Ever felt a little baffled by the excessive use of jargon that restaurants, high-end supermarkets and your fancy pretentious friend may use? Well, the following are explanations for some of these terms so that next time you are more aware of what you are eating or why you are paying more for your USDA Prime Certified Angus Tenderloin!
USDA Beef Grading
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grades beef at the request of a meat processor. This is a voluntary program and only beef that is USDA inspected may carry the USDA shield of authenticity. The grading system is based on two primary criteria: maturity (i.e. the age of the animal at slaughter) and marbling (intramuscular fat). Under the USDA beef grading program, there are eight beef quality grades. At Jett Foods, we only sell Prime and Choice beef which are the two highest grades of US beef.
Beef Cut Map
So where exactly are these cuts of beef located on the actual carcass? The following diagram should give you a better idea of where each cut we offer on Jett Foods is located on the beef carcass:
1. TenderloinThe Rolls Royce of beef cuts. As its name suggests, this cut of steak is known for its tenderness but that’s not its only attribute, it also has plenty of juicy beef flavour. Usually served as a smaller cut when compared to Rib Eye and Sirloin steak so it’s ideal if you’re not as hungry but still craving for a quality, filling and satisfying steak meal!
2. Rib EyeThis is arguably the most popular cut of all steaks and for good reason. The marbling is plentiful yet not excessive. The incredible flavour and natural tenderness of this steak makes it a safe bet for impressing even the most demanding meat lovers.
3. SirloinComparable to the Rib Eye, the Sirloin is often seen as the slightly leaner alternative to the Rib Eye. However, it is a favourite of many in its own right due to its stronger meat flavour and its tenderness throughout. When done right, its characteristic white strip of fat gives it an extra succulent flavour.
4. Short-ribThere are various cooking methods to make the most out of this cut of beef.
Enjoyable either as a juicy tender steak or as flavoursome Shabu-Shabu slices. You simply can’t have hotpot without this absolute must. It is also fantastic for braising and stir-frying.
Steak Doneness Explained
Well Done (71-100°C): Very cooked with the result of being very firm. All the pinkness is gone and the steak is usually slightly charred on the outside.
Medium Well (65-69°C): Still quite firm but less so than Well Done steaks. There is still a hint of pink colour and the steak will still be slightly juicy.
Medium (60-65°C): Now we will see a more pronounced area of pinkness in the middle of the steak and of course the steak is getting juicier and more tender.
Medium Rare (55-60°C): You will find that the centre is warm and pink to red in colour. Every bite of a Medium Rare steak should be soft and tender and full of that juicy meaty flavour.
Rare (50-55°C): The outside is slightly cooked but the centre is distinctly juicy red and cool to warm.
Very Rare or Blue (46-49°C): The outside is gently seared whilst the inside is very red. Expect a slippery texture to it!
Raw: This one is quite self-explanatory, it simply isn’t cooked at all!
Duroc PorkJust as the Angus breed of cattle is well known for its superior quality beef, this same marvel is also true of the Duroc breed for pork. Duroc pork is known for its rich marbling delivering a tender, juicy flavourful dining experience. But don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself.
French CutLamb chops are usually served with the bone part ‘Frenched’ meaning all the meat and membrane at the end part of a rib or chop is removed leaving part of the bone clean and exposed. With the bones ‘Frenched’, eating the lamb chop is made more convenient as you can use the exposed bone part as a sort of handle whilst biting away at the juicy meat part of the chop.
Another useful fact to note here is that there are usually 8 lamb chops in a single lamb rack.
Organic chicken are basically free-range chicken that have access to pastures and pesticide-free food for their whole lives. Further, organic feed does not contain animal by-products, antibiotics or genetically engineered grains. A more commonly known fact about organic chicken is that it is prohibited to inject organic birds with drugs, antibiotics or hormones.
Free Range Chicken
Although organic chicken is usually free-range chicken, not all free-range chicken are organic. Free-range chicken is chicken that is allowed to roam freely instead of being fenced in or restricted in any manner.