The best cattle raising region in the world is composed of southern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina, there the conditions are so optimal that cattle can live on their own and prosper. In the history of that region one can read of the many European settlements that had to be suddenly abandoned because of indian attacks, often leaving behind some cattle, sometimes as little as 1 bull and 4 cows. When the settlements were recaptured some 20 years later, the settlers were astonished to see cattle by the thousands as far as the eye could see. There were so many that all the meat could not be consumed and cattle were often shot for the skin and the carcass left for wild animals.
Uruguayan beef is famous for being the best free ranging grass fed beef in the world, but it is somewhat difficult to get to eat it, you would have to be the president of the USA or someone traveling with him, Mr. George W. Bush was invited to a BBQ in a Uruguayan cattle ranch by the president of Uruguay, Mr. Bush said that it was the best beef he ever ate and coming from a Texan that means a lot; or you could be a rich Englishman since most Uruguayan beef is exported to England where the English lords gorge on it and develop gout, the butcher shop at Harrods sells beef from Uruguay but it is pricey; if you are in neither of the previous categories you are left with the option of visiting the Harbor's Market (Mercado del Puerto) in Uruguay's capital Montevideo, the market is a den of carnivorousness where a vegetarian will have a heart attack because of the blatant display of grilled meats, but the place is cheap to eat and is usually full.
In this blog I will not refer to every cut of beef since there are too many, but I will identify the most popular in the USA and Latin America, some popular cuts will not be referred to because they are obvious, such as the universally famous T-Bone steak known by that name in every country. The table below shows the name of some popular cuts in the USA and Latin America:
Below are some links to beef charts in various countries:
NUTRIENTS: beef is of course a great source of protein and iron, and if not properly consumed it may add a lot of cholesterol to your diet. For the nutrients in specific cuts go to this link and search for the name: Nutrients in Food
PROCESSING: There are many ways to cut beef below you will find some videos on the most popular cuts:
Cutting Sirloin and Tenderloin Steaks
Preparing Rump Cap Brazilian Style
STORING: Beef always benefits from a little aging, 1 week in the refrigerator or more if it is in the freezer, will make beef more tender. Some people are not aware that most refrigerator have a drawer designed for aging beef, usually the bottom one. You place in this aging drawer your beef in the same package it comes in and leave it for at week before preparing.
GUASACACA: This is a Venezuelan version of the Mexican Guacamole, one may say is a chunky guacamole. Coarsely chop 1 red onion, 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 2 plum tomatoes, 1 ripe avocado, 1 tablespoon each of finely chopped cilantro and garlic, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste, mix well all ingredients except avocado, then add avocado and mix gently to avoid mashing it. Serve as a side for grilled beef.