Meat from a cow one year old or older, but generally 18 to 24 months. In the U.S. the USDA grades beef according to proportion of beef to bone, beef to fat and quality. In order of best to worst the grades of beef stamped on the meat in harmless purple vegetable dye are: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter and Canner.
Season: available year-round
How to store: Unless the meat will be cooked within 6 hours, remove it from the plastic packaging, and store in the coldest part of the refrigerator loosely wrapped in waxed paper, to keep the surface dry and allow air flow, which prevents bacterial growth. Ground beef will keep for 2 days this way, or 3 months in the freezer; solid cuts for 3 days or 6 months in the freezer.
How to prepare: boil, braise, grill, marinade, pot-roast, roast, spit-roast, stew
Matches well with: basil, beer, Burgundy, carrots, chiles, corn, horseradish, mushrooms, mustard, onions, orange, parsley, pepper, potatoes, shallots, soy, vinegar, wine
Substitutions: 1 lb ground beef = 1 lb ground pork = 1 lb ground veal = 1 lb ground lamb = 1 lb ground turkey = 1 lb ground chicken