Flashcards in CONCEPT 14: GRIND MEAT AT HOME FOR MORE TENDER BURGERS Deck (52):
Is the size of ground meat pieces important? Why?
Yes, grinding the meat too fine will result in a dense, rubbery product. Grind meat too coarse will leave grisly bits in burgers that fall apart as they cook.
Why is it important to select the proper type of meat?
Because different cuts can vary greatly in flavor, levels of connective tissue and fat.
Is it possible to buy meats that were ground in-house?
Yes but many markets purchase bulk packages of ground beef from beef processing plants. Sometimes this is then reground and supplemented with meat scraps before packaging into smaller parcels.
Where does ground beef come from in the US? What does this mean for your beef variety?
There are about a dozen processing plants beef could come from. This means that preground beef can contain meat from hundreds of different cattle.
Why is grinding your own meat safer than store bought?
Because the act of grinding meat mixes what was once outside (including any bacterial contamination) with the inside (which is sterile), one cut of harmful bacteria can contaminate large amounts of ground meat.
What does grinding do to meat?
Reduces size of muscle fibers and connective tissue, making meat easier to chew and release sticky proteins, which help bind meat together.
What is a primal cut?
A primal cuts is a larger section of a carcass from which retail cuts are made.
TEST KITCHEN: Whether freshly ground beef makes more tender burgers.
Three burgers: store bought; ground to mimic the store's; ground moderately coarse. All cooked medium rare and smashed with a dutch oven. Store bought remained intact (no juices released), store sub spread a bit (no juices released), The looser, more coarsely ground flattened like a pancake spewing most of the interior all over.
One important variable in ground beef.
Texture of the grind.
Which cut has more fat and flavor, chuck or flap meat?
What will under and over-processed meats produce?
Under-processed meat will lead to grisly bits in the finished patties that don't hold together and over-processed meat becomes rubbery and dense as it cooks.
How long can extra patties be frozen?
Why are sirloin steak tips and boneless beef short ribs a could burger combo?
The sirloin has a great beefy flavor while the short ribs add an extra element of moisture.
What can you use in place of a meat grinder?
Food processor works just fine.
Why is it important to chill meat first?
15 to 20 minutes in the freezer ensures meat is evenly chopped, not smeared or pulverized.
How does collagen destroy hamburger meat?
As collagen proteins are heated past 140 degrees, they begin to squeeze meat, causing it to become rubbery. At this temperature, collagen begins to unravel, turning meat from tough to tender, but this process takes hours--far longer than the mere minutes burgers spend on the griddle.
How do you avoid the damage of collagen on a burger?
The more these proteins come in contact with each other, the more shrinkage and tightening will take place. The key is to keep it as loosely packed as possible; keep hands off and gently press it into your patties.
Should you keep the nooks and crannies? Why?
Yes, home-ground meat can contain a lot of these. This allows juices to bubble up through their porous surface and drip back down, basting the burgers as they cook. The finished result is juicy with a substantially crisp crust.
Should you add salt before grinding your meat up? Why?
When exposed to a strong concentration of salt, meat proteins will dissolve. While desirable in steaks and chops, it's unfavorable for ground meat, turning the dissolved meat protein into a sort of glue, binding the ground bits together very tightly to create a rubbery, almost sausage like texture.
When should you season burgers?
Aggressively right before cooking.
How should you cut your meat before grinding?
How many pulses does it usually take to chop 1/2 inch cubes into 1/16 inch pieces?
About 35 in a food processor.
How can you check meat to ensure the food processor left no long strands or gristle behind?
Gently spread it out over a sheet tray.
What cut of meat offers supremely beefy flavor without the sinew?
Sirloin steak tips.
How could you add moisture to a burger without incorporating another cut of meat?
Adding a straight fat like butter.
How does the butter help ground meat?
It solidifies after hitting the cold meat, creating pinhead-sized particles of fat strewn throughout the patties. The butter acts as lubrication and adds a little more moist, improving the burgers' flavor and juiciness.
How does butter help hamburgers create a better crust?
The dairy proteins and sugar (lactose) in the butter boost the browning on the burger's exterior
What's a good ratio of butter to meat?
2 tbsp per pound of meat.
How should you cook an oversized burger without a grill?
Create a nice crust in a hot skillet and finish in the oven's ambient heat to avoid any "gray band."
What is an important note with regard to the baking sheet?
It should be cold so the burgers don't overcook on the bottom. A cooling rack would also help them cook more evenly.
How many primal cuts are sold at the wholesale level?
Where are the retail cuts made?
Depends, sometimes at a meat-packing plant in the midwest or on-site.
Name the 8 primal cuts.
Chuck/shoulder, rib, short loin, sirloin, round, flank, plate, brisket/shank
Runs from the neck down to the 5th rib. There are 4 major muscle in this region and it tends to be fairly fatty. Also contains a fair amount of connective tissue and requires a long cooking time to become tender unless it's ground.
Extends along the back from rib 6 to 12. Prime rib comes from this area, as do rib-eye steaks. Rib cuts have an excellent beefy flavor and are quite tender.
Also called the loin and extends from the last rib back through the midsection of the animal to the hip area. It contains two major muscles--tenderloin and the shell.
Describe the tenderloin.
Tenderloin is extremely tender with a mild flavor; it's positioned right under the spine. May be sold as a whole roast or cut crosswise into filet mignon.
Describe the shell.
Much larger than the tenderloin with a more robust beef flavor and fat. Two steaks from the short loin area contain portions of both the tenderloin and shell muscles. These steaks are the T-bone and porterhouse.
Another name for strip steaks.
BRISKET/SHANK, PLATE AND FLANK
Moderately thick boneless cuts that run along the animals underside. Brisket is rather tough and contains a lot of connective tissue. Plate is rarely sold at the retail level and flank is a leaner cut that makes excellent steak when grilled.
What primal cut is used to make pastrami?
Roasts and steaks cut from the round are usually sold boneless and are quite lean/tough. Although people generally prefer cuts from other parts the top round can be roasted with some success.
Contains relatively inexpensive cuts that are sold as both steaks and roasts. Sirloin cuts are fairly lean and tough but can make a decent roast.
Most of the meat available to consumers is confined to what three grades?
Prime, Choice and Select.
Is grading strictly voluntary on the part of the meat packer?
If the meat is graded what will it bear?
A USDA stamp indicating the grade.
What do inspectors evaluate when grading meat?
Color, grain, surface texture, fat content and its distribution.
About how much graded beef is considered Prime?
Is the majority of graded beef, Choice?
Is most US beef raise on grain or grass?
What's the conventional wisdom behind grain-fed vs grass-fed beef?
Grain-fed is richer and fattier while grass-fed is leaner, chewy and more gamy.