2018’s Top Beef Tips
If you’re looking to become more skilled in the kitchen this year, there’s no better place to start than the basics. Our top beef tips will help you on your home cooking quest and provide a thorough grounding in beef basics.
Understand your Cuts
Each beef cut has its own qualities and different cooking methods that will ensure the best end results for each.
A major factor that varies from cut to cut is tenderness. The amount of muscle in the cut influences how tender it is, and of course that depends on where it is taken from the cow. The more tender the cut prior to cooking, the quicker the cooking time.
If you’re looking to fry quickly, and enjoy beef on its own or in a stir fry, go for cuts like tenderloin, blade, sirloin or rib-eye. If you’re making a stew or a pie and will be cooking for a long time, you can go for the more economical cuts, like chuck or shin, as the longer cooking time will tenderise the beef. Learn more in parts one and two of our beef cuts guide.
Marbling is the amount of fat that runs through the cut of beef and will determine how moist and tender it is. This is because, during the cooking process, the fat melts and become flavoursome and juicy. Irish beef is predominantly grass-based, a diet that lends itself well to even marbling and excellent tasting, tender beef. Find out more about how Irish cattle is farmed and how it benefits flavour here.
Make a Marinade
In any recipe and with any beef cut, a simple marinade prior to cooking can work wonders in terms of tenderness and flavour. A simple rub using salt, pepper and olive oil will make a difference, however going that extra mile and adding herbs and spices in line with your recipe and leaving overnight will encourage truly mouth-watering meat. Check out some of our favourite marinades for your beef here.
Sear Before You Roast
To avoid a dry, overcooked joint that has the whole family reaching for the gravy, a great tip is to sear the outside in a very hot, lightly oiled pan before you roast. This will lock in the moisture, ensuring a tender end result and add a beautiful depth of flavour. Roasting? Check out more tips on preparing a rib of beef in this how-to video.
Rest After Cooking
Tricky for the impatient chef, but possibly the most important step on the list, resting should always be factored into cooking time. Again, this step is vital to locking in moisture and ensuring juicy meat when you do finally cut into it. Cover loosely with tin foil, wrapping too tightly will cause the meat to sweat and lose that all-important moisture, and wait for an optimum time of 10 – 20 minutes for a whole joint, or five minutes for a steak, before serving.