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May 29, 2013 08:12 PM

Beef flavor and cattle

Where can I find the book re beef flavor and different cattles (or cuts). Great thx for that.

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    1. re: ferret

      I hope, but if no one gathering these experience in kitchen, I will not feel dispointed. It's hard to put to gether the sort of experience, anyway.

        1. re: carolinadawg

          I have the "Steak" book, and it's great! I learned a lot from it.

        2. If you can read some French, the wiki has a good list of their breeds, imported and local (to the French). They even touch on the quality of the meat of the different breeds:

          Scroll to the bottom for the complete list.

          1. Since beef is rarely identified by breed, there's unlikely to be a consumer oriented book discussing breed and flavor.

            But any good general purpose cookbook will discuss the use of different cuts. Flavor is linked to two things - age and fat.

            Since many flavor compounds are fat soluble, well marbled beef is supposed to be more flavorful. It is also more tender. But this applies more the 'steak' cuts than others. But flavor is also linked to use. Tenderloin is a lightly used muscle. It can be well marbled, but is often regarded as less flavorful than more developed muscles.

            Braising cuts like chuck, shank, and cheeks are tougher (until after long slow cooking), but can be more flavorful than steak. Tongue and heart are also flavorful.

            Generally meat from older animals is more flavorful, though also tougher. But most of the time in the USA we don't have much choice - other than the obvious veal v beef.

            5 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              I got your points Paul. Now I'm trying to study the recipes from China and Japan re beef cuts, especially the secondary cuts you mentioned more flavorful. What I wish to do is quite simple but time consuming, that finding out in these recipes which cut is more used with salty sauce or sweet sauce or even bitter sauce. I'll share with all in future. Thx.

              1. re: jacqueszh

                My gut sense is that the choice of sauce to go with beef has more to do with cultural preferences than the cut or breed.

                Although cut determines cooking method, and that in turn affects what sauce you can make. Grilling a steak does not give any sauce makings. Pan frying gives you fond and pan juices to work from. Braising makes its own sauce.

                Why is that steak sauces (a concentrated mix of sweet/sour/salt) are popular with steaks, horseradish with roast beef, mustard with corned beef. Why does tongue go well with a variety of 'piquant' sauces?

                1. re: paulj

                  Is it because the bad flavor of tongue is too strong?

                  1. re: jacqueszh

                    I don't think that's it... tongue has a mild, very beefy flavor. Care needs to be taken to prepare it, as it can become very tough / rubbery. It is often corned or braised in strongly flavored liquids, which may contribute to the perception that it's a strongly flavored cut.

                    1. re: Booklegger451

                      there can be a minerally-taste to some inner cuts that some don't like. i don't consider it "bad". i quite like it.

            2. Hummm. I am weird... because I dont like the taste of grass fed cattle.. but as far as cuts it is more of a texture... I read a book called the Science of Flavor once that talked about meat

              7 Replies
              1. re: girloftheworld

                I agree. As for the weired and strong flavor from such as grass fed cattle or fat with yellow color (mainly carotene I was told), most of people don't like it. So for first duty of chef is to cover it, or reduce it. That could be done in different way. But the tougher duty for chef is to turn this strong flavor to another flavor which could be welcomed. Both the 2 duties for me is subject to study.

                1. re: jacqueszh

                  i don't know where you are, but grass-fed beef is significantly more expensive in the u.s. than the standard grain-fed, so my 1st thought is not to cover up the flavor or reduce it. it simply is "different". some may prefer the blander flavor of grain-fed, but not everybody.

                  i don't buy lobster and try to make it taste like tilapia.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    I am in Texas.. I dont find grain fed "blander" I just find grass fed kind of rancid tasting.. maybe I have just had not had "good "grass beef experinces

                    edited- due to leaving out 'not had'

                    1. re: girloftheworld

                      "Rancid tasting" is a "good experience"?

                      1. re: carolinadawg

                        oops.should'a proof read closer- thanks

                      2. re: girloftheworld

                        my location query was to the op.

                        up until 50-60 years all beef tasted like that. these massive grain-fed lots are a recent development. the beasts are softer, because they are confined, so the meat is less dense and less textured.

                        having worked in high-end steakhouses i have heard more than one guest complain that their steak was "rancid" because they were not used to the flavor of aged beef, same with grass-fed. i do understand everybody has their preferences, but i see no point in trying to mask the flavor. just buy the cafo steaks, ya know?

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          The beef we buy isnt off a grain fed lot... it is farm raised.. it runs around( well as much as cows do) ..the cow we buy is quite small in comparrison to what you see on ..say tv.. it still has a nice meat flavor rather than a weird composting flavor...