What makes Beef tender?
Cuts from parts of the animal that have done the hard work of moving the animal (shoulders and rump) are tougher than cuts in the middle that are well supported with ribs (Sirloins, Prime Rib, Tenderloins). The amount of fat, intra-muscular, visible marbling and connective tissue, all contribute to the level of tenderness. To help make the tougher cuts more tender for a pleasing palatability, one must tenderize, either Chemically or Mechanically before the all important cooking takes place.
So what is the best chemical tenderizer on the market? It’s SALT!
Salting your steaks for one hour before cooking them will cause a miraculous transformation! From chewy and tough, to tender and juicy. Not just any salt will do - a coarse sea salt or kosher salt works best. Coarse salt helps to break down the proteins and muscle fibres in the meat, resulting in maximum tenderness. Other ways to introduce tenderness can also be through the use of marinades. Marinades always have an acidic component that does the work - eg. citrus, vinegar, wine. Be careful not to over-marinade grass finished beef because it can make the meat lose its awesome texture.
Commercially blade-tenderized (also known as “mechanically tenderized” or “needled”) meat has been passed through a machine that punctures it with small, sharp blades or needles to break up the connective tissue and muscle fibres with the aim of making a potentially chewy cut more palatable (or an already tender cut more so). You can also do this at home with a meat tenderizer, meat mallet, or meat pounder. There are several on the market that needle or pound slabs of meat in preparation for cooking. Mitchell Bros. Beef is not mechanically tenderized prior to packaging. We recommend home tenderizing so you can assure your tenderizer is sterile.