Monday, 4 February 2013

Why I Love Canadian Beef & Safeway Canada

Did you know that there are 83,000 beef farming families in Canada? Yes. It's true. Farming families of all ages & sizes work hard on a daily basis to bring the best quality Canadian beef to our tables.

Recently, the folks at Canada Beef Inc. and Safeway Canada contacted me and invited me on a blogger tour to learn more about Canadian Beef. I jumped at the chance because we love our beef in this house, and I am also a Safeway shopper.....landing there  a few times every week to pick up fresh produce, fresh flowers, or some kind of meat for supper.

Our family eats beef once or twice each week as part of a varied menu plan. Saturday nights are our steak night where my husband usually prepares dinner on the BBQ~~steak, roasted potatoes, mushrooms and Caesar salad. Mmmm! It's so yummy! We also enjoy ground beef during the week in dishes such as soup, tacos, spaghetti sauce or some other favorite dish. I love using ground beef in meals because it's something that everyone likes. We focus on using  lots of fresh fruits & vegetables, beef, fish, chicken and healthy grains in our weekly meal plans. So purchasing fresh Canadian Beef fits into our healthy eating plan in many ways. I  took a course in Human Nutrition in University as an option, and I know that beef provides the best source of iron out there. It is the type of iron that is most easily absorbed by the body and is important in maintaining healthy iron stores. Anyone who has suffered from low iron knows how miserable low iron levels can make one feel: tired, low energy & grumpy...among other things. As a mom of two active children....a teenage girl and a fast-growing tween boy...I want to provide my children with excellent quality sources of iron, and serving Canadian Beef is part of that plan.

Here are a few things you should know about Canadian Beef:
  • There are 83,000 beef farming families found in every province across Canada.
  • Canada is one of the top beef-producing countries in the world
  • Canada is the third largest beef exporter in the world.
  • For the majority of their lives, Canadian beef cattle eat a diet of pasture grasses and plants in summer and hay in winter months.
  • Plant-based foods are virtually the only source of protein used in beef cattle feed in Canada.
  • Eating fresh, lean beef does not increase the risk of coronary heart disease risk. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health recently concluded that  fresh red meat, including beef, is not linked to the development of coronary heart disease or type 2 diabetes. {The  consumption of processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, salami, sausages and luncheon meats is definitely related to coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.}
  • Lean beef trimmed of visible fat and lean ground beef can be part of a healthy diet and have comparable levels of fat to chicken.
So, getting back to my store tour of the meat department at Safeway, I had lots of fun learning about beef at Safeway Canada.  I met with the Meat Merchandizer for Safeway Stores in my area and we spent over an hour looking at & discussing Canadian Beef. It also became obvious to me that Safeway Canada believes in  hiring quality people because the Meat Merchandizer I met has worked in the meat industry almost his whole life, starting with working in his dad's butcher shop when he was a teenager. He helped me pick out the most delicious roast beef to cook for my family dinner that night...and it did not disappoint!

When I went home after my tour, I made this easy meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrots and steamed asparagus. It was a perfect hearty meal for a desparately cold winter day {-34 degrees celsius that day!} Our roast beef came out tasty and tender and everyone had happy tummies after dinner and there wasn't much for the 'leftovers' department. I cooked this roast by placing it in a Dutch Oven in a little water, adding in a packet of onion soup and setting the oven  at 325 degrees for about 2 hours. It came out with some pink in the middle...just the way we like it.

Here are some things I learned from my tour with the Meat Department at Safeway Canada:
  • The most commonly asked question of a meat cutter at Safeway is: "What would make a good steak?" I guess we Canadians love our steaks!
  • Safeway Canada is committed to bringing it's customers 100% Canadian Beef because of it's excellent quality.
  • There is  an on-site meat cutter in the meat department from around 9 am to 8 pm every day to help you choose your beef products, answer questions and to make a special cut of beef for you if desired.
  • Safeway has recently provided customers with 4 cuts of beef designed just for the slow cooker.
  • Have you ever noticed that there are 2 display of meat at Safeway and wondered what the difference is? I have. And here is the difference:
This display is AA Canadian Beef that is pre-packaged and ready to take home.This display is AAA Canadian Beef  that has been aged for 14 days or longer, and you are able to choose what size of portion you would like to take home. {My husband loves to choose steak from this case!}
The last thing I want to share with you is this amazing recipe provided by Canadian Beef. It's a recipe for a BIG batch of ground beef that is cooked and packaged into bags for the freezer. The beef recipe then provides the basis for several recipes that make rustling up a home-cooked meal a breeze for busy families. But first I want to share some tips for the safe handling of beef.

Safety tips for handling Canadian Beef:
  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling raw meat.
  • Refrigerate ground beef within 1 to 2 hours after purchase.
  • Use separate utensils and dishes for raw meats, cooked meats and other foods. Do not cross contaminate.
  • Use clean utensils and plates when switching between cooked & raw ground beef.
  • Cook all ground beef thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160 F or 71 C. Test temperatures with digital instant read thermometer.
  • Never eat ground beef rare.
Big Batch Beef
{recipe provided by Canada Beef}

4 pounds {2 kg} Ground Beef
4 Each onions and cloves of garlic, minced  {or if you don't have time for all that chopping, add in 1 envelope of onion soup mix}.

1. Cook ground beef in large, deep skillet or Dutch oven using medium high heat for 9 to 10 minutes, breaking large chunks into small chunks with back of spoon, until browned and completely cooked. Drain in colander. Return to pot and add onion and garlic and simmer until onion and garlic are softened. {Skip cooking onion & garlic if adding onion soup mix.}

2.Spread mixture in a single layer on foil lined baking trays. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until meat is firm. {About 1 hour.}

3. Loosen frozen beef into small chunks. Scoop meal-sized portions into freezer bags or sealable containers.{I used medium size Ziploc bags. They hold 2-3 cups each.} Freeze for up to 3 months.

Now you have the base for 7 meals that easy to prepare, kid-friendly, and delicious. I will be sharing these recipes in upcoming posts!

And please don't forget to visit Canadian Beef for more tasty recipes, tips and ideas for enjoying all the goodness of Canadian beef!

{This post was written on behalf of Canadian Beef Inc. and Safeway Canada. However, all opinions are mine.}

No comments:

Post a Comment

that give mcdonalds coupons and 
breakfast coupons you also can find recipe from