MEAT

The How & Why
Lust2016-76

MEAT

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CATTLE, PIG, SHEEP

…meat, is the flesh of animals used for food – yes, I know this sounds SO bad, but it still tastes delicious!

Meat is generally a bright red colour when we buy it (this is due to a pigment in meat muscle grabbing onto oxygen in the air and changing it from a purple red colour to a BRIGHT RED colour when exposed to OXYGEN)

Pork contains less of the pigment than beef so will be a lighter colour

When meat is a brownish colour it just means that it has been exposed to oxygen for a longer period of time, this also happens faster when meat is under fluorescent lighting.

 

BEEF

There are different carcasses of beef classified according to age & sex of the animal,

STEER – a male castrated before maturity (this is a better quality because it has more meat than bone)

HEIFER – young female that hasn’t had a calf (this is considered the same quality as a steer)

COW – female that has had a calf

STAG – a male castrated after maturity

BULL – mature male that has not been castrated (used in processed meat)

 

VEAL

This is the meat from immature bovines (at least 3-20 weeks old)

 

LAMB & MUTTON

LAMB – is from young animals less than 12 months old

MUTTON – older than a lamb, it also has a darker flesh colour, is less tender and has a stronger flavour when older than 2 years of age.

 

PORK

Good quality pork is found in young swine’s between 7 and 12 months old.


Pork and Lamb are generally young animals and therefore are tender, but the quality of a CARCASS can vary! Let’s look at the characteristics of GOOD QUALITY CARCASSES:

BEEF – The colour of the lean meat will be bright red in colour after a few minutes exposed to oxygen, it will be fine grained and smooth to the touch with the fat being firm. Poorer quality carcasses will be a darker red colour and have satiny surfaces when cut; the fat will be oily and soft.

The backbone wild be soft, red and spongy with a lot of cartilage. With a poorer quality the bones will be white, hard and brittle with little or no cartilage.

VEAL – Good quality will show a grayish-pink flesh colour, with a fine grain and be smooth to the touch. The bones will be red, soft and spongy with lots of cartilage. Poorer quality will be very pale or dark in colour with little or no fat.

LAMB – Good quality is pinkish-red in colour, fine grain and smooth to the touch. The fat is firm, flaky and brittle. The bones are soft, red and spongy with cartilage. Poor quality will be darker in colour, heavier fat layers and a stronger flavour.

PORK – Good quality will be greyish-pink in colour and fine grained. The fat will be firm but not brittle. The bones will be soft, spongy and red.

…each carcass of meat is then cut up into smaller cuts, to better understand I like to see it, here’s a great breakdown…

Veal
veal

Beef

beef

Pork

pork

Lamb

lamb

Now that we know where the cuts come from we have to know how to cook them

HERE’S A GUIDE TO COOKING DIFFERENT MEAT CUTS using my favourite method of cooking…

ROASTING – this is when you place meat on a rack in an open pan and cook it by dry heat of an oven

Sufficient browning for a good flavour and appearance occurs at a LOW CONSTANT temperature (163°C and 177°C), but every cut roasts for a different amount of time depending on how you like it.

A high temperature at the beginning does not seal in the juices, it only browns the meat!

Beef

CUT WIGHT in GRAMS (g) OVEN TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) INTERIOR END TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) APROXIAMATE COOKING TIME (per 450g)
Rib roast, bone in 2250-2700 163 63 (medium rare) 23-25 min
71 (medium) 27-30 min
77 (well done) 32-34 min (if boneless add an extra 5-8 min per 450g)
Rump roast 1125-1800 163 63 (medium rare) 30-35 min
71 (medium) 35-40 min
Tenderloin, whole half 1800-2700 218 63 (medium rare) 45-60 min
71 (medium) 34-45 min

Veal

CUT WIGHT in GRAMS (g) OVEN TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) INTERIOR END TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) APROXIAMATE COOKING TIME (per 450g)
Rib roast 1800-2250 163 71 (medium) 25-27 min
77 (well done) 29-31 min
Loin 1350-1800 163 71 (medium) 34-36 min
77 (well done) 38-40 min

Pork

CUT WIGHT in GRAMS (g) OVEN TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) INTERIOR END TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) APROXIAMATE COOKING TIME (per 450g)
Loin roast 900-2250 176 71 (medium) 20-30 min
Tenderloin 225-675 218 71 (medium 20-30 min
Whole leg 5400-7200 176 71 (medium) 22-26 min

Lamb

CUT WIGHT in GRAMS (g) OVEN TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) INTERIOR END TEMPERATURE in Degrees Celsius (°C) APROXIAMATE COOKING TIME (per 450g)
Leg, bone-in 2250-3150 163 63 (medium rare) 20-25 min
71 (medium) 25-30 min
77 (well done) 30-35 min
Leg, boneless rolled 1800-3150 163 63 (medium rare) 25-30 min
71 (medium) 30-35 min
77 (well done) 35-40 min
Shoulder roast or half leg shank 1350-1800 163 63 (medium rare) 30-35 min
71 (medium) 40-45 min
77 (well done) 45-50 min
Hope this helps!

 

(Header Photograph taken by Adel Ferreira)

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Megan Potgieter
megan@mykitchendirt.com

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