The proper cooking of beef depends mainly on the heat treatment type. Beef needs special treatment and time. To make it soft, brittle or even melt-in-the-mouth, you need to follow a few basic principles:
- Beef likes marinating, as it makes it extremely tender, aromatic and tasty;
- It is better not to pound beef. Beef should be cut into pieces of appropriate thickness and heat treated in a chosen way;
- Beef should be fried shortly, because frying for too long causes the meat to become tough and then its consistency resembles chewing gum;
- When it comes to stewing or cooking, it is best when the process lasts several hours. This particular type of meat requires a longer heat treatment.
Which element is the best?
The most valuable meat, according to Europeans, is located along the back of a bull and its topside. It is: tenderloin, sirloin, rump and shank (including eye round). These pieces are used for steaks, roulades, burgers, beef steaks and roasts. On the other hand, the meat from the front of a bull is suitable for frying and baking. The most common choices are flat iron and ribeye. Other parts are suitable for cooking or stewing, e.g. for making beef stew. When preparing beef, you should know how to handle its elements. Delicate parts such as ribeye, tenderloin and sirloin require less cooking. On the other hand, plate, flat iron and brisket need much more time.
Why does beef sometimes turn out tough?
Why does beef turn out tough? This is due to several factors: the class of meat, the specific part of a bull, and unskilful processing. The key to success is not only the method of preparation, although it is very important, but also the quality of the product. We get a good product from relatively young cows and bulls of cattle breeds (1-2 years old). It is also important to properly feed the animals – this has a great impact on the final appearance of meat. When buying beef, pay attention to the right colour, smell and structure. A piece of good quality beef is bright red and the fat is light cream. Its toughness also results from improper heat treatment, e.g. frying too long or not stewing long enough.
How to fry beef to make it soft?
The basic principle is that you should never fry meat taken straight from the refrigerator. It should be left for some time, e.g. on a kitchen counter, to reach room temperature. Fry pieces of meat in a very hot pan, using the following principle: if a piece is 200 g, fry it for 2 minutes on each side, if it is 300 g – 3 minutes on each side, each additional 100 g needs an additional minute of frying.
How to bake beef?
It is assumed that each kilogram of meat is baked for about 1-1.5 hours in an oven preheated to 180°C. If you choose to bake the meat at a lower temperature, the time will be significantly longer. For example: bake a roast beef at 80°C for about 4 hours.
How to stew beef?
Stewing beef is a two-step process. An important step is to fry the beef before the final stewing process. Add water and spices to the fried beef and stew for 2.5 hours. Then you are guaranteed to get a delicate texture.