Australian Beef

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aleswench
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2004/12/30 09:27:39 (permalink)

Australian Beef

Our Shop Rite Supermarkets in NJ run a sale every so often on Australian Beef – sometimes Rib Eyes, sometimes Filet Mignon. I wanted to see if anyone else finds it inferior to American beef, and if so, why is that? The temptation to buy a whole filet at $4.99 a pound is great, but every time we have done it it’s been disappointing. Not awful mind you, but disappointing. We have never done it as one whole piece – always cut it into steaks. But for New Year’s we are thinking of doing it whole. Would this improve the flavor? Has anyone else had an experience with this new invasion of Australian beef?
#1

14 Replies Related Threads

    tmiles
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    RE: Australian Beef 2004/12/30 10:18:06 (permalink)
    Being a shepherd, I joked about the need for imported lamb tarriffs in the shrimp tarriff thread. We also raised Angus cattle for years. Seriously, and at the expense of my reputation among friends in the biz, I'm not going to shovel any bull.... here. Beef is beef no matter where it comes from. The quality of the beef comes from man's goals in the delivery of the product. Good beef can be grown anywhere in the world where cattle are farmed, and if one looked hard enough, one could probably find bad beef in Iowa. I think that in general, and on average the best beef is raised in the USA, Canada, and Argentina. That is not to say that Australia can't ship a great product. They just often don't. My Dad likes to say, "You get what you pay for,,,,,,if you are lucky" The Australian beef is often killed off grass with little feedlot finishing. The product that you see in the store may be cheap, because it is just that, cheap beef. You can get a tenderloin from a 6 year old dairy cow, or from a 20 month old Angus x steer. On any given day, I prefer, and will pay more for the beef from the Angus x steer. For good beef advice, get to know your butcher. Just my opinion.
    #2
    tmiles
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    RE: Australian Beef 2004/12/30 10:29:16 (permalink)
    Roadfood joints often make good use of cheap beef, and hamburger from old dairy cows is often preferred. As those of you who ever went to college or into the military know, the right (wrong?) cook can screw up a meal that started with good ingredients. On the other hand, I have had sublime roadfood BBQ that may have started out as a cheap, cheap cut of meat. Just my opinion.
    #3
    howard8
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    RE: Australian Beef 2004/12/30 10:36:21 (permalink)
    aleswench:

    I have had the same experience.
    It's hard for me to pass up a good price for what appears to be
    good cuts like rib eye, shell or filet.
    During the past year I have tried them all at Shoprite,
    and been disappointed in the taste. Usually lacking in
    flavor, and it seems pretty much devoid of marbeling. I have not given up totally and recently bought
    some Australian rib eye steaks and marinated them in oil,light
    soy, garlic and some sugar. When grilled on my stove top to
    medium rare they actually tasted good, far superior to the
    tasteless non marinated australian.
    I am tempted to purchase a whole filet today, but may just
    substitute lobster instead. It depends on how I feel when
    I walk through the store.
    #4
    DaveM
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    RE: Australian Beef 2004/12/30 10:43:19 (permalink)
    Australian beef is featured in the frozen food section of all Trader Joe's as well.
    Individual cut filets and portions.
    But even Trader Joe's has changed suppliers in many of their meat offerings.
    I noticed new packaging and higher fat content on their ground buffalo patties at the same time they began introducing Australian beef patties.
    Still have not needed to try the Australian selections yet, as our local Roche Brothers, Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club have more than satisfied our ability to buy Angus beef.
    #5
    Buckshot
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/01/02 17:00:38 (permalink)
    I've eaten Austrailian beef (filets and ribeyes) several times in Viet Nam, the last time a couple of years ago in Ho Chi Minh City. It was really good, no complaints at all. If I've had it in the United States, I didn't know it!

    Buckshot
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    Slyrider
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/01/20 20:07:36 (permalink)
    Hey Guys-
    The reason australian beef tastes different is because the stuff you are buying (especially at shoprite) is entirely grass fed... no grain is ever added to their diet. That is why they look like they have NO marbeling; they don't. The benefits of Australian Beef are quite well pronounced. It is significantly lower in Cholesterol, higher in a substance known as conjugated linoleic acid (which can help people to lose weight), and actually contains significant amounts of carotene (which becomes Retinol and Vitamin A), it has never had animal byproducts; and therefore there is no risk of Mad Cow, and it is fed only grass, which would inhibit the growth of E-coli O157-H7. One of the major food service companies who imports Australian Beef recommends it be cooked to medium at the highest; this is because it is such a lean meat.
    I buy American Grass fed beef all the time from Farms in NY and NJ; and it tastes exactly the same as the Australian Beef... It is the way beef tasted before feedlots and grain additives. Yes, it is no where near as consistent in flavor as Grain Fed beef; but it is also healthier and cheaper. I recommend using olive oil and a rub before grilling; it adds a slight bit of fat to the mixture, my Australian Ribeyes are always great on the grill.

    C.
    #7
    aleswench
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/01/25 19:05:09 (permalink)
    Thank you Slyrider. I just saw your reply. Very interesting. I'm curious - what farms in NY/NJ area do you frequent? I read where Bobolink Farms near or in Warwick, NY is now selling beef. Have yet to try it, but their bread and cheese is wonderful! Sue
    #8
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/01/25 19:09:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Slyrider

    Hey Guys-
    The reason australian beef tastes different is because the stuff you are buying (especially at shoprite) is entirely grass fed... no grain is ever added to their diet. That is why they look like they have NO marbeling; they don't. The benefits of Australian Beef are quite well pronounced. It is significantly lower in Cholesterol, higher in a substance known as conjugated linoleic acid (which can help people to lose weight), and actually contains significant amounts of carotene (which becomes Retinol and Vitamin A), it has never had animal byproducts; and therefore there is no risk of Mad Cow, and it is fed only grass, which would inhibit the growth of E-coli O157-H7. One of the major food service companies who imports Australian Beef recommends it be cooked to medium at the highest; this is because it is such a lean meat.
    I buy American Grass fed beef all the time from Farms in NY and NJ; and it tastes exactly the same as the Australian Beef... It is the way beef tasted before feedlots and grain additives. Yes, it is no where near as consistent in flavor as Grain Fed beef; but it is also healthier and cheaper. I recommend using olive oil and a rub before grilling; it adds a slight bit of fat to the mixture, my Australian Ribeyes are always great on the grill.

    C.


    Bingo........ I was wondering when someone was going to point out the "grass Vs. grain" issue.....
    #9
    aleswench
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/01/25 19:12:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tmiles

    Being a shepherd, I joked about the need for imported lamb tarriffs in the shrimp tarriff thread. We also raised Angus cattle for years. Seriously, and at the expense of my reputation among friends in the biz, I'm not going to shovel any bull.... here. Beef is beef no matter where it comes from. The quality of the beef comes from man's goals in the delivery of the product. Good beef can be grown anywhere in the world where cattle are farmed, and if one looked hard enough, one could probably find bad beef in Iowa. I think that in general, and on average the best beef is raised in the USA, Canada, and Argentina. That is not to say that Australia can't ship a great product. They just often don't. My Dad likes to say, "You get what you pay for,,,,,,if you are lucky" The Australian beef is often killed off grass with little feedlot finishing. The product that you see in the store may be cheap, because it is just that, cheap beef. You can get a tenderloin from a 6 year old dairy cow, or from a 20 month old Angus x steer. On any given day, I prefer, and will pay more for the beef from the Angus x steer. For good beef advice, get to know your butcher. Just my opinion.


    You're a shepard?!?! How cool is that!! Thank you for that advice as well - I'm thinking that if inexpensive enough, for an "every day" dinner and marinated properly like Howard said it might not be too bad. But nothing beats the butcher - you are 100% right! Sue

    ps do you have a Border Collie? LOL Or do they just herd sheep? God I love those dogs. We saw one in action on an excursion into the farmlands of Northern Jersey and he (or she) was fascinating. If I ever have the time and space to offer that most intelligent dog - he'd have a loving home, that's for sure!
    #10
    tmiles
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/01/26 08:40:09 (permalink)
    I was forced out of full time farming years ago. I now run only 15 sheep. The flock is so small that rather than herd them with a dog, I bribe them into their night time pen with a scoop of grain. We have a bad coyote problem here in suburban Massachusetts. To let them stay out at night as they would like to, would be to provide a buffet for the coyotes and coydogs (feral dog coyote hybrids). I market the sheep through F.L.A.M.E a local wholesale farmers coop. Many end up at Blood Farm in Groton,MA, where the Blood family has been selling local meat for over 100 years. A visit to the Blood farm is an experience that will show you how a small family run packing house operates. I buy my meat there when I am in the area, and I am always satisfied. They also sell duck eggs, which are highly praised by bakers.
    #11
    aleswench
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/01/26 20:16:51 (permalink)
    Although I am troubled by the forced out part of your farming lifestyle (but that is an entirely different "tirade" and thread) I still admire your lifestyle. Never knew about coydogs either - had to look it up and found it a learning experience. Our next venture in New England will include research on the Blood Family. Thanks!
    #12
    Slyrider
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/02/10 02:50:55 (permalink)
    Hey There- In reply to local farms...

    I am a fan of a few grass fed farms in New Jersey-

    I am a frequent customer of Upper Meadows Farm and CSA in Montague; they have great prices on pasture raised beef; and it is all dry aged... giving it really great flavor; even their chop meat is incredible.

    I also enjoy Simply Grazing Organic Farm down in Hopewell; just a short breeze of side roads away from Flemmington... They have a great variety; their prices are a bit high; but they are a wonderfully nice family with a set of exceptional dogs; you can also walk out in the field and meet cattle if it so pleases you.

    There is also a "vendor" called Degage Gardens in Hopewell; she will try to special order you almost any cut; her beef comes from PA. Also; there is a farm called Cherry Grove down near Princeton I have yet to visit.

    They are all a bit of a drive away; but I enjoy supporting the local farmers; and they are beautiful drives through corners of New Jersey we all might not take the time to see. And; the corner of New York I am in now isn't extraordinarily close to New Jersey; It is actually about 100 miles closer to Canada than it is to New Jersey ; so I wouldn't be much help with farms down yonder.

    I do recommend LocalHarvest.org, it is a website that allows you to search for organic foods (like pasture raised beef) by location; it comes in handy when you are wondering what farm is closest. Also; another great food to try should you ever be at a grass fed farm is Pasture Raised Bacon; it has a great taste and is incredibly meaty and lean....

    -C.
    #13
    howard8
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/02/10 10:30:00 (permalink)
    This weekend I purchased a four and a half pound filet mignon, australian
    beef from Shoprite @ $3.99 lb.
    Cut three steaks about an inch and three quarters, salt and pepper, no
    marinade.
    Browned them off on top of the stove and finished in a 450 degree oven.
    They were medium rare to rare and melted in thy mouth.
    Great buy and good steak.
    It looks like cooking australian grass fed, is best medium rare on the rare side.
    #14
    aleswench
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    RE: Australian Beef 2005/02/10 13:40:08 (permalink)
    Thanks for the heads up on the farms - and that local harvest website is great! Another useful tool!

    We actually did buy the Shoprite filet deal - I just could not pass up $3.99/lb. We are going to follow Howard8's advice tonight, as a matter of fact!
    #15
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