Beef up your recipe game, it’s May Beef Month!

By Cristen Clark, Food & Swine

It is May Beef Month across the state and there’s no better way to celebrate Iowa beef farmers than by enjoying high-quality, mouth-watering beef on your dinner plate tonight! From juicy burgers to succulent steaks and tender roasts, beef is literally “What’s for Dinner,” and there are so many ways to enjoy it.

Today’s beef is a naturally nutrient-rich food, providing protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins. More than 30 beef cuts meet the government’s definition of “lean.” Beef packs a protein punch, too; a 3-ounce serving of beef – about the size of an iPhone or deck of cards – provides more than 10 essential nutrients and about half of your Daily Value for protein in 150 calories or less.

Growing up the daughter of a devoted cattleman, we enjoyed a bevy of beef on the regular. There are a few things I learned in my youth that have stuck with me into adulthood.

#1: Steaks are delicious, solo. Translation: Don’t disgrace a good steak with ketchup. (I married a man that does this, and it drives me bonkers.)
#2: Be delicate! Try to refrain from smashing your burgers or steaks when you are grilling them, and try not to flip them a million times because they’ll be juicier if you let them be while they are cooking.
#3: If you are making meatballs or shaping patties, try handling the ground beef as little as possible so the final product is tender.
#4: If you order a “hot beef” plate from a restaurant, you should eat in silence, because it is a divine experience.
#5: After you pull your steaks from whatever heat source when they are done cooking, let them rest 5 minutes before slicing to let the juices redistribute.
#6: There’s no substitute to a quality meat thermometer. Leave the guesswork out of determining the doneness of your burgers, steaks or roasts by utilizing this all-purpose kitchen tool. This is one gift that keeps on giving. (*wink wink, Father’s Day is on the horizon.)

Thrilled to fire up your grill this summer? According to a recent survey*, Americans favored these lean beef cuts in order when it is time for meat to meet the fire:

  • Strip Steak
  • Top Sirloin Steak 
  • 93% Lean Ground Beef 
  • Tenderloin Steak 
  • Flank Steak 
  • Tri Tip 

Not only is beef delicious as well as nutritious, the beef industry in Iowa boasts big business for the state’s economy generating $6.9 billion annually and creating jobs for nearly 40,000 Iowans. And as if things weren’t looking up as it is, May is also National Hamburger Month, get out and enjoy a few! If you are looking for some more scrumptious beef recipes, check some of my favorites!

Beefy Breakfasts

Beef Appetizers

Beefed Up Main Dishes

* FreshLook Marketing/IRI, categorized by VM Meat Solutions, May-Sept., 2009-2014.
Recipe photos courtesy of Beef, It's What's for Dinner