“These steaks are rock hard!” launches the mother-in-law, in the middle of a family dinner! Disaster, you remain stoic, diplomat in spite of everything. This family loves meat so much that it becomes obsessive! However, it is still possible to do something about it. The proof with our 10 tips from a chef in Paris, that will make your cuts of meat soft and delicious.

How do meat lovers and professionals make meat tender and so tasty?

Meat is not a world unto itself, reserved only for specialists. There is no shortage of tips and tricks of the culinary art to satisfy the experienced lover of a good piece of meat full of protein and vitamins. We will use a question and answer game to review all the methods, 10 in total, so that your family dinner is no longer an open fight, knife in your teeth!

Why is my meat so tough?

It is important to go to the butcher, a professional who knows his business well. Because, in fact, the tenderness of the meat also depends on the choice of the piece, the date of slaughter, packaging and quality of delivery. Forget about the endless “It’s the butcher’s fault, he served me his leftovers!”. You must specify your request: “Beef for braising, pork for the oven, chops for the pan …”. These details are important for the professional who, on top of everything, will give you valuable tips and leave this bouquet of aromatic plants lying around on his worktop.

How to get tender and melting beef?

By rolling your cut of beef in coarse salt, a spoonful of baking soda or honey, you give these ingredients time to work on the fibers of the meat. After rinsing, it will then soften. It is also quite possible to cook the meat in a crust with the same ingredients. The principle? Steam cooking that tenderizes even the toughest meat. Baking soda, salt and lots of honey will give your lambs, the meaty parts of the beef, a nice golden crust after going through the oven that everyone loves except this aunt who wants to be tougher than the meat.! However, pay attention to the cooking time.

Can the marinade tenderize all tough meats?

A method that could be called grandma’s trick that would make the star chefs scold! And yet, since the dawn of time, women have found practical tips to satisfy the whole family, and often with the means at hand. They have experimented with everything and today we benefit from these discoveries that have become traditions. The marinade is one of them. To tenderize tough meat, it must be hydrated so that its fibers can relax. It therefore contains acidic and softening elements. The question that arises in this case concerns the duration of maceration. The answer is relative and depends on many criteria, including the type of meat and marinade. 3 to 6 hours, and the case could be heard! It’s your turn to experiment and make your own contribution.

Thanks to the acid, lemon, and vinegar

The acidic element is emphasized here. But of course, you’re not looking for chemistry in the molecular kitchen. You need elements that are non-abrasive, milder acids that are still able to penetrate and relax muscle fibers. Lemon, red wine or apple cider vinegar will do. Note that tomatoes, pineapple or papaya are excellent meat tenderizers!

Thanks to lactic ferments: Milk, cream, dairy products

Dairy enzymes contain tenderizing powers that overcome the toughest meat, thanks to their famous enzymes that do so much good to the digestive tract. This foolproof technique, therefore, is to soak your raw meat in these nutrients. We must no longer see the smallest square inch of meat, whatever it is. Again, time plays for you: between 5 to 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Two methods are available to you. With or without a meat tenderizer

Without tools: place your piece of meat in a clean cloth or wrap it tightly, then place it on your work surface and pound it for a few minutes. Watch the action, you won’t get any nasty surprises!

With a meat tenderizer: just pound your pre-packaged meats as you did with the previous method and watch the end result.

How do you make a stew, boeuf bourguignon, or any cooked dish without the meat becoming dry?

“Boiling” in itself is a method of tenderizing meat. It’s important to let it cook over low heat for a long time, and especially to watch the water, salt or tomato levels! We too often forget that tomato sauce with its acidity, its water, contributes a lot to the success of so-called casseroles! Before, we made sure to cut the tomato pieces well and also add a teaspoon or two of baking soda. Hush, it’s a secret!

How to make meat that is too tough after cooking?

It sometimes happens that you miss your cooking. Do not panic! You now have many tips and tricks to get out of it. For example, you can use the marinade or milk. It is never too late! How do you make up for the too tough meat of a beef bourguignon?

It’s never too late to do good! Wrapping technique should do the trick. Wrap the meat pieces after removing them from the pot, preferably in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for fifteen minutes. The point is to reduce cooking and rehydrate the meat with its own water losses. To serve hot, put everything in the oven at 175°F. Meat lovers will see the difference!

And to tenderize a beef skewer? How to make?

The process is essentially the same. Except that the grill tends to capture very quickly the blood and water of the grilled meat. By always wrapping it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, you give it a chance to find juice. If necessary, put it in a low power oven while still wrapped. The trick also works with a leg of lamb that is overcooked on the outside.

Even a roasted beef steak?

With beef or pork steak, you urgently need to intervene with an ingredient you already have in the fridge: Sparkling water. Bathe the cut in it, making sure to catch the juices and juices beforehand for your sauce. Cover and let soak for five minutes and heat in the oven. More effective than in a hot pan. The ice cube technique also gives good results.

You’re now up to speed with all the tips and techniques you can put into practice now to please the meat lovers around you! Before, during and after cooking, you’ll ensure safety on all fronts!