Collagen Fibers @ meat

pressurecooked

Chronicling a meal of milk and honey spare ribs at the Osteria dei Cacciatori in Albaretto della Torre, the way to cook meat is slow, or is it. That is one of the questions to ask yourself when deciding on a cooking method.

In case you intend to braise foods, it is best to color them by searing. By drying the surface in the searing process, you can impart a process where slow cooking via braising will release the aromas and flavors at lower temperatures below boiling. So often chefs will release the water from the meat by using low temperatures prior to searing the meat. Some Chinese chefs marinate the meat or seafood in an alkaline marinate to raise the foods “ph”, such as egg whites or baking sodas. But if you intend to brine a meat, make sure to add sugar to the mixture because the salt draws out the sugars.

I begin to understand the importance of technique, time and temperature in cooking, not to ignore pressure. The meat pictured above was cooked under pressure, not for a longtime but enough to loosen the fibers and collagen in the meat.

It is important to note, muscle fibers best cook at temperatures below 60 C because a smaller number of the collagen fibers are shortened. When you cook above 60C the meat fibers contract and the meat’s juices are released. It is very simple, think about it, the fibers are plentiful and have cross link bonds. The older the animal the more the cross links, the younger the fewer. So when you add heat to the mixture the fibers contract and expand releasing the meat’s very juices.

In the pressure cooker, the meats juices are captured and later add flavor to the dish. The meat above is a fine-grained cut of meat and it loosens very easily whereas harder and coarse cuts require a longer curve for tenderness.