Beef dishes are often savory and very satisfactory. Whether it’s a classic pot roast, your mom’s signature meatloaf, or a hearty stew you have always loved, beef plays a significant role in many countries and cultures, especially in America.
A majority of Americans love beef. According to Business Insider, beef has been the best-selling meat in 2020. And to top it all, beef sales skyrocketed to USD$30.3 billion—that’s around 20% higher than the previous year.
That’s why there’s no place in America where beef hardly exists. It’s everywhere, from a simple burger truck, diners, and all the way to a high-end fine dining restaurant. This is all thanks to its distinct flavor and texture that sets it apart from pork, chicken, and other kinds of meat.
But there’s a small catch. The secret to a one-of-a-kind beef dish lies in the quality of the beef itself. For a butcher shop that offers quality beef, visit Gpprimemeats.com or any reliable and trusted butcher shop in your area.
If you’re looking for the most popular beef dishes in America, then you’re in the right place. Below are the best and top-rated dishes that can make everyone’s mouth in the Land of the Free water. Plus, there’s a step-by-step recipe guide you can try at home.
1. Pot Roast
Pot roast is a popular beef dish in America that is usually prepared using a tough and thick cut of beef. It is seared until nicely brown in a pan with olive oil over high heat and simmered in its own juices. Also, it’s called Yankee pot roast because it’s always served in New England.
Here’s a step-by-step recipe guide to preparing an authentic and flavorful Yankee pot roast:
- Step 1: Before touching the meat, transfer the oven rack to the lower portion. Then, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Step 2: Dry the meat and season it generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat in a Dutch oven with olive oil until the meat is evenly brown on all sides.
- Step 3: Transfer the chunk of beef to a plate and set it aside.
- Step 4: Sauté chopped garlic, onions, and herbs. Stir it constantly until the onions become translucent. Then, add the red wine to deglaze the pot.
- Step 5: Add the tomato paste, the meat, and the stock. Transfer the pot to the preheated oven. Let it cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the meat is fork tender.
- Step 6: Take the pot out and add the remaining veggies (carrots, bay leaf, herb sprigs, pearl onions, and celery).
- Step 7: Return the pot to the oven and let it cook for 20 to 30 minutes until everything is tender.
- Step 8: Remove the pot from the oven and serve with mashed potatoes, hot rice, or egg noodles.
2. Beef Bourguignon
Beef bourguignon is a classic French beef stew popular across America. It’s similar to coq au vin—a chicken dish from Burgundy, France. This dish is cooked slowly and simmered in red wine together with sauteed mushrooms, pearl onions, and crisped bacon bits.
Below is a step-by-step recipe for a hearty and comfy beef bourguignon:
- Step 1: Season the beef chunks (beef chuck cut into 2-inch cubes) with salt and pepper and set them aside.
- Step 2: In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon or lardons until fat is rendered. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels using a slotted spoon.
- Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Step 4: Sear beef chunks in medium-high heat until they’re perfectly browned on all sides. Transfer them to a plate and set them aside.
- Step 5: Reduce the heat to medium, sauté carrots and onions, and season them with a quarter teaspoon of salt. Stir them constantly until the onions are translucent.
- Step 7: Add wine to deglaze, thyme, and bay leaf. Scrape off the browned bits at the bottom of the pot for extra flavor.
- Step 8: Place the meat, browned lardons, and bacon back into the pot. Transfer the pot to the oven and let it cook for one to 1 ½ hours. Then, serve!
3. Surf And Turf
This isn’t actually a dish but a concept combining two different entrées on one plate. It’s a dish consisting of meat and seafood on one plate. The meat portion is often a steak, while the seafood can be prawns, lobsters, or shrimps.
Here’s a step-by-step recipe guide for preparing surf and turf:
- Step 1: In a small pan, sauté minced garlic in olive oil.
- Step 2: Chop thyme, parsley, and green onions. Add in grated lemon zest, salt, pepper, and sautéed garlic.
- Step 3: Reserve a portion of the mixture for topping.
- Step 4: Add softened butter and shape it into a one-inch log using a cling wrap. Then put it back in the fridge to harden.
- Step 5: Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Step 6: Place prawns, shrimps, or lobster tails in a baking pan and top them with the reserved topping.
- Step 7: Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until lobster is golden brown.
- Step 8: Season the steak with salt and pepper. Then, cook it to your taste in cast iron.
- Step 9: Serve seafood and meat on a single plate and top them off with herbed butter.
4. Delmonico Steak
This is a steak dish that confuses many people, even food historians and critics. Some say it should be prepared using a bone-in cut of meat instead of boneless. Regardless of the confusion in its preparation, Delmonico steak is universally considered a culinary gem.
Here’s a detailed instruction on how to prepare Delmonico steak the best way:
- Step 1: Grind salt, thyme, and bay leaf using a spice grinder.
- Step 2: Incorporate the spice mixture into the softened butter. Then, wrap the butter mixture in a cling wrap and create a two-inch log. Keep it refrigerated until needed.
- Step 3: Heat the grill and dry the steak (rib-eye) with paper towels. Then, season it with salt and pepper on one side.
- Step 4: Place the seasoned side of the steak on the grill and let it cook for three minutes.
- Step 5: Season the other side and turn it over to cook for another three minutes.
- Step 6: Remove the steak from the grill and brush it with olive oil. Put it back until it is charred, and serve!
5. Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington is an elegant English dish loved by many Americans. Although it comes at a price, preparing this dish is not as difficult as many would say. With that, here are the steps to prepare a showstopping beef Wellington:
- Step 1: Mince cremini mushrooms and shallots in a food processor and set them aside.
- Step 2: In a skillet, melt butter and sauté minced mushrooms and shallots until dry and brown.
- Step 3: Add minced thyme and garlic to the pan. Then, mix in sherry and pepper and let it cook until it becomes dry.
- Step 4: Sear the beef tenderloin until brown on all sides. Then, let it cool and brush mustard all over the meat.
- Step 5: Place the meat in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Step 6: Roll out some puff pastry over the plastic wrap. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly and add the meat.
- Step 7: Roll it like a giant log, keeping the ends tight like a candy wrap.
- Step 8: Preheat the oven to 425F, bake the Wellington for 40 to 45 minutes, and serve!
6. L.A. Galbi
L.A. Galbi is America’s take on the famous Korean Galbi. It’s a dish prepared using beef short ribs, but instead of grilling it in chunks, it’s sliced thinly into strips across the rib bone. If you want to try it out yourself, here’s a simple recipe you can follow:
- Step 1: Trim fat out of the beef strips and rinse them in running water. Pat them dry and set them aside.
- Step 2: In a separate bowl, combine soju, ginger, pepper, soy sauce, sugar, pear, onion, and garlic.
- Step 3: Add the meat to the mixture to marinate overnight.
- Step 4: Grill the meat using a grill pan for one to two minutes on each side. Then, serve it with lettuce leaves.
7. Meatballs In Tomato Sauce
This is a classic way to take your beef leftovers to the next level. But you can also use freshly ground beef in case you don’t have any leftovers. Here’s a simple recipe guide you can follow to prepare this great American staple:
- Step 1: Put the leftovers or chunks of beef in the food processor and grind them until finely minced.
- Step 2: In a separate bowl, add the ground meat, eggs, salt, pepper, chopped onion, garlic, and thyme. Mix well and form them into small meatballs.
- Step 3: Sear the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil until brown. Transfer them to a plate and set them aside.
- Step 4: In the same saucepan, sauté minced garlic, onion, and oregano until the onions are translucent. Then, add tomatoes and let it simmer.
- Step 5: Transfer it to the food processor to puree it. Then, put them back in the same saucepan and add the meatballs.
- Step 6: Let it simmer for a minute, serve!
8. Bistec Encebollado (Puerto Rican Steaks And Onions)
Bistec Encebollado is a hearty and traditional stew popular in Puerto Rico and other countries in Latin America. It’s the type of pure comfort food you’d want to eat whether you’re feeling excited or blue. To prepare this Puerto Rican soul food, follow the simple steps below.
- Step 1: Place steak cubes in a large bowl and season them with Sazon seasoning (a mix of ground annatto seeds and garlic powder) and Kosher salt.
- Step 2: Add chopped red bell pepper, onions, garlic, cilantro, and white vinegar in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Step 3: Transfer the mixture to a bowl and toss the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate for at least eight hours or overnight.
- Step 4: In a Dutch oven, sauté thinly-sliced yellow onions and cook until translucent. Transfer the onions to a plate and set them aside.
- Step 5: Cook the meat (including the marinate) in the same pot in high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the steaks are tender.
- Step 6: Reduce the heat to medium, add sautéed yellow onions, and let it simmer for 40 to 45 minutes. Then, serve!
9. Beef With Broccoli
Beef with broccoli is an American dish with Asian origins. It is believed that early Chinese immigrants in San Francisco were the first ones to prepare and introduce the dish to the locals. Now, it’s a staple loved by many Americans.
Here’s how to prepare it:
- Step 1: In a large bowl, marinate sirloin beef strips with soy sauce, Chinese rice wine (a.k.a. Shaoxing rice wine), cornstarch, and black pepper. Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Step 2: Prepare the sauce by mixing the oyster sauce, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Then, set it aside.
- Step 3: Blanch the broccoli until crisp and tender.
- Step 4: Stir-fry beef strips in a wok under high heat. Toss garlic and stir until evenly cooked.
- Step 5: Add the sauce and broccoli. Then, drizzle a cornstarch slurry until it has a thick and saucy consistency.
- Step 6: Let it boil for at least 30 seconds and serve!
10. Swiss Steak
Despite its name, Swiss steak is an all-time American classic dish made with rump or round steak. The term ‘Swiss’ refers to the process of pounding meat to tenderize it. Although it has many variations across the country, Swiss steak is often stewed in tomato sauce.
Here’s how to prepare an American classic Swiss steak:
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Step 2: Season the steak on all sides with salt and pepper and tenderize it with a meat mallet.
- Step 3: Cover the steak thinly with flour and sear it on all sides until golden brown.
- Step 4: Set the steak aside on a plate and sauté onions and garlic.
- Step 5: Add the steak, tomato puree, thyme, sage, and marjoram.
- Step 6: Cover it and let it simmer for about 1 to 1½ hours. Then, serve!
There you go! These are the most popular beef dishes in America. Above are the simple recipe guides so you can easily make them anytime. And while beef is amazing and flavorful, be sure to choose fresh and best quality cuts to create these hearty and delicious dishes.
Kate E. O’Hara is a New York based freelance writer and photographer who loves all things food—especially the people who make it and market it. Her writing aims to capture the essence of the food experience; the stories that go well beyond a plate of ingredients. In addition to her love of food, Kate is also known to have a hankering for red wine and craft beer.