have been raising beef cattle for 4,000 years. During the Middle
Ages, only the best cuts of beef - such as filet mignons and chateaubriand
- were used in dishes prepared for the nobility. The Duke of Richelieu
once designed a meal that, in two courses, included twenty-two
dishes of beef. In other words, beef has always been a favorite.
To Look For
The best beef is shiny and bright red, firm to
the touch, with a light scent. The most tender meat has a network
of white fat and has been aged for a minimum of twenty-one days.
The hindquarter provides cuts which can be cooked quickly. Slow-cooking
and boiling cuts come from the forequarter. While tastes vary,
many agree that beef is best served pink and tender inside, browned
on the outside.