Tender Ridge® Angus beef has the unmistakable flavor of Angus, no matter how you cook it. But the flavor and tenderness of some cuts benefit from a particular cooking method.
Grilling can be done quickly, slowly or very slowly. Quickly cooking beef directly over high heat (400°F to 500°F), usually done with steaks, creates a lovely browned exterior with an interior that can range from rare to well-done. Slowly grilling with indirect heat (300°F to 400°F), the gas turned off on one side, or the coals banked to one side, and the lid closed is grill-roasting. This method is used for bigger cuts of beef like roasts. Barbecuing is another variation of indirect grill-roasting, but at even lower temperatures (250°F to 300°F) and often with a rub, sauce or soaked hardwood chips on the fire to create a smoky flavor.
Oven-roasting seems deceptively simple, but a little tinkering with cooking times and temperatures can elevate it to an art form. The trick is to roast the beef without drying it out. Tying the roast into a compact shape will help with that. Searing the beef to seal in its juices helps as well. But the basics don't change: Place a roast, uncovered, in a 250°F to 300°F oven and slowly roast to your doneness preference.
The fancy French word for pot-roasting is braising. To braise beef, first sear it in a small amount of olive oil to a nice brown. Then, with the beef half-covered in liquid, simmer gently in a sealed pot until fork-tender. Braising is great for cuts that require longer cooking times to become more tender.
Stewing is similar to braising, but the beef is cut into bite-sized chunks and cooked in more liquid, frequently with vegetables.
Searing improves the appearance and flavor of beef as it is browned before continuing to cook by roasting, stewing or braising. When meat browns, the flavors become more complex, and complex is good. Sear beef in a heavy-bottomed pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Start with beef that has been patted dry with paper towels. (Moisture boils at 212°F which prevents searing – a result of the meat surface exceeding 300°F.) When the oil is very hot, add the beef and leave it to brown without moving it to develop a nice brown crust. Turn to sear the cut on all sides. When finished, the brown bits left in the pan are called fond and make delicious pan sauces.
Whether you use a wok, sauté pan or cast-iron skillet, sautéing and stir-frying are similar to pan-searing but with a little more oil and a little less heat. The difference between sautéing and stir-frying is basically the size of the meat you're cooking and whether the beef is stirred while cooking or not. Bigger pieces of beef are sautéed and left alone to brown. Stir-frying uses smaller pieces of beef that are moved constantly while cooking. Some cooks stir-fry with water instead of oil for recipes with lower fat content.
Cooking beef in a tightly sealed pot without additional liquid is called beef en cocotte. This cooking method is perfect for recipes in which the flavors, having not been diluted by liquids, are meant to be more intense.
Reference these cooking methods when following the recommendations on our primal beef chart.