You’ve heard it all before: Eating red meat will give you cancer. It’ll lead to strokes. It’ll kill you. The so-called “experts” have been issuing these warnings for years, so what’s the truth? Well, some vices — such as wine and chocolate — have their virtues when consumed in moderation, and the same holds true for red meat. “Beef is nature’s best-tasting multivitamin,” says Dave Zino, executive chef of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the US. “It’s loaded with 10 essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein.” So whether your beef is stir-fried, roasted, stewed or barbied,it’s time to explore the virtues of being a carnivore.
By Nate Millado.
The ultimate muscle-building food
This protein-packed powerhouse has benefits beyond great taste.
Muscle gain and weight loss
Lean beef is a complete protein source, containing the essential amino acids necessary for building and maintaining muscle mass. An 80g serving of T-bone steak contains 22g of protein — which, if you’re looking to shed kilos, can help you stave off hunger and feel fuller for longer. A study conducted by the CSIRO found that overweight and obese men using a high-protein diet (with lean red meat) reduced abdominal fat more effectively than those on a high-carb plan.
Red meat provides the majority of zinc for most Australians. The high levels of zinc in red meat help ward off illness — and researchers believe zinc can reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms. “Red meat also supplies vitamin B12,” says Jim White, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. “This helps the body make DNA and keeps nerve and red blood cells healthy.”
A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who incorporated lean beef into their diet experienced a 10 percent reduction in their LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The zinc in beef is essential for testosterone production — which helps boost sex drive — and can help reduce levels in the blood of prolactin, a brain chemical responsible for the refractory period: the time it takes for you to get it back up for Rounds 2 and 3. Less prolactin, less recovery time, better you in the sack.
Decoding the labels in your supermarket’s meat section.
Prime Grade of beef reserved for cuts with the most marbling (about 40 percent more than choice). The most tender and most flavourful, but also the fattiest and priciest.
Choice The most widely available grade of beef in supermarkets. There’s enough marbling to make the home cook happy and the meal more economical.
Select The cheapest, leanest grade — but also the least flavourful. Meat labelled “select” might also come from an older animal.
Natural Minimally processed beef that contains no additives. Cattle have never received growth hormones or antibiotics.
Grain-finished Cattle spend most of their lives grazing on pasture, then six months in a feed yard. May have been given approved antibiotics or hormones.
Grass-fed Cattle spend their entire lives grazing on pasture. May have been given approved antibiotics or hormones.
Organic Cattle have been fed 100 percent organic grass or grain and have never been given antibiotics or growth hormones.
Always marinate in the fridge, allow half a cup for every 500g of beef and pat dry before cooking to ensure even browning.
Try these other marinades:
2 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp ground red pepper
(Perfect with rib eye):
Equal parts salt, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme to taste
(Great with skirt steak):
2 cups of minced flatleaf parsley, coriander and oregano
2 tbsp onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
(Great with flanken short ribs):
1½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 chopped spring onions
1 tsp sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Dried porcini mushrooms, ground, then dusted over steak
Balsamic vinegar, reduced on high in saucepan, then drizzled over beef
Finely ground espresso beans mixed with garlic powder, brown sugar and chilli powder
Classic Steak Sanger
Steak sangers are like sex — even when they’re bad, they’re pretty good. Impress your mates with this one.
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• salt and pepper
• 200g steak (rump, tenderloin or eye fillet)
• 1 onion, sliced
• handful of spinach leaves
• Turkish bread
> 1 Prepare barbie on high heat.
> 2 Mix together the olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over steak;
top with mustard mixture.
> 3 Toss the onion rings in a little olive oil and cook on barbecue plate or in a frying pan until brown, stirring often.
> 4 When onion is almost done, add the steak to the barbecue. Cook to your likeness, turning once only.
> 5 Lightly toast Turkish bread and spread with goat’s cheese. Add spinach, steak and onions. Beauty!