Wisconsin beef, it’s what’s for dinner
May is Beef Month and the perfect time to enjoy the delicious, nutritious beef that farmers work so hard produce as it also aligns with the start of grilling season, a time which many people have told me is actually all year long.
Beef is much more than what’s for dinner. Wisconsin has almost 14,000 beef farms and nearly 7,000 dairy farms that also contribute to the beef supply chain. These farms play a huge role in Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, contributing approximately $1.7 billion to our state’s economy.
When it comes to beef, Wisconsin is fortunate to have a wide variety of products to choose from. All cuts and varieties of beef are inspected for wholesomeness and graded for quality and palatability. Beef is classified into one of eight different grades with prime, choice, and select being the most common on grocery store shelves. Prime cuts are highly marbled with fat and known for their flavor, choice cuts contain moderate amounts of marbling and are the most widely available grade, and select cuts contain minimal marbling, making it a leaner option.
Beef can also develop additional flavors through wet and dry aging. Wet aged steak is aged up to 21 days in a refrigerated environment and a common method of aging for a traditional beef flavor. Steaks can also be dry aged for up to 28 days uncovered in a refrigerated environment, producing a distinctive brown-roasted beefy flavor.
Regardless of how it is raised, aged, or processed, beef is part of a healthy diet. One three ounce serving of lean beef contains just 150 calories and naturally nutrient-rich foods, such as lean beef, also help people get more essential nutrients in fewer calories. Actually, a three ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10 percent of calories to a 2,000-calorie diet, yet it supplies more than 10 percent of the daily value for ten essential nutrients. Those ten essential nutrients include protein, iron, choline, selenium, B-vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, niacin, and riboflavin.
Lean cuts of beef contain less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and no more than 95 mg of cholesterol per 3.5 ounce serving. When choosing lean cuts of beef, look for “loin” or “round” in the name. Popular lean beef cuts include strip steak, T-bone, and tenderloins.
In my household, we love grilling season, especially when burgers are on the grill. On burger-night we enjoy setting the table with all of our favorite condiments, including sautéed onions, bacon, jalapeño mustard, barbeque sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, a wide selection of cheeses, and more. There is a fine line between who can make the tastiest burger and who can fit the most on their burger.
Start your day off right by adding thinly sliced deli beef to your breakfast sandwich or seasoned ground beef to scrambled eggs. While I am logging thousands of miles across the state, beef jerky and beef sticks are some of my favorite snacks. Whether you are enjoying steak tacos, a classic pot roast, or a cheeseburger, be sure to incorporate a delicious beef entrée item for dinner. For more beef tips and recipes, visit www.beeftips.com.
Nunes is Wisconsin's 74th Alice in Dairyland