What's so special about Black Angus beef?

Wife normally knows how to make a pretty good fried steak using cheap cuts. Yesterday she brought home some Angus steaks of some sort. They must’ve been on heavy sale, and I think I know why, because we normally can’t afford them. It was the toughest hunk of meat I ever ate, though the connective tissue flossed my teeth well.

I assume this is not normal, but what’s so special about Black Angus beef?

The heavy promotion.

It’s been bred to be reasonalby well marbled and tender. But so have other beef breeds like Hereford.

Probably better than a steak from a Holstein (milk breed).

Nonexistent marbling and tough as shoe leather. And we have more. Is there any way to cook it, short of as a pot roast, that I can gently suggest we try so tomorrow’s dinner is edible?

Although she loves her crock pot. Maybe 18 hours in that plus some BBQ sauce…

ETA: Off to poach some chicken breasts. Before the internet I thought it would take longer so mine were always tough. Maybe I can reduce the liquid when they’re done, add it to some roux, and make gravy with all the nice juices and veggies.

Correction: Not gravy, because life is too short to reduce that amount of liquid. Soup.

No preparation of beef should be tough as shoe leather aside from maybe beef jerky.

Black angus is a legitimate beef breed and you generally get good quality cuts from them. I’ve had black angus in many different cuts and it’s typically good, it isn’t the best beef breed but it is definitely worthy of its reputation as beef cattle.

If your wife bought a cut that wasn’t meant to be fried up like a normal steak then that could be the problem, not all cuts are prepared the same way nor are all of them meant to just be fried in a skillet and eaten. Some just aren’t for that, and that’s why some cuts are cheaper than others, some are good for steaks and some aren’t. The ones that are tend to cost more.

Basically this pdf: link

You can get good Black Angus beef easily enough. It no different than any other breed of beef: some cuts are tender and others are tough if not cooked properly.

It’s reputation these days is from marketing. People think Black Angus is better beef because it keeps being mentioned, must like people think cling peaches are somehow better than others (even sillier in the case of the peaches, since it only means that the flesh clings to the pit; I prefer freestone, not because of flavor, but because the pit just falls out when cut in half).

If there’s really no marbling, I don’t think that any steak preparation will make it taste better. You can try heavily salting it. I’ve done it, and it does make the steak a bit more tender and flavorful. The other way to make it more tender is to do a homemade sous-vide using a beer cooler. It actually works really well. I highly suggest it for fish too. I haven’t tried chicken yet, but the steaks and the salmon I did came out amazing.

I’ve had reasonably good luck tenderizing by whacking the crap out of beef with a kitchen mallet.

Braise it somehow, which is basically searing it to develop flavor, then cooking it low in the presence of moisture to break down the collagen connective tissue into gelatin.

That’s your best bet; I keep thinking some variation on the smothered steak (smothered with onions) might be the ideal recipe for something like that.

Can you tell us what cut it is and what grade it is? If it’s, say, select grade chuck, then of course you’re going to have problems with trying to cook that like a steak. To me, given your description of the meat having a lot of connective tissue, it sounds like you have something more appropriate for stewing or braising than cooking fast and hot like a steak.

All I think about Angus is that it tastes better than the usual stuff they use in fast food burgers–at least, at most restaurants. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with the stuff you bought, other than wondering if it’s really steak and/or really Angus.

No idea. She had another pack of it but took it out to Oldest’s new apartment along with the leftover boiled chicken as part of a care package for Oldest (her BF’s a veggie) and her dogs. Most of the chicken she made into chicken-tuna salad with the addition of a big can of Bumble Bee. After I choked back the vomit I asked that she never make that for me.

You’re one of those guys whose spouse does not read the 'Dope, right? :slight_smile:

Absolutely! :smiley:

For five bucks I won’t give her the URL.

Ha! I’ll not do it for $3. (Note: you still have to work out a separate deal with carnivorousplant)

I was once at a (now closed) “Amish” Market, and the kid working the butcher counter was trying to convince me that ‘Certified Angus’ (a brand) was the same as prime beef (a USDA designation). He was alone, which was bad, as hopefully a real butcher would have saved him future shame by putting a cleaver in his skull.

Angus and Black Angus are just types of cattle, and Certified Angus is a designation that it meets minimum standards and the rancher has his dues all paid up.

I’ve heard from people that would know that black cattle that are not really at all Angus are sold as Certified Angus.

Gonna ruin the market, you are. :frowning: