It goes without saying that meat is the basis of every meal when it comes to non-vegetarian meals. The wide variety of meat to choose from and the variety of techniques that can be used in preparing meat make it possible for chefs to create the most unique and delicious recipes that will knock you off your feet, but at the same time, this means that there are a lot of things that every chef should know about meat so that he or she is able to create something really amazing.
The first thing that every chef should know about meat is where to find good quality meat. If you already work in a restaurant, then you probably already have a supplier, but as a head chef, you certainly have some say in who you order your meat from. No matter whether you work in a restaurant or not, you should be aware of the best places where you can get meat. And don’t underestimate the importance of having an excellent and skilled butcher who can do exactly what you ask him to do.
Another thing that every chef should know about meat are all the types of meat that are available. And here, we are not only talking about a simple division into beef, poultry, pork, etc. A good chef should also know all about the grading systems, different parts of the animals and all the features that are important for preparing the meat. A good chef should know everything about how lean the meat is, how soft it is and how different ways of preparing the meat affect the final texture of the meat.
For example, poultry is probably less complicated to prepare, but this does not mean that there is nothing that you can do to ruin the meat. On the contrary, if not prepared carefully, chicken can be extremely dry and not very appealing. In order to avoid ruining the meat, a chef should always keep in mind the type of meat he is preparing and how different cooking techniques affect the meat in question. Generally, slow cooking over medium heat is one of the best ways to make the meat tender and juicy and the appropriate types of marinades are excellent tendering techniques for frying or grilling.
When it comes to making the meat tender, a chef should be familiar with all the techniques that are available and believe it or not, there are many of them that can be used. However, being aware of all the techniques is not enough because what makes a chef great is his ability to utilize those techniques in the best possible way in order to get great results.
And finally, the most important rule that every chef should stick to is that no matter whether you are in a hurry or not, in order to avoid ruining the meat, you should let it rest for a while before you cut it. If you cut it right away, all the wonderful juices will escape and the meat will be less tasty. However, if you let it sit, the juices will stay and make the meat juicer, tenderer and simply wonderful.