Have you ever felt like the whole hoo hah surrounding beef was a bit much? There’s the wagyu, the black angus, the graded marbling, the multitudes of countries from which each cow is reared…
All that can be very daunting to people who don’t eat much beef. Even the choice of
“sirloin steak 10.99”
“ribeye steak 12.99”
“t-bone steak 14.99”
at the western stall is already confusing. It must be that the 14.99 one is the better cut, but honestly, most of us cannot taste a difference. And you know what makes this a fact? When they drench the steaks in a heap of brown mushroom sauce or the perennial favourite, black pepper sauce.
Now, great beef cuts are more widely available and we no longer have to rely on western stalls to bring us the good stuff. At retail places like Aw’s Market butchery, we sell an amazing variety of beef that easily bests the old-school steaks of yore.
To make it simple, our article today will simply discuss the difference between
- Grass-fed beef
- Grain-fed beef
Grass-fed cows are fed mostly grass. These cows might be reared free-roaming in pasture land or they might be reared indoors and fed hay. Nonetheless, when cows are fed on a diet of grass, they are known to produce flavoursome lean meat that tends to be richer in Vitamin A and E (which comes from grass!).
Historically, Singapore imports most of its beef from Australia, so it is likely that you would have encountered grass-fed beef and its distinctive beefy flavour. In fact, we feel that the lean and flavoursome beef pairs extremely well with red wine and red-wine stews. Read: Red-wine Bolognese sauce.
If you’re ever feeling a little fancy, a striploin “sirloin” roast would be a great party favourite that your guests would thank you for. Being less fatty, grass-fed cuts is best well-seasoned and cooked medium to rare in order to retain its juices. We love the reverse sear method (google it!) as the meat always turns out well. Try this method if you have the chance!
Aw's Market carries grass-fed beef from the regions of Australia and New Zealand.
Grain-fed cows are fed mostly grains. Grains like corn, oats and barley (like the ones we eat!) are used in the feed. These grains, being more energy-dense, will produce fatty unctuous meat that tends to garner oohs and aahs from dinner guests. Fattier cuts are known to be described as rich and buttery, and when cooked right, even have a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Being so rich in flavour and buttery-ness, some may recommend eating it in small portions to savour each bite. This amplifies the taste and texture of each morsel, and allows the beef to go a longer way.
The USDA range of beef on Aw's Market is corn (read: grain) fed and is known to have a rich buttery flavour. It is a must-try for people who want to try the epitome of meat umami.
Not sure whether the richness of grain-fed or the beefy flavours of grass-fed is better? We recommend that you try out the different kinds to know what you like! Look out for our next sequal Beef Diaries post on Argentinan beef!!