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Thread: Ideas for Non-Yummy Meat? page

  1. #1
    SuBee's Avatar
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    Ideas for Non-Yummy Meat?

    Hi all,

    I bought some grass-fed pork and, while some was delicious, the ham slices are just not tasty. They are tough as well.

    Now, when I got liverwurst that tasted too much like liver, I discovered the wonders of mustard, and it's quite edible that way. I'm hoping there's some way to rescue this meat!

    Does anyone have some recipe or seasoning suggestions for tough, icky pork (besides giving it to a friend with a dog--this stuff was expensive!)

  2. #2
    E.Allen's Avatar
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    Slow cook? That's the main way I deal with tough cuts of meat. Throw the sucker into some wonderfully, heavily seasoned broth and let the stuff cook on low heat for a few hours.

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    Lily Marie's Avatar
    Lily Marie is offline Senior Member
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    I recently bought Liverwurst for the first time - after trying chicken liver and not being able to stomach it. The Liverwurst still had that "too irony, liver" taste. It did somewhat remind me of the "cheap" ground meat that you find in the canned chili.

    I made the chili recipe from the PB cookbook. Instead of using 2lbs of bison, I mixed 1lbs of bison and 1lbs of liverwurst together, before cooking. It turned out very good.

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    StarryEyedSarahJ's Avatar
    StarryEyedSarahJ is offline Junior Member
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    I like cheap cuts of pork in the slow cooker. I usually add ground mustard, thyme and pure maple. I know some people don't allow maple syrup but I don't get much sugar in my diet so I feel that it's ok once in awhile.
    Wag more, bark less.

  5. #5
    PokeyBug's Avatar
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    I agree with SarahJ and EAllen, the slow cooker is always your friend with tough meat. If the taste is still not right to you, at least that will take care of the toughness, and you can always discover the joys of mustard again!

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    SuBee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas! I think if the slow cooker doesn't work, I might try grinding the rest of it in the food processor. I've also got a piece soaking in milk and water--found that recommendation for venison, don't know if it will help the pork.

    I haven't quite figured out the difference between meat cuts that get more tender in the slow cooker and meat that gets tougher when overcooked by any method. Chuck roast and picnic roast seems to do well with long, slow cooking; chicken seems to have more of a point of no return.

  7. #7
    Doddibot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuBee View Post
    I haven't quite figured out the difference between meat cuts that get more tender in the slow cooker and meat that gets tougher when overcooked by any method. Chuck roast and picnic roast seems to do well with long, slow cooking; chicken seems to have more of a point of no return.
    The difference is the collagen content. But first, all meat (even the 'slow-cooked' cuts) start to get dry and tough at about 50C (lower for fish), and especially so at 65C, because the muscle fibres start to coagulate and squeeze out the moisture. Hence the horror that is a well-done steak.

    But, cuts like shoulder, chuck, shanks, cheek, tongue (and especially trotters and ears) have lots of collagen. Collagen starts to turn into gelatin at about 70C, so meat cooked above (or preferably just at) this temperature for a long time will develop a nice succulence which can compensate for the dryness of overcooking. But aside from the feet and skin, chicken doesn't really have lots of collagen. Though thighs and drumsticks have more than the breast (which has hardly any). So there's no benefit here.

    Note that a free-ranging chicken will have much more connective tissue in its legs, due to it actually spending its days running around foraging, so you could slow-cook chicken drumsticks or thigh meat if you wanted to use chicken in a stew or pot-roast.
    "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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    SuBee's Avatar
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    Thank you, Doddibot. You'd think an entire adulthood of reading Cook's Illustrated would have caused me to remember some of that information, but apparently not.

    Just an update for the adoring fans: The soaking in milk did the trick. Soaked it about 24 hours in half milk, half water, and cooked it plain. Still tough, but much tastier. I sliced it very thinly against the grain as you would with flank steak and it was good.

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