Beef should have a coarse marbling of milky white fat running through it. If the marbling is minimal or if the fat has a brown or yellow tint (a sign of old, dry meat), avoid it. Also avoid meat with large clumps of fat within the flesh. Thin marbling will melt and give the flesh richness and juiciness; large clumps of fat can be greasy and cause flare-ups.
The flesh should appear to be a rich pink or light cherry colour. If it is a deep red or other dark colour, there’s a good chance that it came from a dairy cow and that the meat will be bland and tough.
The surface should be moist but not wet or sticky. A cut of meat that has been individually wrapped should not have much liquid in the package. Liquid would indicate that the meat has been frozen and thawed.