CooksWares..Grilling part 4 ..very excellent!
Enjoy..Compliments of CooksWares http://www.cookswares.com[p]Grilling
Part Four - Cuts of Beef Used for Grilling [p]
[p]The past three weeks we have been discussing grilling. If you missed the prior discussions, you will find them on our site under discussions. The first three are as follows: [p]Part One - Understanding Heat, Grilling, and Barbecue
Part Two - Understanding Meat
Part Three - Grilling Technique Plus Rub Directory [p]This week we are discussing the cuts of beef used in grilling. [p]Grilling is a dry heat method of cooking in which the radiant heat coming from below constantly hits the food. Because the heat is constant and usually fairly intense, grilling is a rather quick method of cooking. Since grilling is (1) a dry heat method and also (2) quick, there is no time for the connective tissue in meat known as "collagen" to break down and gelatinize. For that reason, the meat used in grilling usually has little connective tissue. In other words, the cuts are naturally tender. Ground meat is used in grilling because the connective tissue, both the collagen and elastin, are mechanically tenderized by being ground up, one of the few ways to tenderize elastin. [p]Sections of a Steer
Other than ground beef, the cuts used most are steaks. Most steaks used in grilling come from the center area of a steer. The muscles of the front legs (known as the "shank") and shoulder (known as the "chuck") work hard and for that reason are fibrous and tough; and the muscles of the back legs and rump (known as the "round") also work hard and also are fibrous and tough. Meat from the front and rear is dark and flavorful, but not easily chewed. The muscle is dark due to an abundance of the protein myoglobin, which captures oxygen used when muscles work. [p]The central section of the steer is divided into five parts. The upper section, from front to hind, is divided into three parts: rib, loin, and sirloin. The lower section, from front to hind is divided into two: short plate and flank. [p]Cuts of Steak
Most of the steaks you are used to come from the upper three parts. The meat is primarily a steer's longissimus dorsi muscle. It runs from the steer's neck to its rump. Rib steaks, with or without the bone, come from the rib area. The rib steak with the bone and cap muscles removed is called a "delmonico" and also "rib eye" steak. A T-bone steak comes from the front part of the short loin. Porterhouse steaks come from rear part of the short loin. Sirloin steaks come from the sirloin part. [p]One of the few steaks that does not come from the central part of the steer is what is today called a "London broil." It comes from the round or rear of the steer. The muscle on the outer part of the steer's back leg is called the "bottom round;" the muscle on the inner part the "top round." The London broil cut is taken from the top round. [p]From front of steer to rear:
Rib steak: rib area. If boneless, delmonico or rib eye.
T-bone: front part of short loin
Porterhouse: rear part of short loin
Sirloin: sirloin area
London broil: top round [p]A porterhouse is a large steak, which contains two steaks. On one side of the bone, the larger portion, is the strip steak; on the other side is the tenderloin or fillet steak. The strip steak, often called "New York strip," is the outer muscle of the steer; the fillet is the inner muscle. Because the fillet is on the inside, it is worked little and is very tender. Using "fillet" in our description, we can say that the porterhouse steak is the last three or four steaks of the short loin region where the fillet portion gets large. The T-bone steak which comes from the front part of the short loin has a small portion of fillet steak on it. [p]Porterhouse: strip steak and fillet steak
Strip steak: outer muscle of rear short loin area
Fillet: inner muscle of rear short loin area [p]The tenderloin is the tenderest steak; it is also a very lean steak. A full tenderloin runs from the short loin section into the sirloin section. In the short loin section it is called a "short tenderloin;" in the sirloin section it is called the "butt tenderloin." This prized steak goes by a number of names: châteaubriand, tournedos, filet mignon, medallions, and tenderloin tips. [p]Tenderloin or fillet: the tenderest steak. Also called châteaubriand, tournedos, filet mignon, medallions, and tenderloin tips. [p]Two steaks come from the lower area of the central section of the cow. The skirt steak, a long narrow steak, comes from the plate and rib area. It runs along the last ribs of the steer; it is the steer's diaphram muscle. The flank steak comes from the flank. The muscle fibers of a skirt steak, called the "grain," run the width of the steak; the grain of the flank steak runs the length of the steak. [p]Lower area of steer from front to back:
Skirt steak: from plate and rib area; runs along last ribs
Flank steak: from flank area [p]We will have a photograph of a skirt steak next week. [p]Characteristics of the Steaks [p]Each can be marinated in soy sauce and garlic, and seasoned with a rub. An acidic fluid, such as Balsamic vinegar or wine, tenderizes by breaking down the connective tissue known as "collagen." [p]Rib steak: the steak most marbled with fat. It is tender, flavorful, and juicy for that reason. No need to marinate in olive oil; it has lots of its own fat.
T-bone steak: less marbling and less tender than a rib steak. Has a small portion of fillet. Can be marinated in both olive oil and an acidic fluid such as Balsamic vinegar.
Strip steak: tender and lean; can be marinated in both olive oil and an acidic fluid.
Fillet: lean but very tender. Can be marinated in olive oil because of lack of fat content. Do not marinate in an acidic fluid for any length of time; it could become mushy.
Porterhouse: a combination of strip and fillet. An awesome steak. Can be marinated in acidic fluid, but only for a short time because of the fillet; you do not want it to become mushy.
Sirloin: tougher than the above steaks. Helps to marinate in an acidic fluid.
Skirt steak: tougher than the above steaks but well marbled. Helps to marinate in an acidic fluid; cook only medium rare and slice against the grain. See Kimbra Martin's Skirt steak recipe.
Flank steak: tougher than the above steaks. Helps to marinate in an acidic fluid; cook only medium rare and slice against the grain. See Kimbra Martin's Gingered Beef with Vegetables recipe.
London broil: tougher than the above steaks. Helps to marinate in an acidic fluid; cook only medium rare and slice against the grain. [p]Blooming
One last note about steaks. When beef is first cut, it is purple in color. Within 10 minutes after exposure to air, the myoglobin protein will capture oxygen and the steak will turn a bright red. This is called "blooming." This initial oxidation of meat adds to its flavor; it is also a sign of freshness. After several days of exposure to oxygen, the myoglobin loses its ability to bind oxygen and the meat will turn brown. The meat is no longer fresh and will have lost some of its flavor components. [p]At some point in the future, I will discuss the aging of meat. The aging of meat is different from the phenomenon of blooming. [p]
"Our Expert Butchers" [p] [p]Next week and following: Greek Pasta by guest chef Ed Murray; then cuts of pork for grilling, French Bok Choy by Ed Murray, pizza on the grill, quick grilled ribs using a pressure cooker and grill, understanding vegetables for grilling, plus new recipes by Kimbra Martin. Also in the near future, due to e-club member request, we will do a feature on rotisserie cooking. So stay tuned!
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[ul][li]Grilling parts l, ll, and lll.