Saturday, 10 March 2012

How to Make Bad Meat Taste Good

Good meat: That which you lack
Pic courtesy of Yes really.

Old/ slightly funky looking meat
          Use your common sense here. If it's completely festerous or you have a terrible immune system, don't mess around, throw it out. Otherwise, be aware that cooking the hell out of things makes them safe to eat.
    • Straddling sell-by date: Something with strong flavours
      • Marinade in something strong tasting (eg lemon juice) and stir fry thoroughly (example here)
      • Marinate in oil, ginger, garlic and chilli and curry it (best if you're scared of the flavour being a bit rancid)- example curry recipe here
    • Pretty funky looking: Make a pie
      1. Scrape bad looking bits off.  Cut up small, season it and fry until you're sure it's really thoroughly cooked
      2. It'll now be dry as anything, so put it in a pie dish (or pyrex bowl) and make a sauce to go on top. For example, an onion sauce for chicken: chop up 1 onion very finely, fry, add 1 tbsp flour, slowly add milk and keep blending until all the lumps are out and it's reasonably thick. Mix in with the fried meat
      3. Make some short pastry for a pie crust (half as much butter as flour in a blender or rubbed in with fingers, then add 1 egg) and lay on top
      4. Brush with a beaten egg (or just milk) to give your pie a healthy looking crust
      5. Bake on a high heat until the sauce is bubbling and the pie crust is firm

Tough cuts of meat eg. diced stewing beef
    • Put on a chopping board. Cover the whole thing in cling film. Put on floor (not a counter, you will probably break it) and bash the living daylights out of it with a rolling pin until it's soft
    • Tough cuts like stewing beef want stewing. If you've got the time, put it in a casserole dish with chopped onions, carrots and potatoes and cook on a low heat for several hours

Dry meat eg. Turkey, any bird breasts, steak with no fat on it/no marbling
    • If worried about dry meat when roasting a bird
      • Cut a lemon in half, put both bits inside the bird while it cooks
      • Rub butter on its skin, especially breast area- Especially good if you can get it underneath the skin
    • If cooking turkey, most tasteless of all the birds
      • Use a yoghurt marinade- just yoghurt, your turkey bits and whatever flavourings you want in a plastic bag in the fridge for a couple of hours (ideally overnight)
    • If rescuing completely dried out meat
      • Make a gravy out of all the juices that have escaped while cooking- reduce what's left in your pan (just keep cooking it to get the water out) then add a splash of red wine and some salt and pepper. Mix a tablespoon of cornflour with a tablespoon of water in a separate bowl, and mix in slowly when the pan's off the heat. Add it slowly and don't use it all- judge how thick you want the gravy to be. If you're a bit sparse on meat juices, cut up an onion really finely, fry, add the meat juices to that and then do the other steps

Frozen meat
    • Defrost SLOWLY in either a microwave on defrost setting or by putting it in a zip-lock bag and leaving it in a bowl of warm water
      • Never cook straight from frozen, especially don't fry it- you risk having a tough outside and chilly interior
    • Be aware that freezing meat makes it tougher. Consider treating it as if it was a tough cut (see above) and either tenderising, stewing, or both.


  1. 'bash the living daylights out of it with a rolling pin' ^^

  2. dicks dicks dicks

  3. "cooking the hell out of things makes them safe to eat" :D

    My father likes to tell of how really tender meat in the "Old Days (Tm)" you had to wipe off its outside from bad smelling juices (and possibly accompanying mold) with a towel - which in turn reminds me of Shogun, where a pheasant that is hung by its neck in a rope was said to be ripe and tender enough when it falls off from the rope by itself. :)

    1. This is absolutely correct. That's why country houses used to have game larders. If you try to eat game 'fresh' it will be uber tough & tasteless. A decent bit of decomp though .... When it's about to walk out of the room by itself - it's ready to eat. Yummie!

  4. Making a bad ting good. Mrs Mills


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