Beefing Up!

Here are some of the most famous beef dishes from around the globe. I have tried all but one of them. How many have you tried?

A cow in Bali being used for "slave labour" before eating
A cow in Hindu Bali being used for “slave labour”

Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially cattle. Beef muscle meat can be cut into roasts, short ribs, or steak. Beef is the third most consumed meat in the world, accounting for around 25% of meat production worldwide, after pork and poultry, which account for 38% and 30% respectively. In accordance to Hindu beliefs, cows are considered sacred in India, but in most other societies, cattle are reared specifically to be eaten.

So what are some of the best beef dishes that I have encountered on my travels around the globe. This list is by no means comprehensive; merely the dishes I remember most fondly.

Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is a preparation of filet steak coated with pâté, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. A whole tenderloin may be wrapped and baked, and then sliced for serving, or the tenderloin may be sliced into individual portions prior to wrapping and baking. Many spices may be added to enhance the flavour. The origin of the name is unclear, although there are theories that suggest tht a patriotic chef wanted to give an English name to the French ‘filet de bœuf’ en croûte during the Napoleonic Wars.

Beef Stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana (sour cream). From its origins in mid-19th-century Russia, it has become popular around the world, with considerable variation from the original recipe. The dish is now often served with potato sticks.

Beef Bouguignon
Beef Bouguignon

Beef Bourguignon originates from the Burgundy region of France. It is a stew prepared with beef braised in red wine and beef broth, then flavoured with garlic and onions. Beef bourguignon is one of many examples of peasant dishes being slowly refined into haute cuisine. Over time, the dish became a standard of French cuisine.

Beef Noodle Soup
Beef Noodle Soup from Taiwan

Beef Noodle Soup is a Taiwanese delicacy of stewed or red braised beef, beef broth, vegetables and Chinese noodles. The red braised beef noodle soup was invented by veterans in Kaoshiung who fled from mainland China during the Chinese civil war. In Taiwan nowadays, vendors that sell beef noodle soup may also have optional cold side dishes, such as braised dried tofu, seaweed, or pork intestine.

Beef Bulgogi
Beef Bulgogi

Beef Bulgogi is made from thin slices of sirloin or other prime cuts of beef. Before cooking, the meat is marinated to enhance both its flavour and tenderness with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and pepper. Bulgogi is traditionally grilled, but pan-cooking has become popular as well. Whole cloves of garlic, sliced onions and chopped green peppers are often grilled or fried with the meat. This dish is sometimes served with a side of lettuce or other leafy vegetable, which is used to wrap a slice of cooked meat, often along with a dab of ssamjang.


Beef Rendang is often referred to as “Sumatran caramelised beef curry” and it is a spicy meat dish which originated from the Minangkabau region of Indonesia, now commonly served across the country, and in Malaysia. Beef Rendang is often served with steamed rice, ketupat (a compressed rice cake) or lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo tubes), accompanied with vegetable side dishes such as boiled cassava leaf or cubadak, along with generous amounts of sambal!

Beef Burger from NYC
Beef Burger from NYC

Beef Burgers are a feature of fast food restaurants across the world, but it has been institutionalised from within the United States of America. A high-quality beef burger patty is made entirely of ground (minced) beef and seasonings. Some cooks prepare their patties with binders like eggs or breadcrumbs. Beef burgers are often served as a fast dinner, picnic or party food, and are sometimes cooked outdoors on barbecue grills.

So, what exactly is your beef? Anything here you’d love to try?

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