The Know-How of Meat Cookery PDF Print E-mail



      Everybody goes for meat in any way it is served on the table. It is highly prized for its nutritive value as well as flavor. However, meat is one of the most expensive items in our food budget. It is important that we learn how to prepare it properly to guard against waste at every steps - from butcher’s block to the serving platter.

         Some foods can be enjoyed either raw or cooked, but with meat, you really don’t have a choice. Today, health authorities discourage the consumption of raw meat in any form. Cooking meats renders them safe to eat, as well as more palatable and easier to digest. There are only two methods of meat cookery - moist-heat cookery and dry-heat cookery. Moist-heat cookery of meat includes those procedures in which the meat is heated in water in a covered utensil or in a wrap as the meat proteins coagulate or solubilize. Stewing and braising are the common moist-heat methods of cookery. Stewing is boiling or simmering slowly in large amounts of water as in sinigang, nilaga, kare-kare and putsero while braising is cooking meat in a small amount of water whether added and/or extracted from vegetables with which the meat is cooked or from meat itself. Adobo and sarciado are the common Philippine recipes that are examples of braising. In dry-heat cookery, the meat is cooked without added water. Meat cookery in oil is a dry method of cookery since this involves no addition of water. Broiling (inihaw), roasting, pan-broiling and pan-frying are examples of dry-heat cookery.

        The question, then, is how to cook these foods for maximum flavor, tenderness and digestibility while keeping fat to minimum. Listed below are simple guidelines you can follow:

         Cooking meat successfully demands careful timing and temperature control. On the other hand, heat softens connective tissue, making meat tender. But a very high temperature or an excessively long cooking time will harden the protein, rendering the meat tough. High heat also causes moisture loss, resulting in dry meat.

         Meats need slow cooking at low temperature. Slow cooking at low temperature renders the meat more tender, juicier and flavorful.

         Know where various cuts of meat come from. It will help you choose the right cooking method for each cut. In general, tender cuts are best when cooked by dry heat such as roasting, broiling, pan-broiling and frying. On the other hand, less-tender cuts are made tender by cooking with moist heat, as braising and stewing.

(I.N. Garcia)




1 pork pata (front leg, 1.5-2 kilos)

1 kilo beef

3 tablespoons cooking oil

6 cups water

2 tablespoons atsuete seeds

1 medium onion, sliced tomatoes

3 cloves minced garlic

4 long pieces sampaloc

1 medium onion, sliced

1 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup bagoong alamang

1 big gabi tuber, pared and quartered

1/3 cup ground peanuts

1 small bundle sitaw, cut up

1/3 cup ground toasted rice

1 small bundle sitaw, cut up

2 pieces eggplant, sliced

kangkong leaves

1 small bundle sitaw, cut up

1 small radish, pared and sliced

1 small puso ng saging sliced

salt, patis



      Clean pata and cut up in big chunks. Boil in enough water until tender, reserving broth. Discard bones and set aside meat.

      Heat oil and add atsuete seeds, stirring until the color comes; discard seeds and saute garlic and onion. Add bagoong, ground peanuts and rice. Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Add meat. Just before serving, add vegetables and cook until done. Serve with bagoong guisado and sliced green mango. 6 servings.

       Boil beef in 6 cups water and onion until tender. Meanwhile, extract juice of sampaloc by boiling it in 1 1/2 cups water, until soft and mushy. Strain and add to meat. Add onion and tomatoes. Season with salt and patis. Add gabi and continue simmering until cooked. Add sitaw, kangkong leaves and radish. Simmer 10 minutes longer until vegetables are done. 4-6 servings.


1 medium pig’s leg (pata), cleaned and cut into serving portions

1 stem oregano

1/4 cup mashed tahure

1/2 cup vinegar

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon peppercorn

3 tablespoons toyo

2 pieces bay leaf (laurel)

2 cups water

PROCEDURE:   Soak pig’s leg for one hour in all the ingredients mixed together. Put the mixture in casserole and bring to a boil. Simmer until pig’s leg is tender. Remove herbs. Serve in a platter with gravy. 6 servings.


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  Updated  July 2015
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