Friday, September 13, 2013

Helpful Hints on How to Treat your Meat

• Steaks aren’t just a summertime meal idea.  Try marinating a round sirloin or blade steak and pop on the grill or in the broiler or frying pan for a tender and tasty meal.  For portion control slice before placing on platter on the table.
• Making stews is a great way to manage time effectively by cooking more than one meal at a time and freezing extra for a later dinner.   Just add your vegetables when you reheat and then you can vary the types of vegetables to offer your family more choices.
• Try marinating in a re-sealable plastic bag with ingredients as simple as a bottle of beer.   Or get creative with the beer and add balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, Dijon mustard, chilli powder, ketchup and garlic.
• Pre-browning the meat before adding liquid improves flavour and colour
• Lightly coating stew cubes with flour before cooking is optional but it helps increase browning and thickens the broth
• After browning be sure to scrape up all the bits in the pan as they are filled with flavour.
• Use enough liquid to just cover the meat – that’s about four cups of liquid for every kilogram of meat
• For instant beef stock use canned broth, consommé or bouillon cubes dissolved in water.
• Adding tomato juice, paste or stewed tomatoes helps to tenderise the meat and gives the stock a rich colour and tangy taste.   Red wine, sherry or beer are upscale alternatives
• Once the liquid reaches a boil, reduce the heat so the stew simmers, not boils for about 1½ hours.  To maintain a constant temperature try oven stewing in a 180ºC oven for about 1½ hours
• Firm vegetables such as carrot and potatoes should be added in the last half hour of cooking.   Softer vegetables such as peas should be added in the last 5 to 10 minutes.

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