Tender meat!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by marito, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. marito

    marito

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    Hi there! I live in Mexico and we make many carne asada (grilled meat) Is there a way to marinade the meat so it get's very tender after cooking? Thank you!
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Bienvenido, Marito! We're glad you found Chef Talk.

    If you make a marinade with some acid in it (citrus, tomato, wine, vinegar, etc.) the fibers of the meat will be more tender. There are other ways (pounding and chemical tenderizers), too. If you are using skirt steak, flank steak or other steak with strong fibers, be sure to let it rest for a few minutes after you grill it, then slice it thinly across the fibers for more tender slices.

    I hope some professionals stop by to give their advice! I'd be happy to learn more myself.

    Marito, please stop in the Welcome Forum and tell us more about yourself. Again, welcome to the Cafe!

    Mezzaluna
     
  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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    ¬°Hola, Marito! As Mezzaluna mentioned, you can pound the meat. That will break down the muscles and make the meat easier to chew. Then if you marinate it, it will take the flavors better, too.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Marinades and pounding are some of the weaker methods for tenderizing meat. The two best in my experience are proper cooking for the type of meat and proper cutting of the finished product.

    On the grill, you should explore indirect grilling for tough cuts. You can also add water pans to add moisture to the cooking process to help break down tough cuts. A quick finish on the direct hot side to give the grilled appearance and flavor and it's ready for cutting.

    Mezzaluna covered the general principle there just fine.

    Phil
     
  5. marito

    marito

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    Thank you very much!!
     
  6. chefkell

    chefkell

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    You may want to investigate the Jaccard option as well. I have one at my place I use for locally harvested Venison and any other cut that's little tougher than I'd like. You can overdo it though. Used properly it pays for itself in a week.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. suzanne

    suzanne

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    I've never used one of those -- mostly because it makes me think that the meat has been "pre-chewed" like cheap swiss steak. It seems to me that if you need to use a gizmo like that, you're using the wrong cooking method, and trying to fool the people you're cooking for. BAD!!!! :mad:

    If you have a look at the "Saltimbocca" thread, even Pongi (who is in Liguria) says to pound the meat; and the carpaccio at LeBernardin (four stars) is pounded. So I don't think it's necessarily bad to pound meat. However, yes, it should be cooked by an appropriate method, not "tenderized" in order to be cooked by a method that requires better meat.
     
  8. chefkell

    chefkell

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    I would think veal is a bit different than a tri tip, hangar, flank or shoulder tender. These have a slightly different texture profile than a slice of Provimi eye round.

    Yes Suzanne it is possible to overdo it, as I mentioned, you don't want that "cube steak" look to be certain.

    I really don't have the luxury of only picking out only the backstraps or tenderloin as I hunt the deer myself. And if I can market a "Tournedoes of Michigan Venison Leg" and have guest after guest rave about it...not BAD:mad: GOOD!:D
     
  9. mike

    mike

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    Buy good meat only from your local farmers & never ever buy supermarket meat.
     
  10. ironchefatl

    ironchefatl

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    green papaya! The enzymes will break down the tough connective tissue. My friends mom from Bangledesh taught me this one.
     
  11. suzanne

    suzanne

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    IronChefATL: Yes, of course! The stuff that's sold as Adolf's Meat Tenderizer is made from the same enzyme (papain) that's in papayas.

    Pineapple has the same tenderizing effect, and adds a good flavor as well. You just have to be careful not to marinate the meat for very long, or it will get way too mushy. Someone (maybe Molly O'Neill? ) had a piece in the NY Times Magazine some years ago about marinating shrimp with pineapple, and when she went to cook them, they just totally fell apart! :eek: