How to Cook Beef
Getty ImagesDon't mess up that beautiful steak or roast. Learn the proper way to cook beef with these tips.
To maintain the flavorful crust on your roast, use a wire rack and keep it from sitting in a pool of its own juices.
Carve the roast across the grain for maximum tenderness and hold the knife at the same angle for every slice.
Fat and bones protect the meat while it's cooking. You can remove them after.
Pot Roasted Beef Recipe
Got a tough cut like a shank, ribs, rump or pot roast? Braise it. Slow cooking in liquid breaks down collagen, turning it into gelatin and making the meat unbelievably tender. Don't submerge the meat entirely (that's stewing) or let the liquid level drop too low (that's baking), but do cook it down for a sauce with rich, concentrated flavor.
Brown the meat on all sides before braising to add rich color and flavor.
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Broiling is elemental! Namely, in your meat's distance from the broiling element. This, rather than temperature controls cooking time. Raise or lower racks as needed.
Flip your meat with tongs or a spatula rather than piercing it with a fork and losing luscious juices.
Oiling oven racks and lining the bottom (NOT the top, as you don't want to block the draining holes) of the broiler pan to make clean-up a cinch.
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Are ya stewing because things got too salty? Add a few chunks or potato or tomato to absorb the excess.
Periodically skim fat from the surface to reduce calories, and let your ingredients' flavors shine through.
Cut meat into evenly sized pieces and brown it first so everything finished -- and delicious -- at the same time.
Beef Stew Recipe
Thinly sliced strips with most of the fat trimmed make the most flavorful stir fry beef.
Be prepared! Have everything cut and easily at hand, 'cause this process goes quickly -- and deliciously.
Don't toss everything into the pan at once. Some veggies might take more or less time than your beef, so add ingredients in stages. This way, individual flavors and textures can sing.
Orange-Scented Beef Stir-Fry Recipe
Marinades are a great way to add flavor and juiciness to your meat. Include an ingredient with some acidic properties (vinegar, citrus, wine -- though skip "cooking wine" as it tends to be too salty) to break down tissues and let the meat absorb moisture.
Bourbon and other spirits add exceptional flavor to meat. Just make sure they're mixed with enough other liquid so they don't flame up when exposed to heat.
One to 2 cups of marinade for each 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of food is a good guideline. Marinating times can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
Balsamic and Rosemary-Marinated Flank Steak
Buying & Handling
Save your meat counter visit for the end of your grocery store trip so you can get your beef home in tip-top shape.
Thaw your meat out in the fridge or microwave (at the appropriate power setting) -- not on the countertop.
If possible, dedicate separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, fish, and fruit & veggies. Even if that's not feasible, scrub them with hot, soapy water or bleach after use, or (check with your manufacturer), run 'em through the dishwasher.
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