Angus Makes a Difference–Even When It’s Corned BeefNovember 7, 2017
- Pamela CortezWords
Corned beef has long been a breakfast staple in the Philippines, appearing beside silogs as an alternative to our native tapa and tocino. Filipino style corned beef, with thin, gossamer-like threads of meat packed in cans, is markedly different from the heftier, Western version, which is often cured in salt and eaten more like ham. The canned version prevalent now, has become so popular because of how easy it is to cook, that sometimes, quality and taste come after convenience. Sometimes, it can feel a little like mystery meat, with a few iterations having a bright red tinge to the product, or flavors that lack beefiness.
When the word Angus is used to describe corned beef then, does it matter? It does, when the difference is unmistakable.
The Angus cattle has long been known for the caliber of its meat. The cow has a finer marble than regular breeds—this means that the fat is more than just a giant cap on certain cuts; it’s dispersed more evenly all throughout the meat, ensuring that the meat has more fat with each bite. This also makes it way more tender than ordinary beef, and renders meat that is a lot juicier. For a cow to be certified Angus, it has to pass much more rigorous standards than regular cattle in order to earn the label, ensuring higher quality all over.
When it comes to corned beef, it makes all the difference. With Highlands Gold, it gives an Angus difference that is about seriously improved taste and texture, which is much better than the usual corned beef we are used to eating which is made with regular meat and not Angus beef. Putting the label on the can means they’ve passed certain guidelines, and each serving is 100% pure beef.
Highlands is the only commercial brand that uses the Angus cow for such a mainstream product. It’s so unexpected that even in something as seemingly commonplace as corned beef, there contrast in taste is seriously noticeable. It is less salty than the norm, highlighting the taste of the beef. The meatiness of it feels like eating shredded, preserved steak, instead of indiscernible mystery meat. It results in thicker, heftier strands of meat, too, with a fine amount of beef fat in it, which doesn’t feel as greasy as oily versions. It takes longer to get crispy, but it’s actually better when cooked still with its more supple consistency intact.
Now that you can experience that “Angus difference” with your corned beef at home, you’ll instantly think of better ways to use that meaty corned beef than a regular silog, or thrown into a pandesal for something on the go. Use it for dinner too—it’s the kind of canned good that can replace ordinary meat in a recipe because of the distinct Angus taste and quality. Imagine it in an empanada or pierogi, with the meat encased in dough and filled with other ingredients to highlight the corned beef. Use it in pasta too, with rich tomatoes to add acidity and sweetness to the fatty product. Or cook it in a recipe that will please everyone from coworkers to family, and replace ground beef in an old-fashioned shepherd’s pie. Mix Highlands Gold Corned Beef with carrots, onions and herbs, then top it with a crust of mashed potato.