|Posted by Bee & John on January 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM|
What is t his entry all about? Meat! If you are a vegetarian... you can stop here, think good thoughts and move on to a cake recipe.
If your meat knowledge is is even slightly above average, you might get a yawn out of this too. I am talking here to those of use that think of meat and go "yeah, I know meat, it's that red stuff right?"
I was tlaking to John the other day (it's been known to happen) and I was talking about meat, and he said something quite interesting.... he was talking about the different amount of time different types of meat take to cook in a casserole.
It's shameful really... I had no idea. I know I might be excused a little if you knew my fabulous Johnny Butcher boy has been in my life for only 6 wonderful years.... but if you knew not only my Father was a butcher, but my MOTHER was one too!!!??
So - for those of you amoung us who consider meat names just decoration rather than explainations - here are some Johnny Boy tips. The good thing when you read this though, is - you only need to read for interest and then ask your Butcher for advice!! They are a font of knowledge and will know all of this!
When we think of minced meat a few things come to mind - even to me! And that is caution. Be cautious about where you get your mince from, reputible butchers are the go. Or (so easy in Thermomix World) mince your own! Why?
The smaller the particle of meat, the more surface area and therefore the quicker it will start to go off. Mince should be used as soon as is practicable, certainly no longer than 24 hours after mincing. Some of the less reputable Butcher shops (cheap meat shops don't always mean cheaper versions of meat... sometimes it means cheaper qualities of practices) will put preservatives into your mince. To avoid this go to a good butcher shop or mince your own! You have a Thermomix - you HAVE the technology! Doing your own is cheaper and fresher and, most of the time, a better mix of meat.
It is a fallacy that mincing good quality meat will make a better mince. Once you get any meat particles that small... they're tender! Where the GOOD and BAD mince titles should come into it is where there is freshness issues or percentages of fat in your mix.
Fat in MInce? - ok, it is advisable not to have fat pouring out of your rissoles when you are cooking them or pooling on top of your casserole - but mince SHOULD have a little fat - it is what keeps it moist and gives it some flavour. What percentage of fat that should be is up to your preference and your recipe. Burgers and meatballs on the Barbie (the cooking implement, not the doll) should be a little fattier than steamed meatballs in the Thermomix while you are steaming rice - or you'll get fatty rice. Bolognaise sauce will taste better with a little fat in it. Little being the operative word here though.
MINCING YOUR OWN MEAT
If you use Chuck Beef or Chicken thighs - both great for mince - you need to partially freeze before mincing. This is because they are both fibrous. Not that that matters in a mince, just that the fibres will get tangled around your blade. But mince them partially frozen and you'll mince them like they are butter!
Good combinations of mince - for depth of flavour and variety....