and tougher to chew than a steak cooked rare.
III/II - 4 (of 9)
Tenderizing the inside without loosing juices: Long low temperature cooking:
So in order to keep meat moist, juicy and tender it should be cooked at temperatures no hotter than 65
C (at which temperature strong coagulation occurs), which takes a very long time. However, cooking
at this temperature has various drawbacks:
1) Temperatures of approximately 70°C need to be reached in order for all the bacteria in meat
that can cause human disease to be destroyed. Usually, if the piece of meat being cooked is
whole, this is less of a problem, because the bacteria will only be located to the surface of the
meat, and temperatures are highest on the meats surface during cooking. However, for
minced meat, the risk is greater, and dishes based with minced meat should be well cooked to
at least 70°C throughout.
2) As mentioned above, many tough cuts of meat contain large amounts of the tough molecule
collagen. The collagen in the elastic tissues will start to dissolve and from gelatine when the
meat is cooked to above 70°C. After collagen break down, the muscle fibres are much more
easily torn apart while chewing, and the meat will appear tender. Also, the meat needs to be
heated for a long time at this temperature in order to dissolve all the collagen.
3) The Maillard reactions responsible to many of the desired flavours and smells of cooked meat
do not start to occur until temperatures over 50°C are reached. The Maillard reaction involves
a large number of reactions between the amino acids from denatured proteins with the sugars
also present in meat. Molecules are rearranged, and new molecules are formed. These
reactions can produce many different new molecules - meat contains about 20 different amino
acids, and several different sugars, so the number of possible combinations is immense. The
new molecules formed can either break down to form yet more new compounds, or react
further with each other to produce other molecules, or even react with other meat components
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