Do you like to cook and eat meat? Now get your Tips for preparing your meat recipes! Let’s take a deeper look at it.
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Table of Contents
Pay attention to quality when buying meat
Before you can even begin to prepare it, you first need the right piece of meat. Pay consideration to the following aspects when buying:
Roast meat should be marbled, with delicate fat veins running through it. This ensures that it does not dry out during cooking.
The color of the meat is also a good advisor: pork should be deep red, beef dark red to brownish, game red-brown, and light lamb red.
It’s worth spending a few extra dollars. High-quality (organic) meat loses less liquid when cooked, so it stays juicier.
Meat preparation starts with the right arrangement
Even before you cook, braise, or also fry your roast, there are a few small things to consider to optimize the later result.
Use a marinade – this can give the meat that specific something. Spread the meat with a spicy marinade, made of olive oil, garlic, and herbs, for a few hours or the day before. This will penetrate into the meat and give it more flavor.
The meat should first be brought to room temperature before the heat is applied. It is best to take it out of the fridge two hours before cooking. This way, the meat will cook faster, more evenly, and will not become hardened.
Have you done all the preparatory steps? Perfect, then you can finally start preparing the meat. You have several possibilities.
Preparation of meat
Frozen meat is best defrosted in the refrigerator. Other possibilities are defrosting with warm air, in the microwave, or in tightly sealed foil in cold running water.
The meat must be defrosted completely, right down to the core. This means that less juice leaks out. The meat juice that escapes during defrosting must never be reused.
Under no circumstances should meat be thawed at room temperature or in warm water.
Defrosting at room temperature or in warm water leads to Active germ multiplication on the surface of the meat. The cover is thawed, core parts remain frozen – the subsequent heating process is often not sufficient.
Meat that thaws too quickly loses a lot of liquid and becomes dry and strawy when cooked. Frozen goods in portion sizes can be defrosted and cooked in one operation in one and the same dish.
Depending on their size, the pieces of meat should be removed from the refrigerator 1 to 3 hours before preparation and slowly brought to room temperature.
If there are bone fragments and small meat fibers on the meat, rinse it briefly under cold water. Then dry the meat well with kitchen paper or a clean cloth.
If the butcher has not previously done so, pieces of roast and cooked meat are parried first. This means that any bone fragments, coarse tendons, and cartilage are removed. Some cuts (roast lung) must also be skinned. The skins are loosened with a sharp knife, lifted, and cut from the meat fiber with the blade held flat.
The stubby, firm or poorly seasoned large pieces of meat (roast beef, grilled meat) can be tenderized in the tube for several hours at a core temperature of approx. 40 °C. Depending on the firmness, a period of 6 – 12 hours can be expected. The oven must be set to 40 °C. Afterward, the still raw but tender pieces of meat can be prepared as a whole or sliced as usual.
Large pieces of roast meat will be nicely tender if you rub them with brandy, cognac, whiskey, or rum beforehand and put them in a covered cool place for two to three hours.
For a quick meat dish, preparation is often half the battle
Meat can be frozen well. Only take it out of the freezer in the morning after getting up and let it defrost in the fridge during the day. Then there’s nothing to hinder you from having a quick steak in the evening, and you have a healthy, quick meat dish on the table.
If you fry yourself a steak or schnitzel, then make sure you have one for the next day. Then all you should do is cut it into bite-sized pieces, and you can enjoy it, for example, in an aromatic couscous salad as a meat dish in the office or at home in the evening.
In the same way, you can use the leftovers of a barbecue party. The meat leftovers, which would otherwise have ended up in the garbage, land on your plate. This saves your wallet and our resources.
Healthy preparation of meat dishes
Fat is a flavor carrier, you know that for sure. But how can meat dishes be prepared quickly and with little fat without losing their flavor?
With these healthy tips and tricks, your meat will stay sweet and juicy:
- Fry with little oil and then absorb the excess oil with a kitchen towel
- Use mineral water instead of oil for frying.
- Frying meat in a coated pan without oil
Healthy tip: If you have a little more time, cook the meat in the oven. Cooking is not only a very low-fat preparation but also ensures that the nutrients present in the flesh are retained. This also makes the meat dish taste even more aromatic.
Meat is an essential supplier of nutrients
With a protein content of about 20 percent, meat provides protein that is very similar to the body’s own proteins. These can be converted very quickly into body protein and optimally utilized. Our body needs the vital protein building blocks for our immune system, cell structure, for the transmission of nerve impulses, and much more.
Furthermore, meat provides us with B vitamins. Without these, nerves, blood, skin, and hair could not perform their function.
Meat provides us with an abundant supply of minerals, such as iron and zinc, and because of its excellent availability, it is also our best source of iron. This is because the so-called haem iron in meat can be absorbed particularly well by our body, whereas iron from plant foods has much more reduced availability.
Red meat – healthier than its reputation
Red meat, in particular, is a valuable source of nutrients, supplying the body with proteins, iron, and vitamins. In general, veal, beef, pork, or lamb are among the red meat types. If it has to be quick, but still light and simple, a piece of meat can be put on the plate. Make sure you choose low-fat meat. It lies more luminous in the stomach and thus gives you more energy for other things. Veal, beef, and lamb are among the low-fat types of meat. But parts of pork, such as a piece of fillet or back, can also be low-fat.
Methods of preparing meat
Roast meat in the oven
Tender pieces of meat, such as beef rump, prime rib, roast beef, or leg of lamb, are suitable for roasting in the oven.
Roasting in the oven meat
Here, too, the meat is first roasted in the oven at high heat – until a crust has formed. Then the temperature is reduced, and the meat is cooked to completion at medium heat. When the roast has reached the perfect cooking state, the easiest way to measure it is with a roast thermometer. Please insert it into the thickest part of the meat and read the temperature. Under the keyword core temperature, you will find online the respective values at which the roast is definitely cooked through.
If no thermometer is available, the cooking sample can also be taken at the touch of a finger. In doing so, the pressure resistance of the meat is scanned: If the flesh gives way under pressure, it is still raw or very bloody inside. If the pressure resistance is slight, the core is roasted pink.
Tender pieces of meat from calf or pork can also be roasted in the oven. In this case, however, please bake through entirely and do not cover.
Roasting and Cooking Meat
Large, tender pieces of meat such as beef rump, fillet of beef, shoulder of pork, and leg of lamb are usually not roasted thoroughly, as they can become severe.
For perfect enjoyment, sauté the meat in a pan with hot oil. Make sure to use heat-resistant oil. Then pour the escaping juice over the meat and cook it with the fat at low heat. The cooking interval depends on the size and texture of the flesh, but also on the set temperature. In general, the temperature should be reduced more for thicker pieces. This way, it remains evenly juicy. The meat should also rest briefly in the pan before slicing. This way, it does not lose too much juice.
The meat used for cooking is usually unseasoned or marbled, which is less suitable for frying or braising. These include, for example, breast, belly, ribs, knuckle of pork, and shank of beef, the lower legs of beef and veal.
For preparation, the meat is placed in the already boiling liquid and should also be entirely covered by it.
Then turn the temperature down a little and continue cooking gently, just before boiling, because too much heat will cause the meat to become unevenly cooked, dry or tight.
Braised meat is usually more coarse-grained and is used in one piece for a braised roast, but also in small portions for goulash or knuckles. During braising, the meat is first briefly fried in hot fat and then deglazed with a liquid (wine, water, broth, cider). The meat can then be braised in two ways: The first way it is covered and placed in the preheated oven (at 180 degrees), which guarantees even braising. The second way is to cover the meat and braise it in a pot on the hotplate at low heat – this makes it easier to control the liquid. The braising time in the oven and on the hotplate is about the same. The required temperature and amount of liquids depending on the meat. The less heat and fluid, the more tender the meat.
Cooking meat with low-temperature
Meat becomes particularly juicy if it is cooked at low temperatures over a more extended period. As described in the previous tip, the meat is first fried over high heat, so that a crust with a delicate roasting aroma is formed. Due to the high temperature, the meat juice withdraws into the inside of the piece of meat. If the meat is then left to rest, it can relax again. The meat juice circulates and spreads evenly. The slower, the better, because the meat continues to cook very quickly. For this purpose, the oven is heated to 90°C. Depending on the piece of meat, cooking will now take at least one hour.
How the meat does not become severe
Small pieces of meat, such as shredded meat and steaks, quickly become tight and dry if they are fried too long and too hot. It is, therefore, better to prepare them in a pan than in the oven, as this allows the temperature to be controlled more easily.
When braising or cooking, meat should only be covered with liquid to a third of its surface; otherwise, it will leach out. Let the meat braise in the oven in a closed pot at medium or low heat in liquid. This will make almost any meat tender, juicy and brown because, in the oven, the temperature can penetrate from all sides.
Another tip: It is best to defrost frozen meat overnight. If it thaws too quickly, ice crystals will tear the muscle cells. The consequence: the meat juice escapes, and the meat loses valuable proteins. When roasting or cooking, the meat usually becomes dry.
How to season meat properly
Season small pieces of meat, shredded meat or steaks only after they are browned or when the meat is through. Otherwise, salt, for example, can extract too much juice from the pieces. Big pieces of meat, such as a roast, can be seasoned before frying without any problems.
Light meat consumption
Meat is often considered unhealthy or high in calories. But this is only the case if it is fried in too much fat or served with creamy sauces.
For easy preparation, you can opt for lean meats of beef, lamb, or poultry and prepare them low in fat. In coated pans, for example, you can quickly fry meat with little fat or even without any fat at all.
Roasts can also be cooked in their own juice, without any fat or cream for the sauce. To do this, simply fry the piece of meat in a large stainless steel or cast iron pan until it is very brown all around. Then put the lid on and cook through at minimum heat. Caution: The steam should not leave from the pan; otherwise, the meat will burn and become tight and dry. If steam does survive or the temperature is too high, or the lid does not close properly, then you must add some water to the meat.
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