It’s 6:00 and many Americans have just arrived home or are headed home from a long day of work. More often than not, Paul will call on his trek home and ask, “What’s for dinner?” I’m sure he waits with bated breath for my answer. For after almost 30 years, I have gotten more creative with “Nothing is for dinner, Bozo!” to “It’s Meatless Monday” to “Beef! That’s what’s for dinner”! He then decides if he will be stopping off for fast food or speeding home for a meal with his delightful wife. Deciding what is for dinner is a very tiresome and frustrating question of the day. Not only is “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner” one of the most familiar taglines of today, but it’s a question that is asked almost every day, in every family, by someone. Kudos to the beef industry for their visionary insight on this great tagline 25 years ago, originally starring Robert Mitchum as the voice. “Beef, real food for real people” made a brief debut in 1997 when Robert Mitchum died. It was short lived, though, due to its poor popularity. The line Mitchum helped make famous returned in 1999 with Sam Elliott as the narrator. This tagline turned brand, is complete with its own website, Pinterest page, Twitter, E-newsletter and even its own YouTube channel. It is no wonder that it is recognized by almost 90% of Americans. These sources can provide a wealth of valuable insight into answering your tough dinner questions from nutrition, cuts of beef to yummy recipes for your family’s meals.
Beef plays a vital role in Ohio agriculture. The average herd size is 16 head and beef cattle can be found in every county. The Ohio Beef council states that Ohio has 1.25 million head of cattle and calves producing over 434 million pounds of beef a year.
Quick calculating at a three-ounce portion, the Ohio beef industry provides over 2.3 billion servings of beef a year — this could feed the Ohio population a little less than four times week. Amazing stats! What’s up with the three ounces you ask? That is the recommended portion at mealtimes. It’s about the size of a deck of cards or a computer mouse.
Paul and many farm families around the state are groaning about these small portion sizes. You don’t need to cut beef out of your diet, just tweak it. Lean meat can be a part of your healthy plate. It’s all about choosing lean cuts of meat, portion control and low fat cooking methods. The FDA’s legal definition for lean is less than 10 grams of fat, less than or equal to 4.5 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol for 3.5 ounces of meat. Don’t despair if you don’t know the right cuts. Take a peek at www.ohiobeef.org where you can find over 15 lean cuts of beef that fit into this category. Think round and loin for a quick way to choose a lean cut of beef. The most popular include top sirloin steak, T-bone steak and my two favorites tenderloin and 95% lean hamburger. Leaner cuts of meat will take longer to become tender, but once the wait is over you won’t be disappointed.
Celebrate beef month this May and make lean beef the focus of your healthy plate.
Choose lean cuts and create something mouthwatering from the endless possibilities for your answer to what’s for dinner?
Eat Well and Healthy!
Sweet and Sloppy Joes from beefitswhatsfordinner.com
1 pound Ground Beef (96% lean)
1 cup chopped yellow, green or red bell pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 can or bottle (12 ounces) 100% vegetable juice
2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef, bell pepper and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally.
Stir in vegetable juice, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 7 to 9 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.
Evenly place beef mixture on bottom half of each bun; close sandwiches.
Test Kitchen Tips Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.
Grilled Thai Beef Salad from Ellie Krieger at foodnetwork.com
1 pound top-round London broil or flank steak, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick
3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 1/4 tsp red curry paste or chili-garlic sauce
1/2 head red-leaf lettuce, torn (6 cups)
3 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), divided, for garnish
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
1 cup basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
Rinse and pat the meat dry. Place in a sealable plastic bag or small glass dish. In a medium bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Pour half the mixture into the bag with the meat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice to the bag. Seal tightly, and marinate meat in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Reserve the rest of the mixture refrigerated, to dress the salad.
Spray grill or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat. Grill steak until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Let rest until room temperature then slice thinly against the grain.
Combine lettuce, sliced shallot, cilantro, basil and beef in a salad bowl, reserving a few shallots for garnish. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates and garnish with reserved sliced shallots.
Perfect Pot Roast from pioneerwoman.com
1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 whole Onions
6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste
1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste
First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split). Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate. Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate. With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up. When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.