Califonia Bountiful

Beef 101 with James Winstead

California Beef Council shows easy tips for shopping for beef

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Not sure what's for dinner tonight? Well, how about beef? Beef could be your staple for building a delicious, nutritious meal in just minutes, according to James Winstead, director of food and nutrition outreach at the California Beef Council, who recently shared "Beef 101" tips with host Tracy Sellers.

"The first thing to consider when shopping for beef is the different grades of beef," James said.

Here are the most common grades you'll see at the grocery store:

  • Prime: It has the most marbling and is usually sold to high-end restaurants, although some specialty meat markets and supermarkets may carry it. Look for the USDA Prime shield.
  • Choice: These cuts tend to have a little less marbling and is the grade most widely available. A majority of the meat at your grocery store is going to fall under this category.
  • Select: This grade has the least amount of marbling, making it leaner and a little less juicy and flavorful than the other two grades.

Another thing to think about when shopping for beef is how to stretch your dollar. James offered this tip: "Eat once, dine twice." Look in the meat case for family packs, which are lower in price per pound. If you can't use it all for one meal, freeze or use leftovers for sandwiches, salads or even stir-fry the next day. Also, you can buy larger cuts and slice your own. For example, buy a large roast and cut it into steaks or freeze the steaks individually.

Lastly, James said that if you want to learn about meat, how to purchase it, what's a good buy today and how to cook it, start a relationship with your butcher.

"These are the folks who know what you don't and will be glad to help if you just ask," he said.

For more information visit California beef.

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