Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cooking meat

One thing that has always caused me great anxiety was cooking a roast or any large chunk of meat in the oven. I never knew when it was done and I was not sure what to do with it after. I sure as heck did not know that I had to rest the meat for at least 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven so that it can relax and settle down before cutting it up.

For me though, the biggest question was always - when is the meat ready? How do I know it is done without having to cut it up?

I was taught at one point to stick a sharp small knife (like a paring knife) into it and if the juice ran clear, it was cooked. This, of course, was all well and good if you wanted your meat medium to well done, but certainly not medium rare.

Well, since going to cooking class and taking the lesson on meat, I have learned a few things - like that whole resting the meat thing.

Turns out I don't need to cut up the meat to check it, I can just stick a thermometer into it - a meat thermometer to be exact. Fun times! I just stick it into the centre of the meat (without touching the roasting pan) and then read the temp. Easy peasy! and shopping for a meat thermometer was fun too. There are so many kinds to choose from.

Basically, I discovered that pork is done at 70 degrees C, and chicken or any other type of poultry is at 75 degrees C.

For other meats - beef, veal, lamb steaks and roasts, here's the range:
  • Rare - 52 degrees C
  • Medium rare - 55 degrees C
  • Medium - 58 degrees C
  • Medium well - 62 degrees C
  • Well done - serve them a sausage ... okay, no, so anything above 70 degrees C, but really ....

Stick a fork in me, I'm done!

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