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I think an explanation could be that in countries with little cold conservation, the meat is consumed immediately after being killed and in that case it can't be cooked rare. In particular cow meat needs a few days (some butcher wait as far as a month) for the meat to become tender. But I may be wrong and have prejudiced ideas.
Actually, you're quite correct. Beef requires some bit of aging to become tender. However, you can still cook it rare when freshly slaughtered...it just wont be as good. It's not going to be as good generally anyhow though.
I mean, there's a reason why dry aged beef is so much more expensive than regular beef (which itself is aged for some days/weeks already). At least here in the US its rare to see a freshly slaughtered steer butchered and sold so immediately. typically most butchers will age it in a refrigerator for a short time before butting it for sale.
Yeah the aging really effects the price. Cheap wallmart steak is aged for only a few days. Fancy restaraunt steak has probably been aged for 10 days or more.
I am hunter, and enjoy being a little self sufficient. I do everything from field to table myself too, including the butchering. When conditions are good, I usually age venison 3-5 days. Without specific controlled environment its hard to get the right conditions much more than that. Many say the big old bucks are the worse tasting but a younger deer is much more tender. I can say the biggest buck I ever shot, aged about a week, was some of the best tasting and tender venison I have ever had. Many factors contribute to this, but aging is a big one.
As for cooking, medium rare usually, for whole meat steaks & roasts. General speaking the higher the doneness the less healthy it is for you in terms of nutrients and toxicity. Of course the flipside is cooking it enough to kill bacteria and stuff like that - but alot of that has to do with the cleanliness of the butchering and how the meat has been handled, and generally it doesnt take much to cook the bacteria (most of which is just on the surface anyhow). By doing it all myself I am very aware of everything the meat has been through, and I have yet to get sick off it that I am aware of.
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