Marinating meat increases tenderness. Acidic marinades such as lemon juice, balsamic vinegar or wine will help to tenderise meat. However, only use a maximum of 1-2 tablespoons of an acidic ingredient per meat portion, otherwise the meat will become dry.
DON’T OVERCROWD ME
It is ideal to cook meat in small batches to avoid overcrowding and stewing.
Always carve meat, both raw and cooked against the grain to ensure that your meat stays tender. For braising or stewing, carving meat against the grain into 2cm cubes will produce tender, braised bite-size pieces.
TONGS ON TREND
Gently press the meat with tongs to test if the meat is cooked; if soft when pressed it is rare, and if firm when pressed, it is well-done. Do not tear or pierce the meat, as it will draw the moisture out of the meat.
I’M BETTER WITH AGE
Ageing of meat breaks muscle fibres down which results in tender meat. This length of time depends on how much connective tissue (fat) the muscle has. For example, muscles with little connective tissue (fat), such as a Porterhouse steak, will age faster compared to meat rich in connective tissue (fat), such as brisket.
Ageing of meat is completed through either “dry” or “wet” methods. Dry ageing refers to a carcass being hung in a cool room for a period of time. It is not a popular method today, however, some of the best butchers still prefer to carry out this method, which enhances the flavour of the meat. Wet ageing involves ageing the meat in a bag or cryovac packaging. In this method, the moisture is retained and flavour is enhanced.