I would argue that a bodybuilder appreciates food even more so than your average Joe. Self-restraint is not exactly common-place. So, while many indulge their every desire, all I really want is real BBQ sauce. Not some brown water with liquid smoke but something that’s thick, smokey and sweet slathered on a perfectly seared cut of red meat. It’s the little things that make our mouths water. But those little things easily add up and many times are not worth adding to your nutrition plan. So, how do you improve on the mundane? Go back to the basics... the Barbell Club Basics, that is. In today’s article, Renegade Training founder John Davies will show us all how to choose the best cuts of beef.
“A number of years ago I put together a ‘self-starter’ approach to choosing the best cut of meat and though many of the 5 approaches might seem unique, they will make a world of difference.
1. QUALITY Think of ‘tradition’, when a man’s handshake was his word and instead of shopping at a big box store or large commercial grocer, choose a local butcher. That will make the world of difference as you will come to understand a true butcher will ensure his customers receive the best quality meat. Shake a man’s hand, look him square in the eye and ask his opinion of the best quality product he has available that day. It’ll make a difference.
2. COST All selections should fit within your budget. Long before you are tempted with exotic food choices or the like, balance what suits your personal budget.
3. FRESHNESS Choose fresh cuts and not packaged meats from a far off meat packing firm. If purchasing products that are on sale, ensure it is not close or past the date of expiration and that the cut falls in line with quality guidelines.
4. FAT Meat should be trimmed of excess fat on the exterior, though a modest amount is understandable and, in-fact desirable as it will help produce a better tasting steak. Additionally and very important, meat should have thin beads of fat, known as ‘marbling’ that stretch throughout the cut.
5. TONE and TEXTURE Meat, though it will vary with each cut, should be well marbled and have a consistent tone of a modest violet to cherry red but NEVER a frozen grey.
Pan-Seared Sirloin Stir Fry | USPlabs Nutrition
- ¾ lb sirloin steak
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. chile sauce with garlic
- 2 tsp cornstarch
Thinly slice the beef across the grain, sprinkle with pepper and then heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the beef until browned (about 3 minutes) and remove the beef from the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the same pan over a medium-high heat and add the bell peppers and garlic. Cook until tender (about 3 minutes). In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, chile sauce, 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch, and mix well. Add the browned beef and the sauce mix to the pan and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!
Tips for cooking meat:
- When preparing meat, don’t add salt until the end. This will prevent it from losing its juices.
- Marinate the meat with seasoning, garlic, lemon or beer the night before. This will enhance taste without the added extra calories.
- While cooking meat, only turn it once instead of flipping it back and forth, and do not use a fork or anything that will puncture the meat or the juices will immediately run out leaving it dry.
- Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it so the juices can settle and be distributed before eating.
There’s nothing like well-cooked red meat! Small changes make BIG differences. Remember, you can enjoy a great meal without sacrificing your gainz.
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Prepared by TEAM USPlabs
Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.
The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.