove makes coarser cuts of meat deliciously rich and tender.

Suitable Cuts

Chuck (also called Shoulder or Blade

Bone), Leg, Neck, Oxtail, Shin, Skirt, Thick Flank, Salted Brisket or Silverside.

Preparation

Preheat oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C), or cook on top of the stove over low heat. Cut meat into pieces and continue according to recipe, or leave whole as in the case of salted meat.

Cooking Time

Depends on thickness and size of pieces of meat. But most stews require at least

2 hours.

These are the best ways of cooking pieces of the prime cuts. The grill should be glowing red or the frying-pan very hot, as the meat should be cooked as quickly as possible.

Suitable Cuts

Fillet (comes from the undercut of the sirloin), Entrecote (steak cut from the upper part of the sirloin), Minced

Beef (made into hamburgers)

Rump.

Preparation

Add a little butter and oil to the grill or frying-pan and preheat.

Sprinkle meat with ground pepper (or according to recipe).

Grill or fry for 4 to 8 minutes on both sides depending on thickness and how you like steak cooked.

Rare: about 3-4 minutes each side.

Medium: about 5-6 minutes each side.

Well Done: about 7-8 minutes each side.

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