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Tips for Cooking with Meat

Beef up on these tips.

STEAK YOUR CLAIM There’s no right way to cook a steak! Do it your way, have fun with it, and if you’re happy with the result, you’ve struck gold.

DON’T MOVE A MUSCLE Use this as a general rule on flavour and tenderness: The more the muscle is used = the more flavour = the more cooking required. Muscles that aren’t used as much = less flavour = less cooking required.

MAKE THE CUT Always cut meat against the grain, not with it, to keep it tender! The grain of the meat is the direction that the muscle fibres are aligned.

REST IT REAL GOOD Take the time to let meat rest after cooking to make sure it’s moist, tender and juicy. After cooking, place on a warm plate and cover loosely with foil. This allows the juices, which have been driven to the centre of the meat by the heat to return to the surface.

SMOKIN’ GOOD Add smokin’ good flavour and tremendous tenderness to your favourite cuts by smoking your meat! Not too keen on getting a purpose-built smoker? Hot tip: You can also smoke meat with your barbecue, stove top or oven.

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH As a rule, the closer to the ground a muscle is on the animal, the tougher it’ll be. It bears more weight so it needs to be stronger! Bring out the best of these cuts with thoughtful cooking.

SAUCY BUSINESS Deglaze your hot pan or roasting dish with stock, wine or water to make the most of the intense flavours of the lamb’s cooking juices. Bring to the boil to make a rich sauce or gravy.

SO CORNY People call corned beef pickled. This isn’t true as pickled means using vinegar. Corning involves brining which means salting with liquid.

STOCK UP Fight food waste – make your own stock by using leftover chicken, bones, and vegetables. Or make a lip-smacking chicken sandwich for lunch the next day.

DEVELOPING FLAVOUR Why does a barbecued steak taste so good? The answer is the browning reaction or Maillard reaction. Browning meat is an important step in several cooking methods, producing tasty meat. The Maillard reaction starts at the surface of the meat. It occurs at temperatures above 154C. That’s why meat cooked via a dry heat source over a high heat will brown and meat cooked via a wet method will not (boiling point of water is 100C).

MARINATE THIS Marinate your pork for extra flavour – especially on the BBQ! Leave the marinating meat in the fridge unless you’re cooking it within 20 minutes. You can brush the meat with a little bit of marinade as it cooks, but don’t pour it over.


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