|Good meat: That which you lack|
Pic courtesy of wellhungmeat.com. Yes really.
Old/ slightly funky looking meat
Use your common sense here. If it's completely festerous or you have a terrible immune system, don't mess around, throw it out. Otherwise, be aware that cooking the hell out of things makes them safe to eat.
- Pretty funky looking: Make a pie
- Scrape bad looking bits off. Cut up small, season it and fry until you're sure it's really thoroughly cooked
- It'll now be dry as anything, so put it in a pie dish (or pyrex bowl) and make a sauce to go on top. For example, an onion sauce for chicken: chop up 1 onion very finely, fry, add 1 tbsp flour, slowly add milk and keep blending until all the lumps are out and it's reasonably thick. Mix in with the fried meat
- Make some short pastry for a pie crust (half as much butter as flour in a blender or rubbed in with fingers, then add 1 egg) and lay on top
- Brush with a beaten egg (or just milk) to give your pie a healthy looking crust
- Bake on a high heat until the sauce is bubbling and the pie crust is firm
- Put on a chopping board. Cover the whole thing in cling film. Put on floor (not a counter, you will probably break it) and bash the living daylights out of it with a rolling pin until it's soft
- Tough cuts like stewing beef want stewing. If you've got the time, put it in a casserole dish with chopped onions, carrots and potatoes and cook on a low heat for several hours
Dry meat eg. Turkey, any bird breasts, steak with no fat on it/no marbling
- If worried about dry meat when roasting a bird
- Cut a lemon in half, put both bits inside the bird while it cooks
- Rub butter on its skin, especially breast area- Especially good if you can get it underneath the skin
- If cooking turkey, most tasteless of all the birds
- Use a yoghurt marinade- just yoghurt, your turkey bits and whatever flavourings you want in a plastic bag in the fridge for a couple of hours (ideally overnight)
- If rescuing completely dried out meat
- Make a gravy out of all the juices that have escaped while cooking- reduce what's left in your pan (just keep cooking it to get the water out) then add a splash of red wine and some salt and pepper. Mix a tablespoon of cornflour with a tablespoon of water in a separate bowl, and mix in slowly when the pan's off the heat. Add it slowly and don't use it all- judge how thick you want the gravy to be. If you're a bit sparse on meat juices, cut up an onion really finely, fry, add the meat juices to that and then do the other steps
- Defrost SLOWLY in either a microwave on defrost setting or by putting it in a zip-lock bag and leaving it in a bowl of warm water
- Never cook straight from frozen, especially don't fry it- you risk having a tough outside and chilly interior
- Be aware that freezing meat makes it tougher. Consider treating it as if it was a tough cut (see above) and either tenderising, stewing, or both.