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Cooking Beef - How to Cook Beef Perfectly Every Time
The most important step to remember when cooking beef, how to cook beef perfectly every time is first to choose the correct cut of beef for the dish that you are preparing.
For casserole or stewed beef, my favourite are the cuts from the Leg. For roast beef; Sirloin, Rump or Rib.
Whichever way you are cooking beef, you must first sear it. This means to place the meat on a very hot surface (griddle or hot frying pan) and sear the outside to seal in the meat juices.
Prime Rib of Beef
How to Cook Beef Perfectly Every Time
Cook the meat on very high for a couple of minutes on each side. No longer, as you will undo the benefits. A very quick flash fry seals in the juices, leaving it longer will cause the juices to bubble up and escape.
With a roast joint turn it until the complete outside is sealed. In the case of cubed meat for stewing, keep stirring until all sides have taken a little colour.
Beef Casserole or Stew
After searing the meat, add beef stock enough to cover all the meat plus an inch or so above. Salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then cover and cook on medium to low heat for about two hours.
The longer you cook beef, and lower the heat, the more tender and tasty your beef will be. In the case of casserole, after covering, in place of turning down the heat, move your covered dish to the oven. Again a low heat, and cooked slowly, will produce the best results.
This is how to cook beef with no flavourings, to be used as a base for whatever dish you choose to make. You can add other ingredients during the cooking process, such as vegetables added to your casserole, which I would add about an hour before finishing cooking, potatoes later still.
If you are making a dish which has a thick sauce, as in curry, your best bet is to make the sauce separately. Especially with curry sauce which needs to stand several hours, preferably overnight for the spices to blend.
Once your sauce is ready, you add your beautifully cooked beef and stir over low heat for about 20 minutes until the meat absorbs the flavours.
You can use the stock which you cooked the beef in, as part of your sauce while you are preparing it.
Here are some of my favourite ways of cooking Beef:
A couple of suggestions for delicious, impressive beef dishes for dinner parties are stroganoff or bourguignon.
For this you will need:
Lean beef cut into strips (fillet or sirloin is good for this) 200 g per person
Button mushrooms, 2-3 per person
one large onion, chopped
two cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
one pint beef stock
approx 150 ml tomato paste or sauce
350 ml unsweetened cream
a little flour, olive oil, salt and pepper.
In a large skillet or frying pan, add a little extra virgin olive oil heat until very very hot, like a griddle. Add the strips of meat and sear quickly, as explained above. Once seared all over, remove the meat from the pan and reserve.
Into the remainder of oil and meat juices, add your chopped onions and garlic, and cook until softened and lightly golden.
Return the meat to the pan and toss well with these ingredients, continuing to cook for a few minutes, whilst adding salt and pepper and stirring well.
Add mushrooms, either whole or halved depending on their size, stir in and leave to cook a couple of minutes while you get a couple of dessertspoons of flour, in a sieve, and sprinkle over everything in the pan, stir well very quickly into everything else and cook for another minute, stirring all the time. This will avoid any raw flour taste.
Next add your tomato paste, stir everything really well, add some beef stock and stir again. (Add your stock little by little, as you see you need it. Too much will make your sauce too watery) Bring back to the boil, stirring all the time, then lower heat and cook gently until the sauce thickens. Add more stock if necessary. Simmer slowly, add a knob of butter which will add to the glossy look of the sauce, add about ¾ of your cream and continue to stir and cook slowly until everything is mixed smoothly.
You are now ready to serve. Stroganoff is traditionally served with rice, or tagliatelle.
If you're serving an individual dish, make a bed with your rice or pasta, add your delicious stroganoff in the middle, and drizzle over the top a little of your remaining cream, making a swirling design across the surface.
In serving dishes I would put the stroganoff separately to its rice or pasta. Still serve the dish of stroganoff with a drizzle of cream across the top.
Stewing beef, cut into cubes
1 carrot cut into half-inch pieces
1 onion, cut in chunks of half inch
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
about 20 shallots or small onions
1 lb small button mushrooms, quartered if large.
half a bottle of red wine, full-bodied
1 pint beef stock
Try to use a casserole dish which can be used on the top burner.
For this recipe you can use meat fat (lard) bacon fat or oil.
I like to use a little bacon fat, and extra virgin olive oil.
Heat your fat in your dish on a high flame, until almost smoking and sear your meat on all sides. Remove the meat and reserve.
Add your onions, both kinds, and garlic and carrot, along with a bayleaf. Toss all this in the meat juices, and cook until they start to turn lightly golden.
Return the meat to the pan, stir everything together.
Once everything is mixed well and sizzling, sprinkle the flour, salt and pepper, over everything and mix well. Cook on medium heat for five minutes stirring continuously.
Add your tomato paste, continuing to stir until everything is mixed well.
Pour over your red wine, and bring back to the boil. Add about half a pint beef stock, stir and boil again.
Cover the dish and place in a medium heat oven .
Cook slowly for 3 to 4 hours, add your mushrooms after two hours. Test the meat after 2 1/2 hours and every 20 minutes or so after that. The meat should separate easily with a fork when done.
Serve with potatoes or rice (or pasta if you wish) decorate with a sprig of parsley
Cook beef perfectly every time by searing it first on a burner in it's roasting tin, then transfer it directly to the oven. If you're using a Pyrex roasting dish, then sear on griddle or in a pan, then transfer to a hot Pyrex, straight into the oven.
For roasting, depending on the fattiness of your meat, you may need some fat or oil. If your joint has fat around the outside, or marbled through the middle, don't use fat at all.
At best just rub the outside of the joint with a little oil.
Roast in a medium heat oven for approximately one hour, depending on the size and how well you want it cooked.
If you're using a meat thermometer, medium rare beef will show 135° approximately when ready.
Once cooked to your taste, remove from the oven, and from the roasting dish. Cover with a cloth or loose fitting tinfoil, and let it 'rest' for 10 to 15 minutes before starting to carve.
Use any juices remaining in the roasting dish as a base for your gravy.
There are those who would tell us that eating red meat is not good. There are however lots of reasons why we should eat it.
Many claims have been made that if our ancestors hadn't eaten red meats, our brains would not be as well developed as they are.
As well as the obvious protein, red meat contains several vital minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium.
Vitamin B12 is only obtained from animal sources, and is abundant in beef. B12 is crucial to our blood and nervous system.
The carnitine content in red meat is helpful to the heart.
Beef and lamb fats are rich in linoleic and palmiotelic acids, helpful in fighting viruses, and against cancer.
So go ahead and enjoy your beef!