Sometimes you may find yourself flat-out broke, with all your funds on a tight budget, but there's this burning desire to cook a sumptuous dinner delicacy. So, you walk into the meat section of store, but all you see on the tags are heavy prices that will drain your pockets and to you, the feasibility of that fancy dinnertime with your family now looks less likely than finding a genie's lamp on the streets of New York. Giving up, you turn around to walk out of the store, tail in the middle of your legs, and just as you are about to walk out, you luckily set your gaze on a pile of cheap, thin meat cuts. What do you do? Well, you've got two options.
So what do i do?
A. Decide to cook some low level dinner and probably disappoint the taste buds of your ten-year-old daughter who had been salivating at the prospect of having an exquisite meal.
B. Walk up to the section, pay for the meat with the change you got in your pocket or purse, and walk out head up high, with the aim of transforming those cheap pieces of meat into something as tasty as the Brazilian Carne de sol.
Personally, I'd go with the option that allows me to put my cooking skills to the test, or at least try to. The fun thing is you don't need to spend much or any money at all on getting the ingredients you need to work some magic on the cheap pieces of meat you bought.
Seriously though, the rise of the Coronavirus in recent times has led to the pattern of people preferring to cook and prepare their meat at home, and to do that, you have to learn how to make your meat taste so well, you'd think an Italian chef took over your body.
Let's Get Down to the Juicy Details
Before we go into the juicy details, it's vital to understand the elements that make a truly delicious meat delicacy. They're probably what you know already, but to put them in perspective, these elements include: tenderness, taste, and aroma. After considering these elements, the next step is to subject the meat to conditions that will score 5 stars in every single element.
It All Starts with the Tenderness
Tenderness is all about the mouth-feel of the meat. You don't want to prepare something that keeps on stretching or feels rubbery to the mouth, that alone chops like 3 stars off your 5-star target.Aside from marinating or using salt to tenderize your steak, using a tenderizer is a very effective way to tenderize your meat.
Salt, Salt, and more SALT!
Now the next question is, how do you tenderize? It goes without saying, but the answer is salt, but not the conventional table salt, kosher or sea salt. Table salt particles are too fine, and they tend to settle into meat, probably faster than you can say George Washington, and that's not what you need. Kosher or seal salt on the other hand settle perfectly on the meat fibres, suck up all the juices to create a brine that settles back into the fibres to soften them just enough. You can do this by simply covering your meat cuts in about 5 grams of sea salt or kosher salt for one hour. The result is absolutely amazing, and it'll be visible because your meat darkens and softens in the most glorious way possible.
Enhance the Dish with Some Herbs and Spices
Get your garlic or curry powder and pepper ready too, because you'll be using your fingers (super clean) to work them into the flesh of the meat. Before you know it, you have fully tenderized meat cuts that now look a far cry from their cheap status, but wait till it's done. It'll taste like magic.
Time to Grill Up!
Get your grill ready! After the ingredients and seasonings take their seats in and on the fibers of your meat cuts, the next step is to place them on the grill, and be a witness to a mind-blowing transformation. However, before you grill, there's one simple rule. If you forget it or don't do it properly, then you'd have been better off walking out that store at the very beginning. The rule is simple:
Extra Prep While Grilling Goes a Long Way
NEVER FORGET TO CLEAN OFF THE SALT ON THE MEAT AFTER RINSING. Yes, you have to rinse the meat under running water and then clean off with paper towels. Not easy to forget huh, but if you do, your meat will lose the flavor and tenderness you've worked so hard to create. Do this by laying out your meat cuts on a flat surface (super clean) and use a paper towel (super clean too!) to clean off the water and any residual salt, or else you'd be steaming your meat, which is a wrong turn, a very wrong turn that you'd rue at the moment the meat touches your tongue. Anyway, now that we've cleared that, it's the perfect time to bring in the seasonings and pepper to add flavor to your properly tenderized meat- nothing heavy, just a little garlic or cinnamon powder pizzazz here and there, and some pepper rubbing too. You're free to be dynamic here. You are at absolute liberty to season to your taste, but remember not to overdo it.
Marinate to Appreciate
Sorry it took so long to get here, but now you can finally place your meat cuts on the grill. The trick here is to do it slowly. Not slow slow, because you're probably already salivating at this point, but slow enough to let the heat properly cook and breakdown the fibers to give a wonderful mouthfeel. Some don't do this, especially for cheap meat cuts, but you can be a little more artistic and dramatic by letting your meat grill for a minute or two, then take it for a swim in a marinade of your preferred combination of oils and spices and place it back on the grill. This technique, also known as marination, improves the flavor and aroma of your meat steak by a hundred times, and once it's done, you can serve your delicious meat steak with some beer, martini, or white wine.
The Big Payoff
Any stranger that tastes your meat steak at this point would think you spent your whole life in catering school for you to have pulled such a feat.
Great things often have small beginnings, and your meat steak is living proof of that.