4 Good Reasons for Eating Beef – Apart from the obvious!

good reasons for eating beef - steak with asparagus and potatoes

If you’re a beef lover, there’s a good chance that one of your good reasons for eating it is the taste. Whether you enjoy a succulent fillet steak, a joint of roasted topside, or even some great value steak mince, beef is versatile, and delicious enough to cook simply with minimal fuss.

But there’s more to beef than just a great tasting meal. Beef and other red meats such as lamb or pork have some important health benefits.

Protein builds muscle and helps the body repair itself

Your body uses amino acids to build muscle and repair tissue, and the protein in red meat is a good source of this. Protein is also important for the prevention of illness as it aids the production of a variety of hormones and enzymes.

So, whether you’re a body builder and actively seeking to build muscle, or even if you just want to ensure that you’re giving your body the tools it needs to repair itself, eating beef is a good way of getting that protein.

Iron promotes red blood cell production and boosts immunity

Ingesting iron regularly will keep your body producing red blood cells, and keep you healthy. Although iron is available from a variety of sources, the body absorbs it particularly well when it comes from meat.

Your red blood cells undertake the important function of carrying oxygen to all parts of your body. A lack of red blood cells, otherwise known as anaemia, leaves you susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.

Zinc is necessary for physical development and a healthy metabolism

Since our bodies don’t store zinc, we have to ensure that we get a regular dose of it through our diet, and beef is good for this.

While zinc is important for the body’s development from infancy into adulthood, it also supports the immune system and metabolism.

B vitamins keep your body working properly

B vitamins promote various functions of the body. B12 is great for the nervous system, while B6 promotes a healthy immune system. B3 (niacin) gives the digestive system a helping hand, and B2 (riboflavin) promote healthy skin, hair, and nails, and also helps prevent certain eye conditions.

Enjoy as part of a balanced diet

Whatever your good reasons for eating beef, a healthy, balanced diet means getting other essential nutrients from fruit and vegetables too. So, whether you’re roasting a joint, sizzling a steak, or cooking up a storm at the barbecue, get a decent portion of tasty fresh vegetables on your plate along with the meat.

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Barbecue Pulled Pork

pulled pork in a bread roll

For those weekends when you want that delicious barbecue taste but the weather just isn’t playing ball, try rustling up some tasty barbecue pulled pork. It’s easy to make and the long slow cooking time means that you can savour the delicious cooking smells for hours. Our recipe calls for pork shoulder, a fully flavoured cut that almost melts when cooked properly. This is a fabulous treat for all the family.

 

Ingredients

2 kg pork shoulder joint, skin removed

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp onion salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

4 tbsp barbecue sauce

For serving

Bread rolls, crusty baguettes, brioche buns, or tortilla wraps

Coleslaw

Barbecue sauce

Sliced pickled gherkins

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 150C or 130C fan. Rub the pork with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Heat a large non-stick pan until very hot and sear the pork on all sides until golden brown.

Place the meat on a wire rack in a roasting tin. Mix the remaining olive oil, smoked paprika, mustard powder, garlic and onion salt, and black pepper. Brush all over the meat.

Add 1 cup of water to the roasting tin, cover tightly with foil and cook for 5 hours.

Remove from the oven and check for doneness. The meat should be falling apart.

Drain the juices from the meat into a measuring jug. Leave to settle and then skim off the fat.

Shred the pork using 2 forks.

Mix together 4 tbsp of barbecue sauce with 125 ml of juices, and add to the shredded pork.

Your barbecue flavour pulled pork can either be kept warm, or allowed to cool and reheated.

When ready to serve, fill bread rolls with pulled pork, coleslaw, pickles, and a spoonful of barbecue sauce. Or, for more fun, lay out the ingredients, and let people do their own assembly.

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The correct way to cook sausages

the correct way to cook sausages - sausages in a frying pan

If you’re like most people, you may feel that you already know the correct way to cook sausages. You’ve been cooking them for years and are happy with the results. There is the possibility, however, that with a few tweaks, you could be rustling up some of the best sausages you’ve ever had. Follow our recommendations and get ready to enjoy a sizzling sausage sensation!

 

This guide is aimed at those cooking sausages in the kitchen. We can offer alternative guidelines if you’re cooking on the barbecue.

 

Bring the sausages to room temperature before cooking.

This is a step that many are familiar with when it comes to cooking steaks, but it’s also important for sausages. Removing them from the fridge around 20 minutes before cooking helps them cook more evenly. In addition, there is less chance of the skins breaking.

 

Don’t prick them.

In days gone by, it was common for sausages to explode while cooking, hence why we call them “bangers”. This was down to the use of a range of cheap ingredients and low meat content to make them more affordable. Although pricking them reduced the possibility of the sausages exploding, this is an unnecessary step when you cook sausages of high quality. Furthermore, much of the juices will seep out resulting in a dryer, less tasty sausage.

 

Heat a heavy-based frying pan on a low to medium heat.

If it’s too hot, the sausages will burn on the outside before cooking in the middle. Be patient and let them cook gently.

 

Certain establishments like to deep fry sausages. It seems more efficient as it takes away the need to turn the sausages over every few minutes. However, deep frying usually results in dry sausages with tough skins.

 

Baking sausages is also not ideal as it doesn’t deliver the sort of umami flavour that is typical of frying.

 

Add around a teaspoon of fat to the frying pan.

It could be sunflower oil, peanut oil, or even goose fat if you’re feeling indulgent. Using fat adds to the taste and texture of the cooked sausage, but if you have a non-stick frying pan, you could go without fat completely.

 

Place the sausages in the pan. They should sizzle gently.

Turn them every couple of minutes so that they cook evenly and take on a golden-brown colour all round. A typical British sausage should take 15 to 20 minutes to cook through. If you have a temperature probe, aim for approximately 70°C.

 

Remove the sausages from the pan and allow them to rest for a few minutes.

Most meats benefit from a bit of time to relax immediately after cooking and sausages are no exception. A rest will make them juicier and more tender.

 

Serve.

Whether you pop them in a crusty roll with onions at a barbecue, or serve them with bacon and eggs as part of a hearty breakfast, following our simple steps will result in delighted faces all round.

 

Further reading

Now that you know the correct way to cook sausages, why not try your hand at cooking the perfect steak?

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How to barbecue meat to perfection

Selection of meats and vegetables cooking on barbecue grill

Summer is the time to get out into the garden and enjoy a barbecue with family and friends. To help you make the most of this barbecue season, we’ve put together some tips on how to barbecue meat to perfection, and secure your position as the star of the grill.

Follow our barbecue guidelines for an al fresco dinner that won’t fail to impress.

Prepare and preheat your barbecue grill
If you didn’t clean the barbecue after you last used it, you should do so now. No one really wants a succulent fillet steak contaminated by old burnt bits of food.

An electric or gas barbecue will take around 10 or 20 minutes to get up to cooking temperature. On the other hand, if you’re using charcoal, allow about 45 minutes from ignition. You want the flames to have died down and the charcoal should be covered in an even layer of ash.

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook, remove the meat from the refrigerator. This will give it plenty of time to reach room temperature. You really want to avoid barbecuing meat straight from the fridge. If you’re using a marinade and haven’t already applied it, now is the time to do so.

Cook
It is advisable to brush meat with oil as this will help with cooking and will stop it from sticking to the grill. Use an oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil or vegetable oil.

Lay the meat on the barbecue and cook gently until brown. You should only need to turn it once.

If possible, cover the barbecue during cooking. Food cooks more evenly this way and you will end up with a more authentic barbecue flavour and less possibility of flare-ups. In addition, it is a more efficient way of cooking larger items such as whole chickens and meat joints.

Be vigilant
Flames jumping up and licking at your steaks and burgers may look tantalising but it is best avoided. If anything looks in danger of burning, remove it from the grill or place it on a higher shelf.

Rest
Most meats, whether steaks, burgers, chicken, sausages and so on, benefit from a short resting period prior to being served. It gives the meat time to relax, making it juicier and more tender. So, having removed the meat from the barbecue, transfer to a plate and serve after ten minutes or so.

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How to cook the perfect steak

Two sirloin steaks in frying pan with rosemary sprigs

Whether you prefer a luscious, melt-in-the mouth fillet steak, or are more partial to the fuller-flavoured sirloin or ribeye, you need to know how to cook the perfect steak.

The method is simple, but with only a few minutes leeway between rare and well-done, perfect timing and constant attention are critical. Follow our advice to ensure that your steaks have all the hallmarks of a top-quality restaurant.

 

Step 1
You want your steak to be at room temperature. So, if it has been in the fridge, remove it about twenty minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.

Step 2
Season the steak with salt up to two hours before cooking, then with pepper just before putting it on the heat.

Step 3
Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot but not smoking. To test the heat, sprinkle cold water with your fingers into the heated pan. If the droplets dance about, the temperature is about right.

Step 4
Drizzle some oil into the pan and leave for a moment.

Step 5
Add the steak, a knob of butter, some garlic and robust herbs, if you want.

Step 6
Sear evenly on each side for our recommended cooking time, turning every minute for the best caramelised crust.

Step 7
Leave to rest on a board or warm plate for about 5 mins. This will make the meat juicier.

Step 8
Serve the steak whole or carved into slices with the resting juices poured over.

Step 9
Enjoy!

Recommended cooking times

Blue
Rare
Medium rare
Medium
Well-done
Fillet steak (3.5 cm thick)

 

1 ½ mins each side2 ¼ mins each side3 ¼ mins each side4 ½ mins each side6 mins each side
Sirloin steak and ribeye steak (2 cm thick)
1 min each side1 ½ mins each side2 mins each side2 ¼ mins each side4 mins each side

 

Steak is more than just a delicious meal. It offers several health benefits too. Now that you know how to cook the perfect steak, take a look at all the other fresh meat we have available for home-delivery.

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