Carryover cooking

Greetings Carnivores,

An old friend asked a good question the other day and it’s worthy of a few words of clarification.

It went something like this: “What are your recommendations as to timing for various meats, fish, poultry and their respective thicknesses?”

My answer is … I ALWAYS use a good, digital read thermometer but, the MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER regarding the correct “doneness” is … whatever you’re cooking CONTINUES to cook after it’s been removed from the heat.

Residual cooking or, carryover cooking is a term that refers to the continuation of the cooking process AFTER the protein has been removed from the heat source. Think of it this way: regardless of the heat source (whether it’s hot air inside your oven or a hot surface such as your grill, skillet … whatever), your protein cooks from the outside in and, the inside cooks by induction. After you remove it from the heat, it will continue to cook … for up to 20 minutes, depending on how thick the piece of meat is that you’re cooking.

This speaks VOLUMES to the disappointment factor once you cut into your (supposedly) perfectly cooked steak, only to realize it’s “doneness” is well PAST the point you “thought” you had.

Once your meat has been removed from the heat, and it’s “resting” to reabsorb all those delicious juices … it’s STILL cooking. The process of bringing your protein up to the desired cooking temperature is NOT instant and as such, the process of bringing it back down is the same … GRADUAL. Therefore it’s only reasonable to assume (correctly) that the internal temperature of your beautiful steak (roast, chop … whatever) will actually continue to RISE after the heat has been removed.

Now, … there is some trial and error involved in getting it just right but, lets assume you enjoy your steak Medium Rare (and for me that’s anywhere from 127 degrees F to 130 degrees F … 128 is perfect for me) … I’m removing it from the heat and starting the resting process at around 125 F.

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Ahhhh … the sweet spot

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Look at the perfect, edge to edge colour and the beautiful char on the outside

If that’s too extreme for you … leave it a little longer but remember … if you’re using a REALLY hot grill, your window for nailing the perfect internal temperature is VERY small.

I wrote a post a while ago called The Beef Steak … reverse engineered … check it out here … you might find it interesting since you first, VERY slowly bring your steak up to the desired internal temperature, then you rest it.

Give it a try … you’ll never cook steak any other way again … trust me 🙂

In the meantime, please stay tuned and … don’t forget to click “follow Blog via email” (CarnivoreConfidential).

You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new … and, I PROMISE … you won’t get bombarded with spam. WordPress is very responsible. 🙂

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

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The Mock Tender … MOCK being the operative word

Greetings Carnivores,

I get asked questions all the time about certain cuts. Where do they come from? How do I cook this? Can I substitute something else for this cut or that cut?

One particular cut I get a LOT of questions about is the “Mock” Tender, AKA “Scotch” Tender.

beef_export_53

The Beef “Mock” or “Scotch” Tender

Well, pull up a chair folks … this is going to be of some interest to you.

This little muscle sits under the Blade bone or Scapula (remember my discussion about the Flat Iron from a few weeks ago?) Well, this one sits on the opposite side of the ridge on the blade bone.

It resembles the tenderloin or Filet (hence, the name) but … that’s where the similarity ends. It is quite tough, not really suitable for grilling or broiling and, like the Flat Iron, it has a thick tendon running through it laterally.

Leave it whole and braise it low and slow, or pop it into a pressure cooker and cook till it falls apart … Mmmm, TACOS. With the help of a sharp knife, you can remove the tendon then pound it with a meat mallet to tenderize it or, run it through a cube steak machine … Mmmmm Chicken Fried steak. You could leave it as-is and cut it for steaks, braise in the cooking liquid of your choice and  serve over a bed of rice or egg noodles. Or finally, you could cut it into cubes, season and prepare as you would with any stew recipe.

So, … there you have it for today Carnivores, short, sweet, very versatile and VERY cheap.

Just remember, like I always say … there are no bad cuts on the carcass … just bad ways of preparing certain cuts.

With the proper care this little muscle deserves, you will find it makes a delicious meal … just don’t cut it 2 inches thick, wrap it in bacon and … expect it to be just like it’s namesake the tenderloin.

You’ll be VERY disappointed … 🙂

I LOVE getting comments and questions so, keep ‘em coming.  🙂

Stay tuned and … please click “follow” at the top of the page (CarnivoreConfidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

The Beef steak … reverse engineered.

Greetings Carnivores,

A few weeks ago my wife and I were blessed with the company of our very dear and old friend Dave. It had been awhile since he’d been here so, we invited him over to break bread with us.

I planned a grand feast for him with the centre piece being a big, fat, juicy Strip Loin, slow cooked in a tepid oven and flash seared to finish on a blistering hot cast iron grill pan.

Sounds weird I know but let me explain and, … you ‘might’ want to try this ‘happy accident’ I stumbled onto a few years ago for yourselves.

Here’s what happened (or so I heard):

A butcher showed up at a friend’s place with a HUGE, 2 1/2 inch thick, full cut Sirloin Steak and planned to use his buddy’s gas BBQ to grill up this behemoth. The grill was fired, the drinking commenced and the monster steak was tucked onto the grill.

More drinking ensued, followed by more drinking (you KNOW how these things can go).

After a while, the chef (guest butcher) noticed that he wasn’t getting any more than about 225 degrees surface temp from the borrowed grill. Enough drinking had taken place that the urgency to eat this tepid looking, massive steak had been replaced by the need to carry on with the party.

As the story goes, … at some point, a digital read thermometer was produced and he was VERY surprised to see the internal temp was a very respectable medium rare, even though the outside was unappealing and rubbery looking.

After searing both sides on the stove in a cracking hot, cast iron grill pan and sliced thinly, the party goers were treated to undoubtedly the best steak they’d ever eaten.

I’ve tried this myself a great number of times and have never ceased to be amazed by how well this method works. It’s almost like reverse engineering or, deconstructing a BBQ method since first, you gently bring your meat to the desired internal temperature … then you add the outside ‘char’ using a cast iron grill pan. Not unlike a (click here:) Sous-Vide method only you’re not ‘holding’ the meat at the desired temperature for a long period of time.

Marbling 003

Start with an awesome steak … your choice. Tonight, I’m using a well marbled New York Strip Loin.

Place it on a grill rack and shove it into a 225 degree F. oven and let it go for ten minutes.

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In a 225 degree oven, bring it to 127 or 128 degrees F. Check the temp OFTEN.

 

After the initial ten minutes, use your thermometer to check your progress. You “should” be around 90 to 100 degrees.

From this point forward, check the temperature OFTEN … one or two minutes will mean the difference between medium and medium well.

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Finish it on a SMOKING HOT cast iron pan to give it a nice sear.

Remove from the pan and let it rest (VERY IMPORTANT !!!)

Voila … a reverse engineered steak … done to perfection.

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Oh man … get ready to taste one AWESOME steak.

The total cook time is around 15 to 20 minutes (results will vary), just remember to check the temp with a GOOD thermometer OFTEN.

The same method can be used on the BBQ as well … just make sure your heat is indirect and monitored OFTEN.

To say that our friend Dave was impressed is an understatement … makes the heart swell up with pride.

I hope you’ll try this and let me know how you made out … I LOVE getting comments and questions so, keep ’em coming. 🙂

Stay tuned and … please click “follow” at the top of the page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

 

Fat’s where it’s at !!! Thick cut VS. the fast fry … here’s the skinny.

Greetings Carnivores,

Don’t do it!

PLEASE don’t ask me to cut you a “thinner” steak or chop !!

Unless you’re preparing Rouladen, Schnitzel or Scallopini, you are doing the meat a dreadful disservice by cutting and cooking it so thin.

For starters, it will be almost impossible to cook it ANYTHING but well done, but, … if that’s your Schick, then you might as well just eat shoe leather … bon appetit!

So, … this post is actually more about food science than anything else.  I don’t want to lose or bore you so please, stay with me on this one … I’ll try to move quickly enough so you don’t fall asleep.

Here we go.

Here’s the “science” part:

A number of important changes occur when you put meat to flame. Whether you’re using a smoking hot grill, a cast iron pan, or a low and slow method, it just doesn’t matter and here’s why:

Structurally, proteins are VERY large molecules made up of LONG chains of amino acids. The reason a muscle  is able to contract and relax is the same reason it’s tough and chewy when raw. Believe it or not, when you add heat to this equation you see the fibers denature or …

RELAX !!!

Ahhhhhhhh …your Light Bulb moment has arrived !!!

This is PRECISELY the reason a rubbery, raw piece of meat becomes soft and chew-able when it’s cooked.

Back to the THINNER steak or chop.

Now, we know that adding heat to meat (there … look at me rhyming) denatures the muscle fibers.

So, you ask “why then does it matter if the cut is thick or thin” ???

Here’s the deal … clearly, the process of cooking not only denatures BUT, it also REMOVES moisture so, as you cook a piece of meat, (unless you are using a slow cooker/crock-pot)  you are also REMOVING moisture … remove too much and … VOILA, … shoe leather.

So, … again Carnivores … PLEASE DON’T ASK ME TO CUT IT THINNER FOR YOU.

Keep the questions coming in folks, if I can’t answer them, I’ll dig deep and find the answer for you !! 🙂

In the meantime, stay tuned and … please click “follow” at the top of the page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

 

To Steak or not to Steak … that’s the question.

Greetings Carnivores,
We are DEEP into the BBQ season and the Summer of 2013 is rolling slowly towards the long, Dog Days of August.

I’m asked daily about Steak. Which one is best on the BBQ? How do you treat a less tender one?

I think a re-visit to a post I wrote back in February, when the days were cold and short and Summer was a long off distant mirage, is appropriate.

admit it ... your mouth is watering

A post about … STEAK!

Enjoy … again and, stay hungry Carnivores.

Carnivore Confidential

Greetings Carnivores,

I’m often asked about Steak and how to treat a tough one. Truth is, there’s no easy answer because Steak is a ‘cut’ and ANYTHING can be a ‘Steak’. And any of them can be rendered ‘tough’ if not handled properly. To understand this you have to remember: there are no bad cuts, just bad ways to handle (cook) certain cuts. Think of it this way; the tenderness of a muscle (and ALL muscle is meat) is determined by how much work it does.

So, the Rib (Prime Rib, Standing Rib, Rib Eye), Loin (NY Strip, T-bone, Club, Wing, Porter House, Filet Mignon), and Sirloin Butt (Top Sirloin, Bottom Sirloin) are all considered to be non hard-working with the tenderloin (Filet) being a truly “floating” muscle that does nothing.

The Shoulder (Blade, Cross Cut, Short Rib) the Hip (Rump, Inside Round, Outside Round, Eye of Round, Sirloin Tip…

View original post 459 more words

Flecks, Specks, Streaks and Ribbons … the key to a well marbled steak

Greeting Carnivores,

I often find it funny in a really tragic sort of way, that the very BEST steaks in the display case are the ones that frequently remain unsold. How can this be?

Simple … education.  Hopefully, that’s where I can be of some service.

Many, MANY times I come across a particular primal Strip loin or Rib eye that is really exceptional.   You can’t easily tell by looking at the outside but, once you start cutting and, it reveals a really WELL marbled texture with specks, flecks and ribbons of well dispersed fat throughout the lean flesh … well, I either set them aside for myself or, I tray them up for you. Here’s the problem: more often than you would think, folks leave the best ones behind because … ewwwww TOO MUCH FAT !!!.

I believe people just don’t know what to look for in a steak … the answer is staring them in the face … MARBLING!

Beef marbling chart

Beef Marbling chart

So …  what happens to all these fantastic, unsold steaks? Well … it’s wonderful, and sad all at once.

When meat remains unsold it is ground into hamburger. Why is it sad? Well … you the consumer just missed out on a beautiful steak because you didn’t know what to look for. And THAT’S sad.

So why is it wonderful? Well … I get to buy some REALLY exceptional Ground beef.   🙂

Back to the Beef … when I’m looking for a steak, I’m looking for one with good even marbling with streaks, flecks and ribbons of fat dispersed throughout the lean flesh. I lean toward something around 4-6 on the chart above. You NEED some fattiness to keep the meat tender while it’s cooking. Remember people FAT = FLAVOUR!!! Restaurant chefs will look for something in the 9-10 range … these steaks will be even MORE tender.

So, … everything in moderation folks … you can’t eat this stuff on a daily basis.

Well, I guess you COULD, as long as you have a portable defibrillator … just in case. It depends on how much you want to punish your arteries.

Oh, and … I believe I’ll have the Angioplasty for dessert please … 🙂

Marbling 003

Flecks, specks, streaks and ribbons … a WELL marbled steak!

Ahhh, red meat … enuff to make a Carnivores heart go bumpity bump.

“Honey … guess what’s for dinner?”

Until next time Carnivores stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

3 Dressed up as a 9 … the Flank steak

Today Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m going to talk about one of the gems of the Beef carcass: The Flank Steak.

Like the Skirt or Hanger steak I spoke of in an earlier post, the Flank is a terriffic little nugget found on either side of the abdomen (belly). There are only two (one on each side) and because of this, it can sometimes be a little pricey but, if you haven’t tried it you should. It’s a wonderfully versatile, long, thin, flat muscle that can be Fried, Barbecued, Baked, Broiled, Braised, used in a Stir-fry or one of my personal favourites, FAJITAS !!!

Growing up I remember my Mom taking a piece of Flank steak, pounding it with a Meat Mallet then rolling it up with a savory bread stuffing and baking it. OH MY GAWD … it was definitely one of my FAVOURITE meals and a memory I will always cherish of my Mom and her GREAT cooking.

This is typically the piece of meat used in making London Broil and is also a staple in Asian and Mexican cooking. This muscle doesn’t do a whole lot of work but, if not treated properly can render poorly when cooked. The key here is to NOT over cook it. You’ll be rewarded with a spectacular meal.  Just remember to cut it ACROSS the grain.

There are TONS of recipes out there for Flank Steak, give it a go for dinner some night and, set an extra plate … I’ll be over at 6!!

Please take a look at one of my FAVOURITE Blogs from and awesome Chef in California (click here) Jeff Parker.

Like me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential, follow me on Twitter @DougieDee and Share my posts with your friends.

Until next time fellow Carnivores, GOOD EATING !