Food

How do you make marinating cuts of beef more tender? Pierce them!

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Food

How do you make marinating cuts of beef more tender? Pierce them!

By: Canadian Living
I have had the pleasure of speaking with Joyce Parslow, Home Economist at Canada Beef, on multiple occasions and let me tell you -- this lady knows her stuff. I'm not sure anyone is as knowledgeable as she is about how to cook beef for maximum flavour and tenderness, while also being up-to-date on all the most recent scientific data on food safety and nutrition. If I were going to trust anyone about how to cook my steak, it would be Joyce. flank steak One of the most important things I've learned from Joyce is the importance of piercing all your marinating cuts before marinating, a step I often used to skip. I think I believed that the meat might get dry if I poked a bunch of holes in it. I also wasn't sure it would help the marinade penetrate the meat any better, anyway. Well, Joyce set me right, because piercing is not about letting the marinade penetrate. The act of piercing tenderizes the meat. pierce flank In fact, you don't have to marinate a cut like flank steak at all, if you don't want. Prick a steak all over with a fork (on both sides) and refrigerate for at least four hours without a thing on it and compare that to a steak that hasn't been pierced and you'll definitely notice the difference. There's something magical that happens to the fibres of the meat when you pierce a marinating cut and then let it rest for 4 hours, or up to 24 hours, in the fridge. You won't be able to perceive the holes at all once it's cooked, but the difference in tenderness is remarkable. One word of warning: Don't pierce a steak while it's cooking or the juices will run out and your steak will end up being much drier. Photography: Annabelle Waugh
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How do you make marinating cuts of beef more tender? Pierce them!

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