What is Angus Beef?

A year ago, I’d never heard of “Angus Beef” (I don’t pay much attention to meat, other than the “sell by” date). But now, every grocery store, restaurant, or any other group wants me to be sure to know that they sell Angus Beef and only Angus Beef, and no other beef product will do.

What is it? Why should I care?

Black Angus is a type of cattle specifically bred for meat production. In other words, you aren’t getting meat from dairy cattle.

Angus is a certain breed of steer, I believe they are black in color.

Or it’s Aberdeen Angus. Much nicer :slight_smile:

Chances are pretty good amarinth’s not buying beef imported from the UK…

Wouldn’t have to. American Aberdeen-Anguses outnumber British ones 40:1.

Angus beef is beef from Angus cows. Certified Angus Beef, OTOH, is what all the hype’s about, and comes from cows that are 51% black-hided, and whose carcasses yield beef that has a modest (Middle Choice) or higher marbling degree, comes from the “A” maturity range (9-30 mos., the youngest maturity classification for beef), and has a USDA Yield Grade of 3.9 or less (out of 5 – this rejects the very fattest carcasses, which have thick fat everywhere).


How about certified “no mad cow disease” in it beef? :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t have anything useful to add. I just wanted to thank amarinth on such an insightful and tasy question. Mmmmm … beef …

Certified Angus Beef is a brand name. Fast food restaurants like Hardee’s and now Burger King are capitalizing on the success of this brand by marketing their burgers using ordinary Black Angus beef, which may or may not meet the USDA specifications for the CAB brand, according to this article:

My high school biology teacher alwasy expressed displeasure about how little the general public was aware of “common sense” biology. To fix this problem, once a week we took time off from studying genetics or microbiology or whatever to learn how to identify cow breed or other such vitally important facts. One of the little tidbits that I remember was that somebody has crossed the Angus with the Brahma to produce the Brangus, a breed which can survive in the desert but still produces more meat than an ordinary Brahma. It hasn’t caught on much, for some reason.

And the more important point, IMO, Angus beef DOES taste better.

Angus beef definitely tastes better than dairy beef (ie: beef from breeds bred for milk production, NOT necessarilly played-out old dairy cows*). However, there are many other beef breeds, including Charlois, Hereford, etc. All of them taste fine. The “Angus Beef” campaign is just marketing.

Oh ho, I see you’ve fallen for this “low-prion” diet fad that’s all the rage. Such fretting over an eensy-weensy little protein, just because it can colonize and destroy your brain. Pshaw!

Don’t let it go to your head.

It’s not like you need superoxide dismutase to destroy all the oxidative free radicals in your body. Everyone knows that free radicals come from a modern diet full of MEAT and CHEMICALS. All you need to do is to eat foods that are high in NATURAL antioxidants, like ORGANIC carrots and tomatoes. Oh, and send me $99.95 a week.

Since this is a health issue I should make it clear I’m being sarcastic. Destroying the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) is one possible mechanism for CJD/Mad Cow. SOD is indeed responsible for neutralizing free radicals, but normal metabolism still produces large amounts of free radicals regardless of your diet.

And if you look carefully at links like Nametag’s you will notice that the “Certified Angus” label specifies “Angus type” cattle, not purebred Angus - 51% black in color being one of the criteria. Most of the CAB spec has to do with the qualities of the carcass, and much of it comes from crossbred cattle, not pure Angus stock. In particular, ranchers have crossed Hereford (whiteface) and Angus for years, and many of these animals will qualify for the CAB label. This quote illustrates why they do it:


The Angus-Hereford cross usually has a black body and a white face, very nice looking animals. They are known as “Black Baldies”.

By the way, I understand that the bulk of MickyD’s beef is dairy beef of the type I described upthread as “played out old dairy cows”.

Well, I have to tell ya… I’ve met Angus, and he’s a rather sweaty and hairy fella. I don’t care to put my lips on his burgers.

More seriously, here is a website explaining the difference between Certified Angus Beef and the impostor Anguses…

(no… it’s not Angii…)

There are a couple of links on that page to good general references on beef quality grades, as well.

As any fule kno, the best beef in the World is British beef that has been awarded the British Seal of Excellence. You should ask your butcher to give you meat with BSE. Truly it is to die for.

Those steer do have some trouble breeding. Perhaps that is why the beef is more expensive?