You all have seen it when shopping in the meat section of the grocery store. Angus Beef. Hailed as the premier beef of beefs. Always pristinely packaged with its own distinct labels claiming its superiority over your run of the mill regular beef. Always demanding a higher price per pound as well.
We’ve also been bombarded with in fast food restaurants and bragging backyard grill men.
Well don’t just take their word for it I say, let’s educate ourselves on this premier beef and be in the know
How about let’s get the lowdown on Angus beef?
It comes from a Scottish breed of cattle. Formerly called Aberdeen Angus after their place of origin, Angus cattle are among the most commonly used breeds in American beef production. Popular among consumers because they have more meat on their bones than other breeds and because their meat has distinctive “marbling”—flecks of fat, which contribute to flavor and texture. Although the breed has a relatively upscale reputation, there’s nothing necessarily superior about Angus beef. It’s available in various grades of quality, as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture: prime, choice, select, commercial, utility, and cutter.
Now here is where you need to pay attention folks. Angus the breed is not synonymous with the brand Certified Angus Beef. Certified Angus Beef is an upmarket product created in 1978 by the American Angus Association. Here is the low down on the real deal.
The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is reserved for Angus beef that, after meeting the live specification of being at least 51% black-hided or AngusSource® enrolled, is verified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as meeting the ten CAB carcass specifications:
- Modest or higher marbling
- Medium or fine marbling texture – tiny flakes of fat that enhance the moisture and flavor of the beef
- “A” maturity for each, lean and skeletal characteristics
- 10 to 16 square inch ribeye area
- Less than 1,000 pound hot carcass weight
- Less than 1 inch fat thickness
- Superior muscling (restricts dairy influence)
- Practically free of capillary rupture
- No dark cutters
- No neck hump exceeding 2 inches