Monday, June 17, 2013


Special beef designations

  • Certified Angus Beef (CAB) in Canada and the USA is a specification-based, branded-beef program which was founded in 1978 by Angus cattle producers to increase demand for their breed of cattle, by promoting the impression that Angus cattle have consistent, high-quality beef with superior taste. The brand is owned by the American Angus Association and its 35,000 rancher members. The terms Angus Beef or Black Angus Beef are loosely and commonly misused and/or confused with CAB; this is especially common in the food service industry. The brand or name Certified Angus Beef cannot be legally used by an establishment that is not licensed to do so. In the UK the equivalent is Aberdeen Angus, marketed as higher quality and associated with stricter animal welfare rules. Notable for the herd being free of BSE during the BSE epidemic in the UK. Similar schemes are used elsewhere as in Certified Angus Beef in Ireland.[9]
  • Certified Hereford Beef is beef certified to have come from Hereford cattle.
  • Grass-fed beef cattle have been raised exclusively on forage. Grain-fed beef cattle are raised primarily on forage, but are "finished" in a feedlot.
  • Kobe beef is pure Tajima-gyu breed bull or virgin cow, born raised and slaughtered solely within Hyogo prefecture.[10] Kobe beef has not been available in the US since early 2010.[11]
  • Halal beef has been certified to have been processed in a prescribed manner in accordance with Muslim dietary laws.
  • Kosher beef has been certified to have been processed in a prescribed manner in accordance with Jewish dietary laws.
  • Organic beef is produced without added hormones, pesticides, or other chemicals, though requirements for labeling it organic vary widely.
  • The EU recognises the following Protected Designation of Origin beef brands:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wassi's Meat Market - Melbourne, FL: Grassfed Beef

Wassi's Meat Market - Melbourne, FL: Grassfed Beef: Beef from grass-fed animals has lower levels of unhealthy fats and higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are better for cardiovascular...

Grassfed Beef

Beef from grass-fed animals has lower levels of unhealthy fats and higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are better for cardiovascular health. Grass-fed beef also has lower levels of dietary cholesterol and offers more vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants. A study found that meat from animals raised entirely on grass also had about twice the levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, isomers, which may have cancer fighting properties and lower the risk of diabetes and other health problems.

While the analysis is favorable to grass-fed beef, it’s not clear whether the nutritional differences in the two types of meat have any meaningful impact on human health.
For instance, the levels of healthful omega-3s are still far lower than those found in fatty fish like salmon. And as the study authors note, consumers of grain-fed beef can increase their levels of healthful CLAs by eating slightly fattier cuts.

Grass-fed beef has a distinctly different and “grassy” flavor compared with feed-lot beef and also costs more. (at $26 a pound, cost is about three times more.)

Today all cattle are typically raised on grass in the early months of their lives. But in the 1950s, cattle raisers hoping to cut costs and improve efficiency of beef production began to ship the animals to feed lots, where they could be fattened more quickly on inexpensive and high-calorie grains. Grain feeding also increased intramuscular fat in the animals. The result was a marbling effect that made meat more flavorful and tender but also raised fat and cholesterol levels.

Labels on grass-fed beef can be misleading, and some meat carrying a “grass-fed” label was still “finished” on grains at a feed lot.

This being said, just one more thing that most persons don't consider or EVEN KNOW about cattle:

     When a cow gets into a field (if you watch them), they will eat the tops off the grasses and continue to wander around looking for more tops but also eating the stems and other parts. That means that they are eating the "grains" off the grasses. Corn is an oversized "grain" off of a grass that we eat on what is called "cobs" and sometimes off the cob. The cow tends to eat the entire plant for the most part while we consume only the grain. Cows like that grain too, but they also like the taste of the rest of the plant.
"Grass fed" generally means that the animal has not been put in a feedlot and raised on a predetermined diet which often includes corn, barley and other grains in abundance. "Grass fed" often means that the animal has eaten his or her choice of the food available. If it is corn stalks, then they are "grass-fed." If it is barley, "grass fed" is what they are. If it is pasture, they are still grass-fed. But also realize that, if it is a chemically sprayed field, it is still "grass-fed."
If you purchase a half or whole beef, find out what kinds of grasses they were fed. Find out what you want to know i.e. natural, organic, free fed, or grain fed. Each farmer/rancher has a different methodology, but every single one of them are feeding some form of grass to every animal every day.
There are many hundreds of thousands of Holstein calves born each year that are males. The females are used for milk. The males are grown to be put in a feedlot. They are about 10% of the beef in the supermarkets. There are many breeds of cattle born in the US each year that are used for beef. As you might suppose, different breeds have different tenderness (cut-ability), different taste (often dependent on the type of feed), and different marbling (which adds to taste). The marbling of the beef is what adds the most to taste if it is fed the correct "grasses" or grains harvested from the "grasses."
Waygu marble the best, but they don't produce as much meat, and the tenderness is so great that the steaks can seem "mushy." But remember, the food they eat creates the taste of the beef. If they eat trash, the meat will taste very bad. The reason that many ranchers add Angus to their herds is that Angus beef has some of the highest marbling with the some of the best growth, some of the best tenderness, and some of the highest meat to bone ratio meaning you get more food i.e. it is a high quality, all purpose animal. Angus mothers are also considered some of the best which is a necessity in order to raise live calves to weaning.
All beef that comes to the supermarket is grass fed. Beef cannot be fed a strictly corn (or any grain) diet and live without serious health issues that will kill them without medication to keep them alive--not a profitable plan. It is the type of grass, the type of water, the type of animal and the type of husbandry that makes the difference in taste. So "grass-fed" can be great if fed the right grass with the grain heads on it (such as barley or corn) or it can be horrible when fed rice straw and pasture grass only.
Once again, whatever it is, you get what you pay for. Good beef is built from the breeding up to the harvest--every step of the way counts for good quality and good tasting meat.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wassi's Homemade Cream Pies

Wassi's Homemade Cream Pies

All of our Pies are Homemade. So are all of our Desserts.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What's the difference between USDA Prime and USDA Choice?

Basically, more fat marbling throughout the meat. As you can tell from the following photos, Prime Grade (on the right) has much more fat marbling throughout the meat than the Choice Grade (on the left).
usda-choice-rib-roast.jpg usda-prime-rib-roast.jpg
usda-choice-closeup.jpg usda-prime-closeup.jpg


All beef is not created equal. The quality depends on not only the stock but the animal’s environment, type of feed, slaughter technique, aging, butchering, packaging and other factors, a key factor of which is marbling. The eight USDA grades are Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter and Canner. USDA Prime is generally only available to restaurants and specialty butcher shops. The best quality sold at supermarkets is generally USDA Choice, although many markets sell only Select. If the grade is not indicated, ask. Only 2% to 3% of all beef produced is graded USDA Prime.  About 58% of all beef produced is graded USDA Choice. The grading is based on three factors: the proportion of meat to bone (conformation), the proportion of fat to lean (finish) and overall quality. Beef grade is largely determined by the nature of the steer, although the industry tries, through breeding and feeding practices, to raise cattle that will earn a Choice grade.

We have always sold Choice Rib Roast here at Wassi's Meat Market. There generally is no demand for "PRIME" in our area. People just won't pay the price.We have recently seen an interest in "PRIME "cuts in our shop and for the first time this year we are offering "PRIME" Rib Roast. We will still offer Choice as well.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How To Smoke a Turkey

If you think Thanksgiving is the only time of year to test your skills at smoking a turkey, think again. This slow-cooking method infuses the meat with a savory and smoky flavor that's as good during the warm spring and summer months as it is during the cool holiday season. Like roasting, smoking uses low, indirect heat. But it's more than just heating--this method actually adds a rich flavor to the meat, which can be influenced by your choice of wood chips, herbs and other flavorings you put directly on the heat source in your smoker. And since the process take several hours, you can make a day out of smoking your turkey. So, break out the Frisbee, lounge in the hammock and soak up the sun and fresh air, while the smoker does all the work.

Not feeling up to the onslaught of leftovers from a whole turkey? A turkey breast is the perfect option for a smaller crowd. This recipe for herb-smoked turkey breast uses tart Granny Smith apples, onions and fresh herbs to enhance the flavors of the meat.
What You'll Need

  • 1 bone-in fresh turkey breast, about 7-1/2 pounds
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut up
  • 2 medium-size onions, cut up
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sage leaves, torn
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt (such as Adobo)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Step By Step

Rinse breast and pat dry. Loosen skin over both sides of turkey breast. Soak 2 to 3 cups wood chips in hot tap water.
Cover water pan completely with aluminum foil. Add apple, onion, 4 sprigs of the thyme, 2 sprigs of the rosemary and 3 of the sage leaves.
In a small bowl, combine Adobo and paprika. Place a generous amount between the skin and breast meat and remainder on the outside of skin. Tuck remaining herb sprigs under skin.
Prepare smoker: Fire up about 10 pounds charcoal until gray and ashy. Place water pan in body of smoker and place body on top of grill base. Fill water pan with 6 to 8 cups hot tap water, and gently replace grill racks. Shake excess water off chips; add to charcoal through side door.
Place turkey breast on top grill rack, cover and smoke at 225 degrees F to 250 degrees F for 3-1/2 hours or until breast meat registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Let stand, covered with foil, for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving.