After seeing the New York Times article by the same name, I thought it was a good time to talk temperature.
The USDA recently lowered its safe cooking temperature for pork to 145 degrees, along with similar guidelines for whole cuts of beef and lamb. Of course, we at Pasture Prime Family Farm in addition to most cookbook authors and respected chefs have long known this.
These regulators finally realized that a fine piece of meat overcooked becomes dry, tough and tasteless and much of its nutrient value can be lost. Apparently, these folks don’t cook much.
So to celebrate the new wisdom coming from our government agencies, we will be giving away a top rated Thermapen Digital Instant Read Thermometer to one of you lucky subscribers! Watch for the Contest coming up in our next newsletter!
We love it when our customers ask us for cooking advice so they can have the “ultimate” experience preparing our sustainably raised, hormone & antibiotic free meats. While we gave you some initial details in our previous Butcher Shop Blog we think you are all ready for the Advanced Course now.
Here are some of the top tips to consider;
CUT SELECTION – remember that the parts of the animals that move the most will require the longest and slowest cooking i.e. shoulders & legs. However, these bring great rewards with deep flavor and melt in your mouth texture when cooked properly
BONE IN – when applicable always choose your cuts with bone-in, as the bone renders great flavor and nutrients (as indicated by the current trend toward bone broth)
FAT – those cuts with increase fat will always hold more moisture during cooking (FAT is a topic that we will cover in-depth in an upcoming blog…you might read The Big Fat Surprise for some real eye-opening information)
ROOM TEMPERATURE – always begin cooking with meats @ room temperature. Remove from refrigeration at least 30 minutes ahead for small/thin cuts and 1 hour or more for thicker meats. Of course, frozen meats must be thawed in the refrigerator and then brought to room temp, as all recipes work from this principle.
BOBBY FLAY Celebrity Chef says we all “Underseason.” As you can’t season the inside of your meats you must be aggressive with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on the outside. This serves 2 purposes; helps to create formation of a gorgeous crust and ensures optimum flavor.
SOME LIKE IT HOT – especially Wagyu. Hot & Fast is our battle cry. Don’t be afraid of a searing hot cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet. Be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point (grapeseed, peanut, & almond are the highest). Of course FAST won’t work for those cuts that require slow cooking or braising as mentioned above in Cut Selection.
TEMPERATURE – upscale chefs can tell you when meat is done by touch, but for the rest of us it is much trickier. In order to be sure your meat is the perfect stage of doneness – use a reliable meat thermometer. I am sure you have all encountered meat with a great crust, but the temperature is only 100. Not to worry, simply remove from stove top and pop in a 400 oven for a few minutes (approximately 5-8 minutes) until you reach your target temp. (This is a major reason to use a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet).
REST – no…not time for a nap!! When your meat is done (stop at least 10 degrees before desired temperature is reached, as the meat will continue to cook off heat.) 5-10 minutes is usually good for thin cuts and 10-15 for thicker cuts & up to 30 minutes for a turkey or large roast this enables the juices to redistribute and not run out all over your cutting board…Remember, finding your perfect cooking temperature is somewhat similar to determining your sleep number. Once you find it, all is right with the world!
Check out our newest item; Berkshire Baby Back Ribs…
……and visit us soon at the Brownwood Farmers Market in The Villages, FL. every Saturday from 9-2 or in our online Store
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
There is really nothing to compare with the speed or dependability of the Thermapen…so watch for our upcoming contest.