After tender pork and chicken, not every housewife will be able to cope with beef. In fact, so that it does not turn out to be tough, one should pay attention to some subtleties in cooking. They are simple – once you understand how to cook soft beef, and you will always delight your family and guests with tasty and juicy beef.
The quality and methods of cooking juicy beef
From beef, you can cook absolutely any dish – from meatballs and soup to boiled pork and filet mignon. And if the mistress somehow understands the stuffing, it’s harder to deal with a whole piece of meat, since traditionally beef is considered tougher than the same pork. Although experts with this statement can argue because the softness of the finished dish depends not only on proper preparation but also beef.
What should I look for when buying meat on the market or in a store? First of all, you should find out which variety is offered, and determine whether it is suitable for the dish you plan to cook:
- for broths and most soups, the rump, rump, humeral or scapular part is taken;
- for beef stew and long baking, the outer part of the rump and the front part of the breast are best suited;
- for roasting and cooking steaks, stock up with tenderloin, the inside of the scapula or rump.
Remember – the softest beef, which can be cooked in minutes, is obtained from the muscles that are minimally used by animals for movement, that is, located in the upper part of the carcass. If you do not have the opportunity to clarify exactly what you got, determine whether the meat is soft, as follows: pierce the product with a big two-toothed fork. If you succeed easily, you can fry beef, if not – just boil, simmer or bake in the oven.
In addition to grade, it is very important to understand how young and old the animal was before slaughter. In this regard, beef is conventionally divided into 4 categories:
- veal – the most tender meat with almost no fat, having a light pink color with a grayish sheen;
- young – good, pale red beef with white fat deposits;
- adult – rich red, with creamy or yellowish fat;
- The old one is almost maroon, with clearly visible fibers and yellow fat.
So, to cook a really tasty and soft beef, you need to carefully approach its choice.
A degree of freshness and storage rules
Argued that the beef is required to cook almost immediately after slaughter. Even sellers in the meat market, praising their goods, say that the ladybird was still running around the meadow yesterday. Of course, it is desirable to buy this product in the freshest possible form (look at elasticity, an absence of extraneous odors, colored spots, and traces of winding), but you can try to cook something from it only 3-4 days after purchase.
All this time it is worth storing the beef in a single piece in a refrigerator at a temperature of 0–5 ° C, covered with a paper or towel (but not a plastic bag). Surprised? Namely, this is how fermentation takes place in the muscle fibers, during which they soften, the taste becomes brighter and more saturated, and the food requires less time for temperature processing, remaining as soft and juicy beef as possible.
And on the contrary, the one who tried the steamed beef knows that it is tough and tasteless, and for a more or less acceptable result it is necessary to cook it for several hours. It is no coincidence that the best restaurants stock up on special chambers and vacuum boilers in order to withstand meat products for several weeks or even months! The appearance of ripe beef usually shocks the average visitor, but its juiciness and inexpressible taste are worth it. So do not rush to prepare the tenderloin or kostrets immediately after purchase – let them mature first.
On the grill and in the oven: recipes and cooking secrets
Before cooking the beef, remove it from the refrigerator so that it warms to room temperature. Observance of this secret is especially important if you want to bake a softly baked ham or get the first-class steak, because then, during processing, the meat piece heats up more evenly. By the way, the opinion that frozen meat is less tasty is a myth – provided it is properly stored and defrosted, it doesn’t differ from fresh food.
How to fry a juicy beef steak? Grill Chef Tips
If you got a great piece of soft beef with thin streaks of fat, it’s a sin not to make a national dish of steak from it. In order for it to become tender and retain its juiciness, knowledge of some subtleties is required:
- standard piece thickness – 3 cm;
- cut it must necessarily across the fibers;
- the cut should be as smooth as possible, for this a sharp wide knife is used;
- beef should be from all sides (including the side) quickly fry in a hot frying pan, ensuring the appearance of a dense crust;
- After that, the meat can be cooked on low heat.
Crusted steak without problems is brought to the required degree of roasting – on average, this process lasts 3–4 minutes. Professionals recommend turning it up no more than four times in all the time – soon the finished beef there will be a beautiful pattern from the grill or the grill pan.
As for marinades and flavors, use them to your liking. The main thing is not to use butter during intensive roasting – at high temperatures, it burns quickly, and you will have to remove beef from the fire before it is ready.
Roast beef – English answer boiled pork
If you want to cook a large piece of beef and get soft and juicy roast beef, as a result, choose the so-called marble meat, riddled with thin fatty blotches. Of course, it must be from a young animal. In the presence of seeds, it is not necessary to remove them – it is believed that beef on the bone is better baked.
The recipe for classic roast beef does not contain any seasonings and even salt, but to improve the appearance and to get the desired flavor and taste, you can add and coat a piece of beef with your favorite spices:
- pepper-salt mixture,
- Olive or other vegetable oil.
If there is a layer of fat, it is recommended to cut it to the meat, so that the heat quickly penetrates into the middle. Next, you need to seal the meat, tied it with string.
A very important nuance – put future roast beef in a highly heated (at least 250 °) oven and only after 15 minutes you can reduce the heat to 150 °. If strong heating of the oven is technically impossible, fry the meat in a hot frying pan (like a steak), and then bring it to the ready in the oven.
To determine whether the beef is ready and leave it soft, it is best to use a cooking thermometer. When the temperature in the center of the dish reaches 55–60 °, turn off the device and wrap the roast beef in several layers of foil. And then accept congratulations – you could cook a wonderfully tasty, soft and juicy beef.
Lunch with juicy beef stew – unforgettably tasty
It would seem to drain beef – which is easier? But here too, an inexperienced housewife can expect unpleasant surprises. And all you need to follow a few rules of competent extinguishing:
- feel free to use tough beef varieties;
- cut it into small pieces (like goulash in supermarkets);
- before stewing, send the beef to a hot pan;
- if it is dry, add some bacon;
- putting the roast in the pan, pour it with water, dry wine, beer or broth;
- Bring to a boil and, after removing the fire to a minimum, on a soft boil, simmer the beef for another 30-40 minutes.
If desired, add mushrooms cooked in advance, beans, vegetables, thicken flour obtained by stewing sauce and enjoy the impeccability of this dish.
Cooking soft meat: housewives tricks
To cook a soft and juicy beef, tender beef, not necessarily become a chef – you can listen to the experience of home cooks. Through trial and error, they found their options for making a juicy dish of, at first glance, completely inappropriate product quality. Now they can safely advise practical developments for others:
- always put as many pieces of beef in the pan so that they can be turned over individually;
- wipe the pieces thoroughly with a paper napkin before frying to make a brown crust;
- all the acidic ingredients of the recipe (tomatoes, sour cream) are better to add at the end of cooking, otherwise soft beef will not work;
- salt meat either immediately after cutting, or already at the end, when you almost cook it or even serve it on the table – because of salt, it loses its juiciness;
- do not place high hopes on marinades – they are needed not so much to soften, as to improve the taste and aroma;
- Vinegar is generally not recommended for pickling beef – instead use mashed onions or kiwi, mineral water, and finally, just salt and black pepper;
- Do not eat beef immediately, as soon as you cooked it – in readiness let it lie in the foil for about 15 minutes so that it becomes softer than just taken from the fire.
To summarize, the choice of the right type of meat and a certain temperature regime – these are the main components of culinary success. The rest of the actions – cutting, stuffing, pickling – were originally intended to disguise the shortcomings of beef, therefore they are not an obligatory part of the technology of its preparation. Now, when you know how to cook an incredibly soft and juicy beef, please note – for the sake of good health it is undesirable to use it more than twice a week.