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Old 09-29-2006, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
hoarding all the big girl panties since 2005
 
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Location: North side
Learning how to cook red meat

Now, I can cook chicken like nobody's buisness, doubly so since I got my in the over digital thermometer (which I LOVE by the way). However, I realize that I haven't had all that much expierence cooking any other kind of meat. I think that what I need to be a better cook is someone to explain how to cook every type of meat there is- all the different cuts, etc.

So, is there a really good website/book/show that talks about this kind of thing? The fundimentals of cooking meat is what I'm aiming for. Alton Brown is a good explainer, in my opnion, of why cooks do things the way they do, but I don't feel like shelling out $300 for his entire 27 disk series on DVD.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's alot of information your asking for, Sage. There are thousands of ways to cook different types of cuts, so it may be benificial to buy a book if you really want to know. When cooking any kind of meat you are unfamiliar with, its good to start out by carefully following a couple recipes. After some trial and error, you'll be as good a cook with them as you are with chicken. Experience is the best teacher in cooking, aside from a cooking teacher.

A few things I've learned:
Pork tends to get very dry through conventional methods of cooking meat.
Lamb/viel is fantastic to cook with, and delicious.
Don't buy fish if it smells too much like fish.
Searing the outside of a red meat helps lock in its juices.
Always allow the red meat to rest a few minutes before cutting it.

You don't have to buy his dvd sets, just buy his book. Its $19.95, and seems to have just as much information (plus its written down).

Hope this helps.

Goodluck

Last edited by Ch'i; 09-29-2006 at 10:53 PM..
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Old 09-30-2006, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The basic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook rocks because it has a part of every section devoted to basic basics. The meat section shows you all the cuts and along with the cut it says which cooking methods to use, given that some cuts of meat need to be braised because they're tough. The cookbook also explains the different cooking methods you can use. If you don't have a BHG cookbook, go get one--it's an invaluable resource for both the experienced and beginner cook (my family always buys one for people moving into their own place).

Oh, and Alton sells cookbooks too, you know.
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Best book on food I have come across in years:



Nigella Lawson's "How To Eat".

It includes loads of great recipies, but mainly it includes a love of food, and explains in clear simple language WHY certain things work.

It was a brilliant TV series too.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool, thanks guys!

In running around the bookstore I found The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. It's highly informative as well. Thanks for all the suggestions tho!
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Old 10-01-2006, 02:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Personaly i like to cook my red meat untill it stops mooing then just a little longer. if its still mooing its not done yet. Other then that its hard to go wrong. People like red meat in so many diffrent ways from totaly raw Steak tartare to a extreamly well done steak. Basicly just get a good cut of meat and experiment till you find what you like. For safty sake i suggest cooking it till its just a little pink in the middle or longer.

I personaly love a good steak cooked on the grill over a extreamly high flame for a short amount of time just enough to blacken the outside of the steak but the inside is still rare/medium rare.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ch'i
Searing the outside of a red meat helps lock in its juices.
This is a myth. Searing the outside only caramelizes the meat, giving it that characteristic meat flavour. A cooked steak still leaches out its juices, and needs 5-10 minutes to rest so that it can reabsorb those juices.

Cooking beef depends what type of cut you are using. The rule of thumb is the more active the muscle, the longer the cooking time. A heavily used muscle, like a shank, chuck or brisket, which come from the front legs and shoulders will be very tough and needs long, slow cooking, like a stew. Less used muscles have more fat and less connective tissue and are more suited to grilling or panfrying. Understanding what part of the cow you are cooking will tell you what you need to do.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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With beef, always take it off before you believe it to be "cooked". I am ALWAYS the bbq'er, people invite me to their bbq's and ask me to cook.

Temperature: Low and slow wins the race (especially if you bbq). High temperatures cook the outside prematurely, and gives a slight burned taste which overrides other flavors (will hit in a bit) you've added to the meat. Low heat allows the inside to cook while keeping in as much juice as possible. As stated searing does not lock in juices.

Flavorings: With red meats you really can't go very wrong with spices. Rosemary, garlic, olive oil (just a bit), oregano, sage, and lots of salt and black pepper are simply amazing. If you are cooking on a bbq don't waste your time on a gas grill, get some mesquite an smoke it up (I cook on the top rack, not the bottom). There's a trick that not many people know, is if you have lots of rosemary, you can toss it into the grill and it will add a rosemary flavor (and smell) to the smoke while it cooks.

If you plan to pan fry I suggest going with different sauces. Standard brown gravy can equal the best chefs if you grill onions, mushrooms, and load it up with salt and pepper. Truffles (if you can afford), or truffle extract will add that certain something that blows others away.

Look up Bulgogi (http://www.asianonlinerecipes.com/on...a/bulgogi.php0) if you want to try something different that you, and others will be blown away with. It's Korean, extremely easy to make, and tastes amazing.

Theres infinate ways and tips for cooking beef, I suggest asking guys at the next bbq, your mother, and/or cookbooks. Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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.....and Never pierce/poke or cut your steaks before or during the cooking process! You'll loose all the good juices & flavor.

(learned that from the Culinary Institute in Napa, CA)
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