Certified Angus Beef: Did Someone Say Burger?
At Schweid and Sons, we are totally committed to one thing: bringing the best ground beef varieties for burgers to the American market. In the four generations, we’ve been working on beef burgers, the tastes of burger lovers have changed. That’s why we’ve introduced our Grassfed Standard burgers and our farm-to-table option with the Northeast Local Harvest. But what hasn’t changed is the demand for quality. Even among the great beef in our burger blends, though, some stand out as special. The Certified Angus Beef- we call it C.A.B- is the best beef on the hoof, and ranchers who raise Certified Angus Beef for our burgers work hard to make sure their cows pass the rigorous inspections that land them with the Certified Angus label.
Even seen an Aberdeen Angus cow in the pasture? They usually have a shiny black hide and a sturdy, blocky shape, with wide shoulders and a square rump. These are not friendly, petting zoo cows. They have that grave, reserved look that suggests you don’t belong in their pasture. Angus is aloof and proud, and their tails twitch back and forth when they’re annoyed. They have work to do and that work involves grass and sunshine.
When the USDA inspects beef, they start with the cow. The Angus is a small, solidly-muscled beef cow, usually solid black but occasionally red. The carcass is assessed for quality- age, tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, and yield, determined to be the amount of usable meat. Quality grading has to be requested by the rancher and is paid for out of his pocket. Quality grades include USDA Prime, which is exclusively from young, well-fed cows with extensive marbling. The age and the marbling mean the meat will be very tender and flavorful. After Prime, the quality grades go to Choice, Select, Commercial and Standard. Most store-brand meat is either commercial or standard.
The Certified Angus Beef goes an inspection-step further. After being labeled Prime, Choice, or Select, the beef goes through a ten point inspection that details the specifications that make a superior beef. Inspectors grade the beef on qualities like the amount of marbling, consistent size, and uniformity. Since the Angus tends to be a small, solidly-muscled cow, other quality inspection points include a hot carcass weight of 1050 pounds or less, less than an inch of fat, and various muscles measurements that exclude breeds of cows who do not produce the same quality of beef. This rigorous inspection is also paid for by the rancher.
The Certified Angus Beef inspection program gives their beef a certification grade in one of three categories: Certified Angus Beef, Certified Angus Beef Prime- the top 1.5% of all beef on the market- and Certified Angus Beef Natural. The Natural is beef from cows who are never given hormones or antibiotics, and who are only fed grass and grain- the most important determinant for flavorful beef.
In addition to raising the cattle humanely, according to these standards of quality, and inspecting the beef with the two systems, Certified Angus Beef also has one of the most rigorous tracking systems in the beef industry. Supply chain transparency and the highest standards for quality control mean the Certified Angus Beef is shipped from the rancher to the butcher with the product’s quality protected. The beef is cared for with the integrity of people who care about their work. The results are evident in the quality of this beef.
Those who go through the red tape and paperwork of having government inspectors assess their beef for quality, and adhere to the strict packaging and shipping standards of C.A.B are proud of the beef they produce. Their Aberdeen Black Angusise the best beef cows on the market, and they want the consumer to appreciate the burger they are holding between two buns.
Some grocery store beef is labeled as Angus beef, but not as Certified Angus Beef. Since Angus is a breed of cow, any farmer or rancher raising the breed can call their beef Angus. But it’s not the same beef, and the proof in is the burger.
The USDA suggests that Prime-grade beef is good for roasts and steaks destined for restaurants and hotels. They don’t consider ground beef except as suitable for utility and canning grade beef. We think some of those inspectors need to attend a backyard barbecue with some C.A.B All-American burgers on the grill, ASAP!
At Schweid and Sons, we are proud to be one of the select retailers who can sell Certified Angus Beef. We have three Certified Angus Beef burgers. The C.A.B Butcher’s Blend is made from Certified Angus Beef chuck, round, and sirloin. This hearty burger has heavy marbling and a strong steak flavor. The C.A.B All American is made for the traditionalist, out of the whole, boneless chuck. The C.A.B Custom Blend Chuck Brisket is made with both whole, boneless chuck and brisket, perfect for the backyard barbecue chef who can’t decide if he should throw a brisket into the smoker, or just make some monster burgers instead. The custom blend has a strong steak flavor and perfect marbling.
Since we think about burgers morning and night, may we suggest a recipe or two? The C.A.B Custom Blend is perfect for the Morning Melt, a classical breakfast-joy made from French toast, burger, and bacon, drenched in Bourbon Maple syrup. The Hatch Green Chile is a hot-rod of a burger with C.A.B All-American, designed for anyone yearning to run off to the West and be a cowboy, or just mosey on down to the desert for Burning Man. And it goes without saying that the Bacon Bomb is the only burger before the big interview, proposal, or tryout that means everything.
Four generations working on the best burger in America? Totally worth it. Get in touch and we’ll hook you up with the best beef burger varieties on the market.