Part Three: Better Beef-Cooking To Temperature & Storage Guidelines.
There's more to eating lighter with beef than simply selecting the right cut of meat. Try some of these tried and true methods for reducing the amount of added fat and calories in prepared beef dishes.
Braising is a method of producing very tender beef that is similar to making a stew except only the bottom 1/3 or so of the meat rests in liquid. The remainder of the cut cooks with steam from the liquid. Any liquid that remains from cooking a braised dish (such as Yankee Pot Roast) will be used to make a sauce to drizzle over the meat.
To braise beef: Brown both sides at a high temperature, place it in a roasting pan filled 1/3 to 1/2 with water and vegetables, and cook at 300° until the meat pulls apart (about 3 hours).
Suggested Cuts: Top Round, Eye of Round, Sirloin Tip Round Roast, Flank Steak
Stewing is a method of cooking beef my immersing it completely in liquid. The liquid becomes part of the "soup". Unlike a roast, stew meat should be cut into small chunks before cooking.
To stew beef: Cut beef into cubes and brown it at high heat (some like to dust it in flour but you can skip that step) in a very tiny amount of olive oil. Add meat and vegetables to a large soup pot and cover half way with water. The remaining liquid can be broth, canned tomatoes, wine, or a combination of all three. Simmer it (not boil) until cooked or cook in a crock-pot set to low while you are out for the day. Add herbs towards the last hour of cooking.
Suggested Cuts: Top Round Roast, Eye of Round Roast, Sirloin Tip Round Roast
Roasting beef entails cooking a whole slab of beef "dry" in the oven.
To roast beef: Set the meat on a rack inside a pan to ensure it cooks evenly. It should be basted occasionally with broth or its own juices (basting with plain water will dry it out). Cook times will vary according to how well done you prefer your meat and if you've used specially labeled "lean" or "light" beef which take 1/3 less time to cook than regular shelf meats. Follow the instructions in the recipes or your manufacturers instructions for best results.
Suggested Cuts: Top Round Roast, Rump Roast (Sirloin Top Butt Roast), Rib or Rib Eye Roast, Tenderloin Roast
Grilling is a method of cooking beef over open flame or an intense heat source. Often meat is rubbed with spices or marinades before grilling. Steaks should be 1-1 1/2" thick and fillets up to 2" thick.
To grill beef: If you are grilling outdoors, your charcoal coals should be ash gray and you should only be able to hold your hand over the grill for 3-4 seconds. The thickest pieces of meats should be placed at the coolest section of the grill because they will need longer to cook. Cook to desired doneness.
Suggested Cuts: Rib Eye Steak, 92-96% Extra Lean Ground Beef, Flank Steak, Steak Tenderloin, Tenderloin Fillet, New York Strip, London Broil, Sirloin Steak/Top Butt
Broiled meat is cooked at a very high temperature (500° F). At such high temperatures, it cooks very fast, so you must watch your meat closely until you have a handle on broiling.
To broil beef: Set rack 3-4 inches from top heat coils for meats up to 1 1/2 in. thick and 4-5 inches away for cuts up to 2 1/2 inches thick. Set oven temperature to "broil" (500° F). Meat should be placed on a rack and turned when the first side has browned. It will take less time for the second side to brown.
Suggested Cuts: New York Strip, Rib Eye Steak, London Broil, Sirloin Steak/Top Butt, Steak Tenderloin
Stir-fried meats are typically cooked in oil but oil is not necessary when all you really need is a little moisture to prevent the meat from sticking until it is cooked.
To stir fry: Use a non-stick wok or pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray and use the natural fat of the meat, apple juice, orange juice, liquid aminos, or vegetable to cook meat. Add vegetable after meat has cooked.
Suggested Cuts: Tenderloin, Flank Steak (most popular), Rib Eye Steak, Top or Eye of Round (cut thinly) Round Strip Steak, Sirloin Top Butt
Red & Green Pepper Steak - (makes 4 servings)
This colorful and lean stir-fry will allow you to enjoy the taste of fresh meat and vegetables because it is not drenched in a heavy gravy. You can use green, red, yellow, or orange bell peppers or a nice combination of them if you want to give this a dressed up taste and appearance. Serve over a salad or brown rice.
1 lb Top Round or Flank steak (cut in strips or small pieces)
1 large green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium red pepper, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped rough
1 tsp. minced garlic (~3 cloves)
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, reduced-sodium beef broth or liquid aminos
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Try adding water chestnuts, bean sprouts, red pepper flakes, fresh tomatoes, or fresh jalapenos to this dish to see how you like it.
Preheat wok or skillet and sauté garlic in 1/2 tbsp. of the soy for 1 minute. Add beef and cook until meat has almost reached your desired level of doneness. Add vegetables and cook until vegetables have softened. Season with pepper and remaining soy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories - 133.75
Carbohydrates - 5.25g
Protein - 25g
Fat - 3.75g
Fiber - .75g