Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Keith_W

Tell me about beef

Recommended Posts

I have been wanting to know this for quite a while. Hopefully someone can answer my questions :)

- What is the difference between grain fed beef and non-grain fed beef?

- Is vacuum packed better?

- Should I be fussy about how long the beef has been hung? Butchers tell me not to worry about it, but restaurants are proud to boast how long their beef has been hung.

- Any other tips and tricks to buying beef?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been wanting to know this for quite a while. Hopefully someone can answer my questions :)

- What is the difference between grain fed beef and non-grain fed beef?

- Is vacuum packed better?

- Should I be fussy about how long the beef has been hung? Butchers tell me not to worry about it, but restaurants are proud to boast how long their beef has been hung.

- Any other tips and tricks to buying beef?

Vacuum packed is good in that it excludes air from oxidising (slows down aerobic bacteria degradation ) does nothing for any anaerobes if not packed under clean conditions however . I had one awful experience with a vac pack of eye fillet which was obviously contaminated prior to packing with anaerobes - it reeked of sulphides/mercaptans and put me off beef for a month. Happily back on beef bigtime again. And yes, it was refunded no question

In buying beef, I tend now to go for quality cuts at good outlets eg fillet, rather than bulk at low prices eg Vic Market on Sat am - the 'rump' they sell at $10/tray is rubbish. Good quality cuts have less junk to cut off and is always more tender and enjoyable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norpus I know what you mean with the vac packed beef. I was warned by a butcher to let it air for 30 mins per side once I unwrap it. When I got home and opened it ... EWWW it smelt of saltpeter and sulphurs. Never again! I thought. And i've never bought it again.

So why do they even offer this product if it's more expensive and tastes worse than normal beef? I must be missing something, or perhaps i've drawn the wrong conclusion from my single exposure to vacuum packed beef.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the technical reasons for the vacuum packed beef, but I know most vacuum packed products carry the highest mark-up over cost.

I call DBT!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I have been wanting to know this for quite a while. Hopefully someone can answer my questions :)

- What is the difference between grain fed beef and non-grain fed beef?

- Is vacuum packed better?

- Should I be fussy about how long the beef has been hung? Butchers tell me not to worry about it, but restaurants are proud to boast how long their beef has been hung.

- Any other tips and tricks to buying beef?

Hi Keith, grain fed beef is usually more tender than grass fed,however grass fed has more taste.The closer the meat to going off will be the most tender.If you are ever up Kyneton way go to Hardwickes retail outlet shop and get yourself some individually cryovacced beef and then tell me vacuum sealed is no good.

bon appettito,

Diesel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Norps has pretty much covered it.

But what may happen if there is even a pinhole in the cryovac,the stuff stinks and is unedible.

The whole idea is that with out air/oxygen the bacteria cannot prosper and therefore not contaminate the meat.Kind of like UHT milk but with out the heating.

They offer this product because it keeps for ages like that.That is in cryovac and at a low temp.Also the longer it is kept the more tender it becomes(aged beef).The juices remain with the meat not drying out aswell.

Keith I know you understand about rigor mortis and that after riggo flesh slowly starts to break down.

Well when controlled it lasts ages and becomes tender before final decomposition.

Also meat that is hung is not ususlly eye fillet unless its still on the carcass.Hung meat is usually still on the bone.When eye fillet is hung it forms a leathery dry skin which needs to be cut of,increasing the waste.

Hope this helps :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I regularly buy sides of rump cryovaced from country butchers. The beef is so tender its wonderful. I did have a bad experience with a cryo lump of rib fillet about 15 years ago but nothing since then.

Lately have been paying $13.50/kg for the whole rumps which is ok. I cut them up and freeze them in zip bags.

Interesting thing I learnt about rump. The rump of a beast actually comprises 3 different muscle groups. When the rump is cut into steaks each steak usually cuts across these three muscles.

This results in a steak that has the grain of meat running in different directions, and really requiring different cooking methods/times. This is why restaurants dont usually have rump on their menu, despite rump being generally more flavoursome than rib fillet.

What I do with my rump (dont go there....:)) is to separate the 3 muscle groups. I pull them apart, cutting the sinew with a filleting knife as I go. Then I end up with 3 different cuts of meat for either steaks or diced beef etc.

A nice steak from an aged cryo rump can be superb, just need to pay attention to the muscles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh Jake, you've just explained to me why rump is so damn inconsistent in quality/tenderness, etc..................many thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


So why do they even offer this product if it's more expensive and tastes worse than normal beef? I must be missing something, or perhaps i've drawn the wrong conclusion from my single exposure to vacuum packed beef.

Hi Keith,what I forgot to mention is that butchers buy them cryovaced from the abbettoirs.Very few buy carcasses these days.

So what you see in the shop fronts come from the sealed bags.

If they are not cryo'ed the meat oxidises quickly and looses its redness and looks dark ad grey/black,looks old and shitty .

OH yea! for the Peninsula boys,try the market at Karringal (next to Mitre 10) great grain fed eye fillet for $25.99 in cryo.Lots of other really good meat and sausages for great $$.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Norpus I know what you mean with the vac packed beef. I was warned by a butcher to let it air for 30 mins per side once I unwrap it. When I got home and opened it ... EWWW it smelt of saltpeter and sulphurs. Never again! I thought. And i've never bought it again.

So why do they even offer this product if it's more expensive and tastes worse than normal beef? I must be missing something, or perhaps i've drawn the wrong conclusion from my single exposure to vacuum packed beef.

Wrong conclusion I feel

It does not taste worse if the product is OK - in my case, the product was off ie and not enough preservative to counter the microbial action. It was worse than a slight sulphury odour- in this case it was absolutely putrid. I have not had a prob since, and still buy this. Just bought some vacpack eyefillet for tonights dinner in fact - we are having guests for a Rockband party hehe

I am not against preservatives btw - I think they are almost a necessary part of our foodchain - without them there would be a lot of tainted food and illness. If you can home kill your beef, and use it straight away without preservatives or freezing, then that is best. (I struggle to eat a whole beast though myself, so modern techniques such as preservative/vac pack etc means my intricate meat microstructure doesn't get destroyed by freeze/thaw cycles)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right Norps,the fact that meat is tender is due to the natural exzymes bracking down the fine sinew and muscle.

Its the first part of the the decomposition process that allows us to enjoy a tender steak.

Then again theres Kobi beef.

And yes that vile putrid smell/stench is that air has gotten into the cryo and accelerated decomposition.Truly disgusting.

Though sometimes when opening a cryo you get a fart smell, this just needs some air.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'm off steak for awhile now; Thanks Joz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Very few buy carcasses these days.

Im pretty sure in Qld this is not the case, saw one just the other day pull up to the butcher and the guy walking in with a whole something over his shoulder.

But then Im in Gladdy now, maybe we have more traditional stuff still remaining up here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Wagyu beef

This is available from Tony Knox of Miettas fame at Wangara

Wangara are basically a wholesale supplier to the restaurant trade but will sell retail from the door in North Melbourne

http://www.wangaragame.com.au/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for the helpful replies guys.

Let me see if I have this right. For non-cryovac'ed meat - the beef is slaughtered, bled, and then cut into a carcass and hung. During the hanging process, the meat becomes tender by enzymatic breakdown and moisture evaporates, causing the carcass to lose weight. After 2-4 weeks, the carcass is taken down and sold to butchers, who then carve up the meat for sale.

Cryovac'ed meat - after slaughter, the meat is carved and cryovac'ed. Enzymatic breakdown occurs within the vacuum seal so the meat is not hung. No loss of moisture occurs. It is possible to keep cryovac'ed meat in the refrigerator for up to 90 days.

Have I got this correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks a lot for the helpful replies guys.

Let me see if I have this right. For non-cryovac'ed meat - the beef is slaughtered, bled, and then cut into a carcass and hung. During the hanging process, the meat becomes tender by enzymatic breakdown and moisture evaporates, causing the carcass to lose weight. After 2-4 weeks, the carcass is taken down and sold to butchers, who then carve up the meat for sale.

Cryovac'ed meat - after slaughter, the meat is carved and cryovac'ed. Enzymatic breakdown occurs within the vacuum seal so the meat is not hung. No loss of moisture occurs. It is possible to keep cryovac'ed meat in the refrigerator for up to 90 days.

Have I got this correct?

closer to 5-7 days for supermarkets, 7-21 for restaurants on average . lighter colored meat seems to benefit more from longer aging .

Cyroed meat dosen't age much at all its more for storing , I open the Croyed package 3 days b4 using as it ages very quickly once opened and the meat is at its tenderest . I like the meat to be at room temp b4 cooking It would be good to ask around the local butchers to see if any of them hang there own carcases

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Im pretty sure in Qld this is not the case, saw one just the other day pull up to the butcher and the guy walking in with a whole something over his shoulder.

But then Im in Gladdy now, maybe we have more traditional stuff still remaining up here.

In Gladstone, wouldn't that be road kill? :)

(Jake, how far from you is Kalpowar?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Norpus I know what you mean with the vac packed beef. I was warned by a butcher to let it air for 30 mins per side once I unwrap it. When I got home and opened it ... EWWW it smelt of saltpeter and sulphurs. Never again! I thought. And i've never bought it again.

So why do they even offer this product if it's more expensive and tastes worse than normal beef? I must be missing something, or perhaps i've drawn the wrong conclusion from my single exposure to vacuum packed beef.

They're not all like that Keith. One of the best pieces of beef I have purchased (quite regularly) is this:

2021945.jpg

A Gourmet Certified Australian Angus Beef Ribeye Roast 1.25kg ($46) from Greengrocer.com.au. Buckets of flavour, tender as and virtually foolproof to cook. Short of your Wagyus and more exotic offerings, this is hard to beat. And it's in a plastic bag. It is normally sold to the restaurant trade only, so don't go looking for this in Woolies or Coles.

I look at the cryovac as doing the same thing as the bottle and cork do with wine - a controlled ageing environment.

Give the Angus Ribeye a shot, and see for yourself.

cheers

2sheds

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting discussion .I used to be a beef farmer and owned a South Devon cattle stud[sold bulls].So I used to be pretty involved in this sort of discussion.

I maintain that the best beef you can get is from a steer or heifer which is around 18 months old and grass fed.The carcasse should be hung for around ten days in a chiller.

This slightly older animal together with being grass fed tends to give more flavour.

This is the sort of animal beef farmers prefer to eat.In all the years of having this sort of beef I never had a dud bit.Even the lesser cuts were tender enough to grill or barbeque-and the roasts were sensational.

Younger and grain fed beef is a bit bland by comparison.Grain feeding is mainly done to give consistency and to allow supermarkets to sell it without aging it-thus giving longer shelf life.

Woolworths actually buy very good beef but stuff it up by not hanging it long enough.Probably if you bought beef from Woolworths/Safeway and cryovacced it it would be really good.

When buying steak look for marbling through the meat ,fine textured meat and a slightly crumbly texture to the fat.Flat sided T bones are usually better as it indicates less muscle -and too much muscle means less marbling and a European breed rather than a British breed.British breeds like Angus,Hereford and South Devon tend to give fatter but better quality beef but European breeds give more saleable meat -so some buyers prefer to deal in them.[most unfortunate]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting discussion .I used to be a beef farmer and owned a South Devon cattle stud[sold bulls].So I used to be pretty involved in this sort of discussion.

Woolworths actually buy very good beef but stuff it up by not hanging it long enough.Probably if you bought beef from Woolworths/Safeway and cryovacced it it would be really good.

When buying steak look for marbling through the meat ,fine textured meat and a slightly crumbly texture to the fat.Flat sided T bones are usually better as it indicates less muscle -and too much muscle means less marbling and a European breed rather than a British breed.British breeds like Angus,Hereford and South Devon tend to give fatter but better quality beef but European breeds give more saleable meat -so some buyers prefer to deal in them.[most unfortunate]

Thomo,

Good feedback, direct from the source (well as close to, as possible :mad:). The majority of beef I have tried from Woolies or Coles is very ordinary indeed. Exceptions being, some Angus and King Island branded packs, I have tried. The standout buy for me ,though, was the Angus Beef Ribeye Roast (mentioned above) purchased from (and labelled as a Restaurant pack) Greengrocer.com.au. Greengrocer.com.au is owned by... Woolworths/Safeways. It was so good my 80 year old father nearly choked to death trying to gulp down extra, commenting that he couldn't remember ever having roast beef as good as that.

I might keep an eye out for the cryovac packs at the local supermarket, as per your suggestion.

cheers

2sheds

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might keep an eye out for the cryovac packs at the local supermarket, as per your suggestion.

I think Thomo was suggesting that if you bought meat from Woolies and then cryovacced it and aged it yourself, it would be quite good

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think Thomo was suggesting that if you bought meat from Woolies and then cryovacced it and aged it yourself, it would be quite good

You are right Mr G. I totally missed that :mad: I need coffee...

cheers

2sheds

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great info there Thomo. I particularly agree with the grass fed beef being the best.

Cheers,

Jake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great info there Thomo. I particularly agree with the grass fed beef being the best.

Cheers,

Jake

Yes sound good to me too, A buddy with a few acres purchased a ? poddy calf . kept it in paddocks full of luchious green grass for the next 2 years .

btw called it bbq . then delivered it to the local knackery for slicing an dicing.

Oh so tasty .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Classifieds Statistics


    Currently Active Ads

    Total Sales (Since 2018)

    Total Sales Value (Last 14 Days)

    Total Ads Value (Since March 2020)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...