About Beef

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About
Beef, America’s favorite meat, is defined as the meat from all large domesticated adult cattle including cow, heifer, steer, or bull. However, most modern beef comes from castrated bulls up to eighteen months old. Through advanced scientific developments in animal husbandry and crossbreeding, there are now over ninety breeds of beef cattle in the United States, where as recently as the 1950s there were less than thirty.
Beef cattle are raised for the quantity of meat that they will ultimately produce; the quality and yield also depend on the breed. They have a much higher ratio of muscle to fat than other breeds. In addition, contemporary butchering techniques tend to eliminate much of the fat, so that beef has become a very lean meat. When butchering for the marketplace, beef is cut between the twelfth and thirteenth rib to produce the fore- and hindquarters.