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Who doesn’t love a good steak? Or a classic cheeseburger? Unless you’re a vegetarian, it’s likely that beef is a staple part of your diet.

Beef is, of course, the family of meats originating from cows. Cultures all over the world have been raising these noble animals for the purpose of nutrition for millennia, and the resultant beef has spawned a seemingly infinite amount of iconic dishes. What’s more is that beef is an incredibly flexible ingredient—whether in the form of a quick snack such as beef jerky or an exquisite steak at a fancy restaurant, beef permeates all sorts of dishes.

But while it doesn’t take a connoisseur to realize how amazingly versatile—and tasty—beef can be, what’s less known is how rich it is in nutrition. Beef, like other forms of meat, contains huge amounts of protein, high amounts of which are key to any healthy diet. But did you know that beef also contains an abundance of vitamin B12, B6, and zinc? All of these are essential for the upkeep of both your body and mind. But whereas other kinds of meat also contain high amounts of protein and vitamins, beef sets itself apart with its exceptional amount of zinc, an extremely important mineral that drives body growth and maintenance.

So whether you’re about to eat a beef hotdog or a plate of spaghetti bolognese, rest assured that your body is about to receive high amounts of nutrients that will help keep you fit and healthy.

Experience the taste of Flanders

For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing the stunning nature, fascinating culture and fine cuisine of Belgium, get ready for a culinary ride into one of the nation’s most famous dishes. Stoverij beef stew, also known as stoofvlees, finds its roots in the region of Flanders, this being the northern, Dutch-speaking part of the country. The dish is also very popular in neighboring France, where it’s known as Carbonnades Flamandes.

One of the key ingredients to a good Flemish beef stew is a culinary item the region is also famous for—its dark, rich and often high-alcohol content ale. This is added to a large number of seared chunks of beef chuck, caramelized onions, and a number of hearty spices. These key components are all stewed together along with a mustard-smeared slice of bread floating at the top of the pot.

Then comes the hard part—letting the stew cook at least three hours on low heat in the oven. While you wait, why not whip up some homemade french fries and mayonnaise to have with the stewing goodness currently in your oven? Once the three hours are up, you’ll realize it’s all been well worth the wait.

When bacon meets beef

If you’re a consumer of meat, it’s likely you’ve woken up to the beautiful smell of fried bacon. There really is no better way to start the day. But how about combining the magic of bacon with another beefy delicacy, all wrapped up in a convenient sandwich form? Meet the corned beef and bacon sandwich, a meaty, cheesy tower of tastiness that’s bound to make your mouth water.

Corned beef is, of course, a classic sandwich ingredient, particularly in North America. But when it comes to creating the perfect sandwich, the devil is always in the details. In this case, you’re going to want to make sure you visit your local baker to get your hands on some high-quality ciabatta, pumpernickel or rye bread. But even with your favorite loaf of bread in hand, that’s not going to be enough to make the perfect corned beef and bacon sandwich.

Of course, that’s because no good sandwich is complete without cheese. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer Irish, Muenster or Swiss cheese—all of the above will go perfectly with the rest of the ingredients at play here. And of course, don’t forget that every corned beef sandwich is incomplete without a large dollop of whole-grain honey mustard evenly spread across your favorite bread.

A taste of the Orient

All of us have had days where we’ve hankered after a Chinese takeaway delivered conveniently to our front door. Whether it’s to cure a hangover or save on washing dishes, we’ve all been there and done that. But consider this—what if you could cook up a dish that wasn’t only healthier than its takeaway equivalent, but also probably quicker to make?

Enter the wonderful world of the stir-fry. This ancient Chinese cooking technique involves just one pan, your favorite vegetables, and, in this case, some juicy rump steak. And the best part is that via the wonders of high heat and vegetable oil, it only takes around 20 minutes to make. Add some carrots and broccoli, and you’ve got yourself a delicious beef stir fry. And as long as you’ve not forgotten to turn on your rice cooker, it’s likely that you’ll be eating your oriental creation before your takeaway driver would even have left the restaurant.

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