Beef, flesh of mature cattle, as distinguished from veal, the flesh of calves. The best beef is obtained from early maturing, special beef breeds. High-quality beef has firm, velvety, fine-grained lean, bright red in colour and well-marbled. The fat is smooth, creamy white, and well distributed. In young beef the bones are soft, porous, and red; the less desirable mature beef has hard white bones. Beef tenderness and flavour are improved by aging; in one common aging method the carcass is hung for about two weeks at approximately 36 °F (2 °C), encouraging physical changes in the muscle tissue that enhance the quality of the meat.
The primary beef-consuming countries of the world (in per capita terms) are Uruguay, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. Beef is relatively scarce and not particularly popular in most of Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent; the sanctity of the cow in the Hindu religion forbids the consumption of its meat by Hindu adherents. Beef is not unusual in the cuisines of Korea and Japan, however; in Kobe, Japan, near osaka, a highly prized beef is produced from cattle that are vigorously massaged and fed a liberal dietary supplement of beer.read more