Some cuts of meat can be tough and need to be tenderised. Here are a few TIPS...
- Quality first and foremost. Buy your meat from a reputable butcher shop... It has to be O’Mahony Meats, no question about it!
- Choose the right cut of meat for your recipe. All you have to do is ask our butchers! Jimmy will be able to give you some advice on this.
- Physically tenderize the meat. For tough cuts like chuck steak, a meat mallet can be used to break down those tough muscle fibres. (Light pounding will do!) Alternatively you can lightly score the surface of the meat with a knife or use a fork to poke tiny holes into it.
- Use a marinade with either lemon juice, vinegar, milk or buttermilk (30 minutes to 2 hours is long enough for beef, but you can marinate a large piece overnight).
- Salt the meat before cooking it, up to 24h in advance.
- Baking soda (also called Bicarbonate of soda) will help tenderise a tough piece of meat. Simply stir 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 500ml of cold water. Pour over your raw meat and leave in the fridge for 2 hours. Alternatively you can sprinkle baking soda all over your piece of meat and rest it for 2 hours in the fridge. Make sure you rinse and dry your meat thoroughly afterwards.
- Let the meat come up to room temperature (15 to 30mn). Especially important for lean cuts.
- Cook it low-and-slow. Slow cookers are great! If you don’t have one you can use your oven, ensuring you cover your oven-proof dish and cook at a very low temperature for hours (we’re talking at least 4 hours...).
- Get the correct internal temperature. Invest in a meat thermometer! As a guide, tender cuts can be cooked to 52-57ºC (rare), while tougher cuts (such as Brisket) need to be cooked to 90ºC.
- Rest your meat after cooking. Cover with foil and leave it in a warm place for a few minutes depending on size. As a rule, rest for 5 minutes per inch of thickness for steaks, and 10 minutes per pound for roasts.
- Slice against the grain.
No more excuses for serving tough meat!