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Canadians love eating and enjoying the taste of beef. From grilling steaks on the barbecue in the summer to Sunday roast beef dinners on a cold winter's day we all have our favourite way to prepare and eat beef. Expand your cooking expertise by reading the following information on purchasing cuts of beef, storage and preparation tips and of course lots of great recipes.
Grading - There are 4 levels of grading beef; Canada's top grades are Canada Prime, Canada AAA, Canada AA and Canada A. The majority of the beef produced in Canada is graded with the three 'A' grade. Only a small amount of beef is given the grading of Canada Prime.
Aging - Beef is aged by beef processors for 3 to 21 days at a controlled temperature and humidity. Aging allows the meat fibres to relax, producing a more tender meat, and allows for flavour development. The best quality beef is aged a minimum of 10 to 14 days.
Colouring - The colour of meat is not an accurate indicator of freshness or quality. The meat colour can be impacted by the type of package used or exposure to oxygen in the air. The best indicators of freshness are either the best before date or the 'packaged on' date.
Marbling - Marbling refers to the flecks or streaks of fat that run throughout lean meat. Marbling is desirable from a flavour, tenderness and juiciness standpoint, but also increases the overall fat content of the meat. The amount of marbling present in the meat depends on the grade level - Prime has the most and Canada A has the least.
Steak - a slab of beef usually between ¾-inch to 3 inches thick. Steaks are classified into 3 categories, based on the cooking method best used.
Roasts - a piece of meat large enough to serve more than 2 people.
Stewing beef - purchased already cut into cubes and it is best cooked using a slow, moist heat method of cooking.
Ground beef - usually browned in a skillet and the fat is drained from it before adding to other dishes. Grades of ground beef available are Extra Lean, Lean, Medium & Regular Ground Beef. The amount of fat varies for each grade level.
Follow our handy chart and tips for safely storing beef.