Beef is the term for meat that comes from cattle. Whether the meat comes from cows, heifers, bulls or steers, it is still generally called beef. It is one of the most commonly used meats in cuisines, aside from pork. Depending on the source of the meat, there are several types of beef, each with its own qualities. Below are some types of beef that are considered as premium, meaning the beef is graded as USDA Prime, USDA Select or USDA Choice. The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, grades beef according to the degree of (1) marbling and (2) maturity.
Angus beef is one of the most popular types of beef in the United States. Angus beef can come from the black or red Angus cow. This type of beef shows considerable marbling, which is the reason why it has superior tenderness, juiciness and taste, as compared to other types of beef.
American Wagyu Beef
This type of beef is also called the American-Style Kobe beef. American Wagyu cattle are given a diet that is more or less the same as that of the Japanese Wagyus’ diet. Basically, the major difference between the American Wagyu beef and the Kobe beef is the place where the beef was processed. Hence, because the American Wagyu beef was not processed in Japan, then it cannot be called Kobe beef.
Kobe beef is also a type of beef that comes from the Wagyu cattle. It also has excellent marbling and therefore has excellent tenderness, juiciness and taste. The Wagyu cattle that is the source of this beef is given a special diet of sake and beer. These cattle are also massaged daily in order to improve its meat quality. The term “Kobe beef” is specifically applied to Wagyu beef that has been processed in Japan. Thus, even if the meat comes from the Wagyu cattle, if it was not processed in Japan, it cannot be considered Kobe beef.
Australian Wagyu Beef
As the name implies, this type of beef also comes from the Wagyu cattle that has been imported by Australia. The country first imported Wagyu cattle back in 1991 and started raising both cross-bred and pure bred herds. For the same reason, although Wagyu cattle from Japan and Wagyu cattle from Australia have the same diet, the latter still cannot be called Kobe Beef, since it was processed in Australia and not in Japan.
Regardless of the source of the meat, all beef types are rich sources of protein, zinc, phosphorus, B-vitamins, selenium and iron. As beef has red meat, it is also a rich source of carnitine, a nutrient that helps convert fat to energy.