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 cooks 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
simmeredkept 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
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
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
Meat may be fried in deep fat, in an oven by
panfrying, or in a pan with a small amount of fat by