7. Don’t keep turning the steaks
To achieve even cooking and see those lovely grill strips across each steak, turn the steaks only once. Always use tongs, never a fork as puncturing the meat allows juices to escape.
8. Take your time and brown your meats first when cooking stews
The Maillard reaction is an important action when cooking stews that you want to taste great. When cooking stew always start by browning the meat in a skillet. What you are doing is allowing the Maillard reaction to occur. This reaction happens only when meat is cooked at a heat of over 115°C, which is when the meats natural amino acids start to react creating a melange of complex flavors. It is because of the Maillard reaction that crusted brown steak tastes so good.
So why is this important in stews? Well for the simple reason that if you cook your meats in a stew without first browning the meat then you’re reliant on the heat of the water to do all the cooking, which means the highest temperature the meat will reach will be 100°C; [the boiling temperature of water] meaning the Maillard reaction will not occur! Meaning your meat won’t be as tasty as might otherwise be.
So what should you do? Its simple: first cut your meat into cubes, season it; then heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan; then gently brown the meat on all sides over a medium heat. Do this in small batches. Never cook with an over filled pan and don’t turn up the heat to go more quickly; take it steady.
Stephen Kember is the Proprietor of The Outdoor Cooking Equipment Store. Here you’ll find exceptional value outdoor cooking equipment; you’ll also find some great recipes & articles helping you to cook outdoors.