Master the pasta with beef
WHEN it comes to matching your beef and pasta, it's good to know your mince from your chuck. A staple for most Aussies, fresh or dried pasta is quick and easy to cook and when paired with beef can be used to create delicious recipes for any occasion.
To help you perfect this culinary partnership, here's a handy guide to explore three delicious beef cuts.
Butchery: The rump is a boneless five-muscled primal that sits between the sirloin and topside. A great all-rounder, rump is a little firmer in texture than other cuts of steak, making it well suited to a variety of cooking methods.
Cooking: An incredibly versatile cut, the rump steak can be cooked whole or sliced into small steaks or strips. A great way to enjoy this cut is in a pasta salad. To do this, preheat a char grill barbecue or pan to hot with a dash of oil before adding the rump.
Make sure to turn the steak once only, and test for the degree of doneness you are after with tongs.
Before you slice and add to your salad, let the rump rest for five minutes, to make sure it's tender and juicy.
Butchery: Beef mince can be created from a variety of cuts including chuck, blade, topside and round steak. Ask your butcher to recommend the best type of mince to use, depending on what you want to cook. For pasta, mid-range grades are perfect as they help the beef soak the flavours of the ingredients and stay juicy.
Cooking: Beef mince is extremely versatile and can be used for a long list of pasta recipes. This includes rolling the mince for Italian-style meatballs, layering between sheets of pasta for a tasty lasagne, or creating a simple but delicious bolognaise with spaghetti.
Butchery: Chuck is derived from the neck support muscles. These are well-used muscles that contain a great deal of connective tissue, making this cut well suited to low and slow cooking methods.
Cooking: Beef chuck is perfect for creating a rich ragu as this cut responds well to moist, slow extended cooking methods. As the chuck cooks, the fat breaks down to create a tender and flavoursome result.
To learn more about the wide range of beef cuts, download the MeatCuts app on your smart phone - a practical guide that will help you choose the right cut for the right dish.
Warm beef pasta and roasted pumpkin salad
600g beef rump steak, trimmed
800g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 1.5cm cubes
250g farfelle pasta
200g green beans, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
1½ tbs olive oil
200g baby spinach leaves
125g fresh ricotta
2 tbs toasted pine nuts, to garnish
Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan forced, line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin on prepared tray, spray with olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until golden and tender. Set aside.
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions, or until al dente, adding beans for last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan or char grill over a high heat. Brush steak with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Cook steak for 2-3 minutes each side, for medium. Transfer to a clean board, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice steak across the grain.
Toss pasta, beans, pumpkin, steak, spinach, ricotta and remaining olive oil together. Serve garnished with pine nuts.
TIP: Any type of large pasta shape, such as spirals, penne or farfalle are ideal to use in this recipe.
For more tips and recipes, visit BetterOnBeef.com.au.