How To Carve Meat Against The Grain
June 29th, 2010
Ever wondered why some meats taste fibrous and stringy, whilst others are succulent and moist? This can have a lot to do with how you prepare your meat before cooking.
For instance if you cut along the grain i.e. in the same direction as the string-fibres of the muscle; then these fibres will remain untouched, whole and ultimately difficult to chew.
However, take the time to utilise your carving knife and slice ‘against’ or ‘across’ the grain as it is sometimes known, and you can essentially save your teeth the work of chewing through these fibres as your knife will have done all the hard work for you.
To achieve the best slices, especially thinner cuts, make sure that 1) you have sharpened your knife against steel and 2) that you angle the blade at a 45-degree angle into the meat. Alternatively, if you would prefer a thicker slice, remember to make the angle of the blade deeper.
TIP: no matter the quality/standard of your meat, if your blade is not sharp enough, it will weaken the texture, leanness and flavour of your meat.
To sharpen your knife, place the tip of the steel firmly into a chopping board. Next take your knife and at angle of 15-20 degrees, gently stroke the blade down the steel twice on each side.
What about excess fat?
To achieve this, remember to use the following cutting strategies:
- Using a sharp knife and metal tongs, position your meat on a chopping board (insert the fork tongs 5-6cm away from the edge of the meat for a better result)
- Once you have got a firm grip, slice long strokes into the meat and remove the fat
- For the best results, cut small pieces into the fat instead of large
- Note: It is important to let your knife do the work and to not apply too much pressure as this will influence the smoothness of the cut
- Whilst fat is easier to spot before cooking, this outer layer of fat often helps to protect the meat whilst it cooks, preventing moisture loss. For this reason it is sometimes best to wait until after it has been cooked to remove the fat. However, if you are dealing with steaks it is best to remove this fat before you cook as this fat has got a tendency to curl which can stop your steaks from lying flat and cooking evenly.
One Response to “How To Carve Meat Against The Grain”
Leave a Reply