It’s a question you’ve asked more than you probably want to admit: “How do I cook this meat?!” Whether it’s sirloin steak or a slab of pork that has you baffled, if you haven’t cooked the meat before you’ve likely got questions. From prep to carving, we’ve investigated the dos and don’ts of meat and answered the questions you’ve always wanted to ask.
My meat or poultry is tough and dry. How can I improve its texture?
Ah, tough meat—the bane of home cooks all over Ireland. You follow the instructions on the packaging to a t and somehow it’s still the texture of an old boot. It’s always frustrating but there are a number of steps you can take to make sure your meat is juicy and tender.
- First things first, make sure your meat is in date and was packaged properly. If you’re using your freezer stash, make sure you remove any part of the meat that might have changed colour or texture due to freezer burn.
- Meat can become rubbery when defrosting in the microwave, so defrost naturally when you have the time.
- As far in advance as you can, marinade your meat using a mixture of oils, vinegars, seasoning and Asian sauces like teriyaki and soy sauce—if you have a taste for it. Avoid using extra salt in your marinades as it toughens the meat. Instead, salt when cooking.
- Like eggs or any other protein, meat should be cooked slowly at a medium-high heat. If roasting, first sear the surface of the meat by flouring and browning the meat on the pan before placing it in the oven.
- To keep the meat moist when cooking, coat with oil, butter or a little bit of both before cooking. Make sure you baste regularly using the juices in the pot. Yes, it’s quite a bit of work but your taste buds will thank you for it!
- Rest your meat by covering it in tinfoil after removing it from the cooker. It’ll taste much better as any juices will soak back into the meat without it losing all of its heat.