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 Angus beef?

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NYNM

  • Total Posts: 3037
  • Joined: 6/16/2005
  • Location: New York, NY/Santa Fe, NM
Angus beef? Sun, 03/25/07 11:53 PM (permalink)
What's with all this Angus beef? I thought it used to be some sort of prime beef - now I see it at Burger King, in my local deli for chopped meat, etc. Has it changed? Is it as "special" as it used to be? What is it anyway????
 
#1
    BhamBabe

    • Total Posts: 879
    • Joined: 10/18/2005
    • Location: Mandeville, LA
    RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 1:05 AM (permalink)
    Angus cattle are said to have the perfect amount of marbling, the most tender, the cream of the crop. BUT, the only beef that is allowed to be called CERTIFIED angus beef is that which the USDA says is certified.

    There are different levels of cuts.

    Prime, highest in fat
    Choice
    Select, the leanest
    Standard
    Commercial
    Utility
    Cutter and
    Canner


    So while they are playing a gimmick and making everything think they are getting this high priced, tender, best of the best beef, it's just that, a gimmick. They are prolly giving everyone a commercial grade cut, ground. Which makes it no better than meat from my old Hereford. To put it in perspective, only 3% of angus beef is USDA Certified Prime.

    This is what I think Mickey D's is doing...not other places. I know I've had a Certified aged Angus beef steak and it was by and large very good. And very pricey!

    *Edited to remove the wrong information. Read the following posts.
     
    #2
      Michael Hoffman

      • Total Posts: 17855
      • Joined: 7/1/2000
      • Location: Gahanna, OH
      RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 4:52 AM (permalink)
      Sorry BhamBabe, but it doesn't have to be from angus cattle to be Certified Angus Beef. According to the department of agriculture to be eligible for so-called angus influence programs qualifiying cattle must be traceable to one registered angus parent or two registered grandparents. But, Certified Angus Beef is nothing more than an industry designation that involves standards for marbling, tenderness, age and color. For beef to qualify for Certified Angust Beef labeling there is absolutely no requirement that the beef actually come from the Angus breed. All that is required is for the cattle to have a black face and for the coat of the cattle to be at least 51 percent black, regardless of the breed.
       
      #3
        GordonW

        • Total Posts: 924
        • Joined: 11/13/2003
        • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
        RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 12:32 PM (permalink)
        Being that "Certified Angus Beef" is a brand name and a registered trademark (and we have been told about these), I would think that standard for Certified Angus Beef® are set by the CAB people and not the USDA. A quick look at their website explains the standards:


        What is Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) product?

        The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is reserved for Angus beef that, after meeting the live specification of being at least 51% black-hided or AngusSource® enrolled, is verified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as meeting the ten CAB carcass specifications:

        -Modest or higher marbling
        -Medium or fine marbling texture
        -"A" maturity for each, lean and skeletal characteristics
        -10 to 16 square inch ribeye area
        -Less than 1,000 pound hot carcass weight
        -Less than 1 inch fat thickness
        -Superior muscling (eliminates dairy influence)
        -Practically free of capillary rupture
        -No dark cutters
        -No neck hump exceeding 2 inches

        http://www.cabpartners.com/facts/faqs.php#function

         
        #4
          BunglingBill

          • Total Posts: 218
          • Joined: 3/16/2007
          • Location: Nashville, TN
          RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 12:43 PM (permalink)
          QUOTE: "-No neck hump exceeding 2 inches.", etc.

          Sounds like a bunch of bull hockey to me. Give me a break!

          Marketing gone mad!

           
          #5
            Texianjoe

            • Total Posts: 639
            • Joined: 10/15/2006
            • Location: Houston, TX
            RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 1:00 PM (permalink)
            Sound like one of those $25 Mexican Rolex watches.

            joe
             
            #6
              BhamBabe

              • Total Posts: 879
              • Joined: 10/18/2005
              • Location: Mandeville, LA
              RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 1:34 PM (permalink)
              MH you are so right. I went back and re read my source and it says exhibits angus like characteristics and 51% black coloration. Yet in the very next paragraph it speaks of Prime beef being all angus. It must have been only that line that stuck in my brain. Sorry for the confusion.

              So what the heck is anugs like characteristics?

              I still say it's a gimmick. And they ain't giving everyone the meat they are expecting.
               
              #7
                Michael Hoffman

                • Total Posts: 17855
                • Joined: 7/1/2000
                • Location: Gahanna, OH
                RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 1:48 PM (permalink)
                Angus characteristics:

                Angus are moderate-sized, muscular animals, renowned as a carcass breed. They are used widely in crossbreeding to improve carcase quality and milking ability. Angus have a propensity to marble, and to have white fat and bright-red lean meat. A poll breed, they are also used as a genetic dehorner. They are solid black in color but a small amount of white is permitted on the underline, behind the navel scar.

                From the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries/Agriculture:
                 
                #8
                  ScreamingChicken

                  • Total Posts: 4737
                  • Joined: 11/5/2004
                  • Location: Stoughton, WI
                  RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 2:11 PM (permalink)
                  A co-worker and his father raise beef and I buy a quarter from him every year. I asked him once and he said it's a Red Angus/Hereford cross; while I'm no beef connoisseur I do know it tastes good to me...

                  Brad
                   
                  #9
                    Rustywolf

                    • Total Posts: 176
                    • Joined: 2/12/2004
                    • Location: Muskegon, MI
                    RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 2:50 PM (permalink)
                    Additionally, all the beef must be personally certified by Col. Angus himself.
                     
                    #10
                      tmiles

                      • Total Posts: 1912
                      • Joined: 10/1/2004
                      • Location: Millbury, MA
                      RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 3:46 PM (permalink)
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

                      Angus characteristics:

                      Angus are moderate-sized, muscular animals, renowned as a carcass breed. They are used widely in crossbreeding to improve carcase quality and milking ability. Angus have a propensity to marble, and to have white fat and bright-red lean meat. A poll breed, they are also used as a genetic dehorner. They are solid black in color but a small amount of white is permitted on the underline, behind the navel scar.

                      From the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries/Agriculture:



                      This is not the whole story. Black Angus now come in designer sizes. "LowLine" (tm?) Black Angus are some of our smallest cattle, and some of the modern extreme types are closing in on the size of Holsteins.

                      The American Angus Assn (of which I am an inactive life member) is, perhaps, the best run pure breed association ever. Starting with a great product, and with better marketing, they have taken the Black Angus from an "also ran" to the most important beef breed in the USA.

                      The Hereford and Shorthorn associations represent good cattle, but for whatever reason the Angus guys have left them in the dust. The CAB program is just one of the innovations that have made Angus more profitable for farmers.

                      Is CAB worth the extra money? Yes. Because it is better? I don't know. It is worth more because shoppers are willing to pay more.
                      Just my opinion.
                      Todd
                       
                      #11
                        GordonW

                        • Total Posts: 924
                        • Joined: 11/13/2003
                        • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
                        RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 6:02 PM (permalink)
                        It would seem that the whole business of certified Angus is a marketing strategy, to put a brand identification on what otherwise would be just another piece of meat. And it escalates -- today in the supermarket I saw "Certified Hereford Beef." This is what one industry source says about Angus -- it sounds like a focus on the bottom line:

                        "Angus beef hardly needs an introduction; it is renowned for its fine marbling texture and superlative eating qualities. The Angus given a minimal amount of days on feed will manage to repeatedly turn out Prime and Choice grade meats. The Certified Angus Beef program was the first of its class. It provides Angus beef producers an increase in the marketability of their stock directly leading to higher premiums. For the consumer, it provides a consistent eating experience and the assurance of knowing what one is purchasing. In order to qualify under the phenotype requirements of the CAB programs, the cattle must exhibit at least 51% black coloration as well as the absence of non-angus traits (Brahman humps, dairy cattle conformation). The surge in the CAB program has led to a wide-reaching escalation of breeding black into cattle stock, most often using Angus bulls."

                        http://www.cattle.com/BreedsofCattle/angus.aspx

                        And getting certified as Angus beef does not mean a single breed (there are several as well as crossbreeds) or even that close to purebred:

                        "Cattle eligible for Angus influence beef programs based on genotype must have positive identification (ear tags, tattoos, brands, etc.) and be traceable back to provable (e.g.; registration papers) Angus parentage. Qualifying cattle must be traceable to one registered parent or two registered grandparents. Programs which claim a specified percentage of Angus heritage must use this method.

                        Cattle eligible for certification in Angus influence beef programs based on phenotype (appearance) must be predominately (51 percent) solid black. Blue roan, gray, etc., are not considered to be black or a percentage of black. Such variations can qualify only when it occupies 49 percent, or less, of the body area with the remaining 51 percent, or greater, being solid black. Angus influence cattle may be either horned or polled. Carcasses of certified live animals which display certain non-Angus characteristics (e.g.; dairy conformation, Brahman humps) shall be excluded as specified in the carcass specifications for approved programs."

                        http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/certprog/Schedules/sched-GLA.htm

                         
                        #12
                          Michael Hoffman

                          • Total Posts: 17855
                          • Joined: 7/1/2000
                          • Location: Gahanna, OH
                          RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 6:11 PM (permalink)
                          "Cattle eligible for Angus influence beef programs based on genotype must have positive identification (ear tags, tattoos, brands, etc.) and be traceable back to provable (e.g.; registration papers) Angus parentage. Qualifying cattle must be traceable to one registered parent or two registered grandparents. Programs which claim a specified percentage of Angus heritage must use this method."

                          But, the Certified Angus Beef designation is not one of the programs covered under the USDA's "Angus influence beef programs." The CAB is nothing more than a commercial label.
                           
                          #13
                            GordonW

                            • Total Posts: 924
                            • Joined: 11/13/2003
                            • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
                            RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 6:29 PM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

                            "Cattle eligible for Angus influence beef programs based on genotype must have positive identification (ear tags, tattoos, brands, etc.) and be traceable back to provable (e.g.; registration papers) Angus parentage. Qualifying cattle must be traceable to one registered parent or two registered grandparents. Programs which claim a specified percentage of Angus heritage must use this method."

                            But, the Certified Angus Beef designation is not one of the programs covered under the USDA's "Angus influence beef programs." The CAB is nothing more than a commercial label.


                            "What is Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) product?

                            The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is reserved for Angus beef that, after meeting the live specification of being at least 51% black-hided or AngusSource® enrolled...."

                            http://www.cabpartners.com/facts/faqs.php#function

                            AngusSource® Enrollment

                            "AngusSource® is a USDA Process Verified program that documents a minimum of 50% Angus-sired genetics, source and group age. AngusSource® is designed for both feeder cattle and replacement females."

                            http://www.angussource.com/login.html


                             
                            #14
                              Michael Hoffman

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                              • Location: Gahanna, OH
                              RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 7:43 PM (permalink)
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by GordonW

                              quote:
                              Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

                              "Cattle eligible for Angus influence beef programs based on genotype must have positive identification (ear tags, tattoos, brands, etc.) and be traceable back to provable (e.g.; registration papers) Angus parentage. Qualifying cattle must be traceable to one registered parent or two registered grandparents. Programs which claim a specified percentage of Angus heritage must use this method."

                              But, the Certified Angus Beef designation is not one of the programs covered under the USDA's "Angus influence beef programs." The CAB is nothing more than a commercial label.


                              "What is Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) product?

                              The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is reserved for Angus beef that, after meeting the live specification of being at least 51% black-hided or AngusSource® enrolled...."

                              http://www.cabpartners.com/facts/faqs.php#function

                              AngusSource® Enrollment

                              "AngusSource® is a USDA Process Verified program that documents a minimum of 50% Angus-sired genetics, source and group age. AngusSource® is designed for both feeder cattle and replacement females."

                              http://www.angussource.com/login.html




                              You did note that your cite provides the following: after meeting the live specification of being at least 51% black-hided or AngusSource® enrolled...."

                              As I said, it's an either/or thing. To qualify as Certified Angus Beef the beef does not have to come from cattle with even a fraction of Angus blood.

                               
                              #15
                                GordonW

                                • Total Posts: 924
                                • Joined: 11/13/2003
                                • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
                                RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 8:07 PM (permalink)
                                Whatever.
                                 
                                #16
                                  Poverty Pete

                                  • Total Posts: 2266
                                  • Joined: 8/16/2003
                                  • Location: Nashville, TN
                                  RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 10:03 PM (permalink)
                                  I suspect most people, myself included, couldn't tell an "Angus" burger from a retired milk cow burger.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Michael Hoffman

                                    • Total Posts: 17855
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                                    • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                    RE: Angus beef? Mon, 03/26/07 10:27 PM (permalink)
                                    That's easy. One doesn't have an udder.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      tiki

                                      • Total Posts: 4135
                                      • Joined: 7/7/2003
                                      • Location: Rentiesville, OK
                                      RE: Angus beef? Tue, 03/27/07 4:46 AM (permalink)
                                      quote:
                                      Originally posted by Poverty Pete

                                      I suspect most people, myself included, couldn't tell an "Angus" burger from a retired milk cow burger.

                                      actually--one of the best burgers i ever met was from a milk cow variety--it was being considered by one of my favorite places in Chico Ca--Morning Thunder-for thier burgers--they asked me to "Taste test" some patties with them--i loved it--so did they--BUT--cant remember which breed it was--may have been Holstein--but the fat was Yellow rather then white and that really put folks off
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Jimeats

                                        • Total Posts: 3175
                                        • Joined: 8/15/2005
                                        • Location: Ipswich Ma
                                        RE: Angus beef? Tue, 03/27/07 5:12 AM (permalink)
                                        Anybody wany to buy a roll of stickers? Chow Jim
                                         
                                        #20
                                          BunglingBill

                                          • Total Posts: 218
                                          • Joined: 3/16/2007
                                          • Location: Nashville, TN
                                          RE: Angus beef? Tue, 03/27/07 8:29 AM (permalink)
                                          quote:
                                          Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

                                          That's easy. One doesn't have an udder.


                                          Burgers have UDDERS???
                                           
                                          #21
                                            ScreamingChicken

                                            • Total Posts: 4737
                                            • Joined: 11/5/2004
                                            • Location: Stoughton, WI
                                            RE: Angus beef? Tue, 03/27/07 10:10 AM (permalink)
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by tiki
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by Poverty Pete
                                            I suspect most people, myself included, couldn't tell an "Angus" burger from a retired milk cow burger.
                                            actually--one of the best burgers i ever met was from a milk cow variety--it was being considered by one of my favorite places in Chico Ca--Morning Thunder-for thier burgers--they asked me to "Taste test" some patties with them--i loved it--so did they--BUT--cant remember which breed it was--may have been Holstein--but the fat was Yellow rather then white and that really put folks off
                                            Last summer my beef supplier asked me if I wanted some burger from an old milk cow. I don't think much attention was paid to which parts were used; it was truly ground beef instead of ground chuck, ground sirloin, etc. and it was fine and not too fatty. For bulk orders his processor gives the customer the option of having the tongue and heart packaged separately or having them added to the ground beef mix (I choose the latter).

                                            Brad
                                             
                                            #22
                                              rouxdog

                                              • Total Posts: 1421
                                              • Joined: 3/18/2005
                                              • Location: Carrizozo, NM
                                              RE: Angus beef? Sat, 03/31/07 1:54 PM (permalink)
                                              Bull meat makes an excellent burger. The only way I know of know of to to have it is by raising and processing or buying a retiring feller from a rancher and processing.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                rouxdog

                                                • Total Posts: 1421
                                                • Joined: 3/18/2005
                                                • Location: Carrizozo, NM
                                                RE: Angus beef? Sat, 03/31/07 2:12 PM (permalink)
                                                OH! NYNM, I meant to comment on "Certified Angus Beef". We don't go shopping for it. Cost/benefit doesn't make common sense to me. I suggest, learn about beef cuts and what they should look like, how each may be prepared successfully, along with the advice of a good butcher who proudly offers only the best product he's able to find.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  lleechef

                                                  • Total Posts: 6259
                                                  • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                                  • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                                  RE: Angus beef? Sun, 04/1/07 4:54 AM (permalink)
                                                  I assure you that those of us on the "front line" of REAL-LIFE chefs can tell the difference between a cow and CAB. That's why I chose CAB over cow which is basically ungraded or "no roll" in all my restaurants. There is a HUGE difference.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Greyghost

                                                    • Total Posts: 1336
                                                    • Joined: 8/19/2004
                                                    • Location: Albany, NY
                                                    RE: Angus beef? Tue, 05/22/07 5:31 PM (permalink)
                                                    Very educational thread as usual. Personally, I do not bother paying more for Black Angus as I cannot taste the difference. Having grown up in an area with more cows than people I do have a fixed idea in my head on what a cow should look like. We did not have any Black Angus where I grew up, just Hereford.

                                                    I have seen Black Angus, however and they look nothing like my old hometown cows. The Black Angus I have seen have short legs, bulky square shaped bodies and in the pasture look more like a Black Bear, which we also had a lot of in my youth.

                                                    I think I know why my farming friends never raised Black Angus:

                                                    1: Being a laughing stock is no fun in small community.

                                                    2: Intrepid deer hunters from the city bagged more than enough "Hereford deer" each year. Why encourage them:to bag Black Bear Angus as well?

                                                    3: Although, a clever lot that could tell a believable tall tale with a straight face they were honest and would never sell bear for cow. Well OK, maybe Stinky Bob would have and he would have made it stick. I can imagine him selling one now:

                                                    " Now this here expensive one is a fancy Black Angus, straight from Scotland, note the body weight and short legs, no waste here. Yes they are a bit hairy and have claws but they are adapted to the Highlands of Scotland. Yes they do growl a bit and are a feisty cow, but that's because they wean them on Highland whiskey which makes the meat a gourmet treat."

                                                    Sometimes I wonder if Stinky Bob ever did discover Black Angus and started spinning his tales to corporate America.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      MikeS.

                                                      • Total Posts: 5360
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                                                      • Location: FarEasternPanhandle, WV
                                                      • Roadfood Insider
                                                      RE: Angus beef? Wed, 05/23/07 7:26 AM (permalink)
                                                      Now I know, thanks ya'all.

                                                      MikeS.
                                                       
                                                      #27
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