where's the beef?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by durangojo, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. durangojo

    durangojo

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    trying to figure out the cuts of beef here in mexico has proved, while though at times frustrating, an interesting learning experience. although it is from the same animal, the mexicans cut the cow differently, mainly because they cook it differently....i am learning and it is getting better but not without a few almost inedible meals...pork cuts are easier to figure out as they braise or roast almost everything on the pig. they do have chops but they are either very thin or are smoked. haven't seen any racks of ribs as for some reason they separate them. haven't seen a pork tenderloin as yet, but i know it must exist...big on trotters and snouts here....

    okay, back to the cow.....there is no such thing as aged beef, at least not here, but it got me to thinking why does aging make beef more tender?...what exactly happens scientifically when you age beef to make it so? 

    in the meantime i'll press on with my learning curve....hmmmm, may have to stay longer to fit it all in!!!!    salud

    joey
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    There is different kinds of ageing one is dry ageing which is the best. What you are doing is letting the beef gain flavor and a tenderer texture by letting it sit in a controlled atmosphere, In some cases ultra violet lights are used to stop the harmful bacteria(years ago this was called accu-ray. You are basicly breaking down the protein cell structure of thye meat, expsanding the cells makes them cut and eat more tender or easy. . Do not try to age in your

    home fridge. It is to humid and wet and the meat will go bad and get slimmy wrather then age.
     
  3. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Interesting  Joey.

    So what about when the, what is it, Himalayan salt blocks, lining the walls those huge meat lockers I guess it is?   Is that a different chemistry?

    And very interesting that you bring about how they butcher cattle "down South".  And if you see mostly trotters and snouts, than what are they doing with the nice bits of the piggys?   
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I can relate to your dilemma.  Beef is not something eaten very often on the island of Krete either.  Pork is the dominant meat there but even so they don't cut it in the same way it is butchered here.  Every part of the cow is butchered differently and it is slow to sell and usually avoided by the consumer.  At best it will be used to make soup for someone feeling under the weather or as a stew.  Nobody eats beef steaks.  My parents do enjoy beef and what they do is they've made friends with their butcher, and explained to him how they want it cut.  They manage to buy the "prime rib" of beef for pennies, they practically give it away.  Maybe you can try talking to a butcher and see if you can ask them to cut what you specifically need.  That or buy a side of a cow and butcher it yourself.
     
  5. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Aging tenderizes because the meat contains enzymes (not bacteria) which after slaughter, and left on their own, denature the protein strands. Similarly aging develops certain flavors.

    Dry aging differs from wet aging mostly because of evaporation. The bacterial and spore colonization on the outside of the meat should be completely cut away before doing any other butchering. Dry aging also imparts a slightly sour taste to the meat. I have mixed feelings about the taste, and think that meat can easily be over-aged.

    Wet aging is best done when the meat is vacuum packed -- precisely so bacteria and mold do not develop. It doesn't tenderize as well as dry aging, but still tenderizes. It doesn't develop flavor as much either, but the changes are entirely benign.

    Mexicans tend not to age meat because they're eating grass fed meat which has its own distinctive flavor and doesn't need a lot of development. It also takes time; something not big on most Mexican butchers' agenda. And it requires long refrigeration in huge walk-ins, which are things you never found in Mexico and still don't see much outside of big cities -- as far as I know. In countries where refrigeration is a premium and a quick turnaround is traditional, the meat already has plenty of taste, and the population doesn't frikkin' care much about aged meat... you get fresh.

    Tenderloin is "solomillo." You might also want to try "filete" or "filete de solomillo." If you want thick pork chops, ask the butcher if he can cut "pedas" (slices) from the "lomo" (loin). The alternative, and probably better in your case given that you can make a straight cut, is to get a few inches of lomo and cut your own chops.

    Not sole mio. Restrain yourself, Shorty; leave the jokes to the professionals.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  6. siduri

    siduri

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    Many years ago, in he 70s when there was still a Yugoslavia, my husband was a consultant for a project in Kosovo.  He'd go for two weeks at a time, and i went a few times with him.  There, the cow was hanging whole in the butcher's shop and he'd simply ask (how much do you want) and slice through a random selection of choice and cheap cuts.  If you said "can you put the knife a little further up to the left" or something, he'd cut you the best cuts forthe same price.  They mostly cooked all the meat in a pot at home.  We often stayed at the french project leader's house (he lived there) and could cook.  That was the absolutely best beef i ever ate.  So yes, to all BDL says about quick turnaround, grass fed beef, and taste.  It was wonderful. 
     
  7. durangojo

    durangojo

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    hmmm,

    i wonder what the spanish word for smartass is? while i can recognize most of the steak cuts i.e. porterhouse, T Bone, neuvo york, rib eye and the famous 'solo mio' filete, it is the 'other' cuts that caused the head scratching....this is what i have learned so far:  diezmillo=chuck, paleta=shoulder, pecho=brisket, chambareta=shank, agujas=short ribs, entrecot=rib roast, chuleta de aguador=sirloin, arrachera= skirt steak, faldo=flank, pata=hooves. the few things i know about mexicans and meat, especially beef, are that they only eat it well done(fish too), and they like to either cut it very thin to bread and fry(milaneses) or cube or cut everything really small...braising and stewing meats being the most common, probably because in part they have large families...ever hear of a mexican only child?...thus certainly no need for dry aging, i agree. my main goal is to make whatever the dish is with the right cut...learn and live!  now that i am 'dongled' and securely connected to wifi i have discovered a few very helpful websites complete with charts, explanations, uses and spanish names...where there is internet, there is hope! i will definitely ask for the thick pork chops, or as you suggest cut my own.....hold on to your sombrero migo just in case i don't make the {ahem} cut.....

    gracias,

    joey

    my question really was more directed to what exactly aging is..i know you age the meat, but how exactly does it work...what happens...how long does it take...that sort of thing...thanks for explaining.....ole!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  8. durangojo

    durangojo

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    next cahallenge is lamb..CARNERO in spanish. i don't think it is as widely eaten as pork or beef, but i believe it is a prized meat...we shall see. i tend toward grilling not braising or tewing simple because being in a motorhome we depend on propane for cooking fuel and both brasing and stewing use up considerably more than grilling...plus there is the added factor of leaving for the day with your stove on......spanish lessons anyone?

    koukou, 

    could you tell me where to find your recipe for your 'squid sausage'? can't seem to find it...i want to try my hand at it for a party i'm helping with...the squid here is huge...more like a sea monster really? any ideas? i ate some the other night at a party and while it was good, it was a bit chewier than the smaller ones ust because of it's size......hmmm, maybe cerviche would be a better choice

    joey

    as an aside....it's funny the meat charts that i have found here for pig and cow..the pig has a bow in its tail and a big smile, probably because it's not bacon yet, and the cow has a big smile and a flower in its mouth(probably because of a similar reason of not being a cheeseburger yet!)...gotta love the mexicans!
     
  9. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I recently made an octopus sausage, perhaps that's what you were thinking?
     
  10. durangojo

    durangojo

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    yes, that's the one. kk...

    joey
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It's on the foodnetwork site in canada http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Side/Seafood/recipe.html?dishid=11948

    It's been shown a couple of times on the cooking channel by Chuck.  Very simple recipe and method.  This particular recipe pairs it with a very tangy potato salad however I served the sausage thinly slized drizzled with olive oil, balsamic, fresh lemon juice and scattered fennel fronds.  Next time I make it I will be adding some heat to the braise.  Let me know how it turns out.
     
  12. durangojo

    durangojo

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    bdl,

    this one's for you...i saw in the market today sirloin palomilla...took every thing i had not to break out in song o pal o' mio!!!!!

    joey
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  13. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Ole!  Oy vey!

    BDL