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Preferred  Thawing  Method
Mess Management Specialist 1 & C - Military manual for maintaining a mess hall
Dry Heat Cooking Methods
Preformed  beef  patties  with  soy,  100  percent hamburger patties, grill steak pork chops, and beef patties require tempering before cooking. To temper meat, remove from freezer and place under refrigeration for a period of time sufficient to help ease separation and handling of the frozen product. Internal  temperature  of  the  food  should  be approximately  26°F  to  28°F.  The  additional  time required to cook meats completely done while frozen ties up the cook’s time, as well as grill space. Grill steak should  never  be  completely  thawed  before  grilling. Once  thawed,  the  steaks  will  be  dry  and  tough.  Some styles may also fall apart. Liver should be partially thawed to ensure a moist and palatable product and to provide slices that are uniform  and  attractive  in  appearance.  If  liver  appears greenish after grilling, it is not spoiled. The method used to cook meat is determined by the kind of meat and the tenderness of the cut. Tender cuts require a dry heat method. However, tough cuts require moist heat and long, slow cooking. MOIST HEAT COOKING METHODS Moist heat refers to cooking with added liquid or steam.  Moist  heat  methods  include  braising,  simmering, and stewing. These methods are used to cook less tender cuts  of  meat. Stewing  and  Simmering One method of moist heat cooking is stewing. It is the  method  used  in  preparing  the  least  tender  cuts  of meat. Small pieces of meat cooked in water are said to be stewed; large pieces are said to be  simmered In each case,   the   meat   is   covered   with   water   and simmered—kept just below the boiling temperature. It is never boiled. Boiling the meat for the length of time required to tenderize it will dissolve the connective tissue  completely  and  the  meat  will  fall  apart  and become  stringy  and  dry. Vegetables may or may not be added to the stew. If they  are  added,  they  should  be  cooked  to  the  “just tender” point and should still retain their color, shape, and flavor after they are cooked. The gravy should be light and smooth and have the same flavor as the meat. The meat is dredged in seasoned flour and browned in a  small  amount  of  fat.  Stews  are  made  in  a steam-jacketed  kettle  that  has  a  hinged  lid.  The  stew should be held at the simmering temperature until the meat is done, usually about 2 hours. Meat cooked in liquid is tender and juicy and holds its shape when sliced.  Usually  the  steam-jacketed  kettle  is  used  so  that the meat can be completely submerged in the liquid at all  times. Braising Braising is used to prepare tough cuts of meat. Check the Armed Forces Recipe Service (AFRS) for those cuts of meat that should be braised. To braise, meat is browned in a small amount of added fat, then covered and cooked slowly in the juices from the meat or in a small amount of liquid that is added. The liquid may be water, stock, vegetable juices, thin sauces, or a combination of these liquids. Just enough liquid to start the natural juices in the meat should be used. Only a small amount of liquid should be added at a time as the color and appearance of both the meat and gravy are better if the liquid is kept to a minimum. Pot roast and Swiss steak are cooked using this method of moist heat cooking. Flavor is improved by dredging the pieces of meat in seasoned flour, then browning  them  in  a  small  amount  of  fat,  or  by marinating the meat in a well-seasoned mixture of vinegar,  vegetables,  and  spices  (such  as  sauerbraten). Browning  the  meat  develops  flavor  and  aroma,  and  a rich brown color is typical of well-prepared braised dishes. After  the  meat  has  been  browned,  the  temperature is  reduced,  and  cooking  is  continued  at  a  low temperature so that the liquid will not boil. Braising may be done in the oven, on top of the range in a deep pot or in the steam-jacketed kettle. Whichever method is used, the container should be tightly covered. The aim of braising is to produce a piece of meat that is evenly browned  on  the  exterior,  tender,  juicy,  and  evenly cooked throughout, with no stringiness. Meat cuts that are  braised  are  always  cooked  to  the  well-done  stage. The term boiled that is applied to such dishes as New England boiled dinner is actually in conflict with good meat cookery principles. Boiling meats for long periods dissolves the connective tissue, causing the meat to separate. The meat becomes dry, stringy, and tough, making it impossible to carve uniform, thin slices from large cuts. Frying Meat  may  be  fried  in  deep  fat,  in  an  oven  by panfrying, or in a pan with a small amount of fat by sautéeing. 6-8

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