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Beef, It's What's For Dinner
Marinades and rubs often help enhance–not mask–the delicious ﬂavor of Harris Ranch beef. But what’s the difference between the two? Marinades are seasoned liquid mixtures that add ﬂavor and in some cases help tenderize beef. A tenderizing marinade must contain an acidic ingredient (lemon juice, yogurt, wine, vinegar) or a natural tenderizing enzyme found in fresh papaya, ginger, pineapple and ﬁgs. A rub is a blend of seasonings, such as fresh or dried herbs and spices, used to ﬂavor the surface of uncooked meats. Paste-type rubs often contain some oil, crushed garlic or mustard.
Commonly used with thin beef cuts, such as steaks, a marinade is a seasoned liquid that adds flavor and in some cases increases tenderness. Successful marinating matches the marinade type and marinating time to the beef cut.
Tender beef cuts are marinated only to add flavor and therefore need short marinade times – 15 minutes to 2 hours. Less acidic marinade ingredients are used since their tenderizing effects are not required.
Less tender beef cuts, such as chuck, round, flank and skirt, benefit from a marinade with tenderizing ingredients (food acids or enzymes) and a longer marinating time of 6 to 24 hours.
Acidic marinade ingredients include citrus juices, vinegar, vinaigrettes, salsa, yogurt and wine.
Fresh ginger, pineapple, papaya, kiwi and figs contain natural tenderizing enzymes.
Tenderizing marinades penetrate only about 1/4 inch into the surface of the beef.
Beef marinated for longer than 24 hours may develop a mushy texture.
Use a food-safe plastic bag, non-reactive glass or stainless steel container for marinating.
Always marinate in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
Turn steaks or stir beef strips occasionally to allow even exposure to the marinade.
Never save and reuse a marinade.
Reserve some marinade before adding it to raw beef to use for basting or as a sauce.
Never use marinade that has come into contact with raw beef for basting or as a sauce without first bringing it to a full rolling boil and boiling for at least one minute.
To cook beef using a charcoal grill, light the briquettes 30 minutes in advance. Begin grilling when coals are covered with a light ash and are no longer flaming. Coals too hot can cause beef to overcook on the outside before the interior reaches the desired doneness.
Determine doneness of steaks by making a small slit near the bone. For boneless cuts, make a slit near the center. Turn with tongs or a spatula; do not use a fork, which pierces the beef allowing flavorful juices to escape.
Medium Rare: Center is very pink and slightly brown toward the exterior. (145° F)
Doneness can also be determined by placing meat thermometer in center of the steak or roast, waiting a few seconds, then reading the temperature.
Today's beef is younger, leaner, and trimmed closer for less fat.
Choose one of beef's skinniest SIX cuts, trim the fat, and eat small portions more often.
Porterhouse steaks and T-bone steaks contain portions of the top loin and tenderloin, two skinny-six beef cuts. Divide these steaks into two or more servings for light eaters.
Plan on 4 ounces of uncooked beef for every 3-ounce cooked portion served. Visualize 3 ounces as the size of a deck of cards.
Today's beef requires today's cookery methods: Trim the fat, cook it hot, and cook it fast
Stir-fry beef with vegetables for a quick, nutritious entree.
Broil, barbecue, or roast on a rack to allow fat to drip away
Serve beef "au jus" and skim off all fat.
Marinate with spices, wine, lemon, or tomato juice, instead of oil.
Cook soups, stews, chili, and spaghetti sauce a day before and refrigerate. Skim off any fat hardened at the surface before re-heating.
Bacteria are killed with thorough cooking, use internal temperatures:
Wash hands, utensils and cooking areas with hot soapy water after contact with raw meat and meat patties. Never place cooked meat on a platter that previously held raw meat.
Place meat and other perishable products in the refrigerator/freezer immediately upon return from the store.
Consume only pasteurized milk, milk products, and apple juice.
Carefully wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
Practice proper personal hygiene by washing hands carefully with soap and warm water.