Cooking is a form of art that we can practice now more than ever before. With all of the ingredients being much more available, it is possible to mix and match so many different foods together. Back in the day, for many of our ancestors, meat was a commodity only a few could afford. The regular people only ate meat on special occasions only a few times a year, even the civilizations deemed as big carnivores.
Now, it is much easier to enjoy some meat and use it to prepare gourmet dishes. Some deem meat as a big source of pollution, but that is only data on the surface and taken out of context. Humans are meant to eat meat and boy do we like some juicy or smokey meat. This is why we are still discovering new ways of improving the quality of meat in our dishes. With these 6 cooking tips, you will be able to make your meat even more delicious and mouthwatering.
1. Different techniques
Every meat is different and thus not every technique will give every meat the best outcome. One of the techniques that can make almost every meat more palatable and gourmet is smoking. So it is no surprise that buying an offset smoker will grant you plenty of cooking opportunities. Big pieces of meat such as roasts are better made in the oven. Thin pieces of meat are best cooked in a pan with some butter. Medium-sized pieces are best for smoking and grilling or slow cooking in a pan.
2. Better quality meat
The quality of your meat mostly depends on the source of your meat, and from that point, all you can do is save it. The best way to know that you are getting good meat is by checking how the animal was treated beforehand.
The next step in checking the quality of the meat is by its looks and smell. There are many charts that show you the quality of your meat depending on these two parameters. By learning these charts, you will be able to pick the best cuts of meat and secure the quality.
3. Storing the meat
Once you buy your meat of interest, you will need to store it properly. The optimal choice would be to cook it as soon as possible, but we all need our meat supplies. Freezing the meat is a risky option because the microcrystals of water can make micro-cuts within the meat.
This results in a different texture of the meat, which is why keeping your meat in a fridge is better. Another thing you need to watch out for is oxidation. If you can vacuum seal a bag, then make sure the meat has minimal contact with air. Also, try to use glass containers rather than plastic or metal containers if you do not need to bag your meat.
Spicing up the meat is a direct method of changing its taste, but you need to watch out. Marinating your meat is not always effective, lots of times you just end up losing the taste. Salt, pepper, and garlic are the spices you should add before cooking.
Herbs are spices that you should never add before cooking, always add them after the meat is done. You can add colored spices right before you are done with cooking, otherwise, the main compounds will get degraded.
5. Side dishes
Side dishes are very important in making the taste of your meat stand out. If you are just eating a piece of meat, you may not get the contrast you are looking for. There is a reason why Italians eat it with grissini or even melon and figs. This contrast makes the meat stand out even more and its special taste takes on a dance of its own. It is very important to think about the entire composition of your dish rather than just stick to the image of your meat.
6. The acid trick
If you are left with an unfresh piece of meat, there is one classic trick you can always do. If you soak your piece of meat in a bit of vinegar, you will be able to make it tender again. The acidic property will loosen up the collagen and make the meat feel fresher with an improved texture. Besides vinegar, you can also use lemon juice, lime juice, or even yogurt, preferably kefir. Depending on what kind of taste you want afterward, choose your acid wisely.
With these 6 tips, you will be able to get the most out of your meat and make jaw-dropping dishes. It is very important to think about these details and different tactics if you truly want to be a gourmet chef. What separates beginners from masters are the small details and things they see in unimaginable places.
Published by HOLR Magazine.