Here Are The Tips You Need To Make Any Beef Dish + Delicious Recipes

These are the tips you need so every beef dish you make is a spectacular meal every time.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

We love beef. Whether it's a simple bistek recipe or a party-ready roast beef that you'll be serving to friends and family, beef is a delicious and hearty ingredient that can make any meal a memorable one. 

Not everyone knows how to cook beef right and there are many who make the mistake of thinking there is only one way to cook beef: boiled until it falls apart in its tenderness or cooked so fast that it's still raw in the middle. While these two methods can give you the result you want - tender beef - it's not the only way to cook beef. 

How do you cook beef properly? 

There are many tips and tricks you can use to make sure that your beef recipe is always flavorful and cooked right. Here are a few tips you should take note of when reading a beef recipe: 

This kansi recipe is a mashup of bulalo and sinigang.
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

1 If beef is simmered in broth, remember to skim the scum off the top. 

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The broth, or sabaw, the beef is simmered in will develop brown frothy mixtures floating on top. This will happen to most meats, too, not just beef. This scum may taste a little like liver and be grainy in texture when eaten, but it's nothing to be worried about if you don't remove it. What it is is just proteins from the beef that can look unappetizing since it will make your broth cloudy.

Bulalo is a fantastic example of beautifully simmered beef with the scum carefully and meticulously removed. That's why we say, take it off! Skim off as much as you can from the surface of the broth when it first simmers, and rest assured that you won't need to do it again later. You'll get a wonderfully clear soup to sip with your tender beef. 

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Aug 24, 2015

Photo by Patrick Martires

2 If it's a stew, dredge the beef pieces in flour before frying. 

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The thickened sauce of stews is not just because the liquids evaporated until thickened. Do this and you may end up with burnt stew instead of a saucy one! To get your stew to develop a thick sauce as it cooks, you need to do a crucial step. You may have noticed that many recipes call for you to lightly coat your beef cubes in flour in the very beginning of the cooking process. 

This step the light coating of flour is called dredging. This is done so that the beef will not only get a gorgeous brown color when it's been seared, the flour will also contribute to the eventual thickening of the sauce, creating a delicious and thick stew to spoon over rice. 

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3 When frying, use high heat. 

Not all beef dishes need to be cooked long and slow. Apart from stews and soups, other beef dishes include those that you can stir fry or simply fry. These are also the trickier recipes for those who love beef but don't like the notion of having to chew their beef too much just to get it down. 

There are many beef recipes that call for a quick fry over high heat. The best cuts of use for these recipes are those that are already a tender cut of beef cut small since it will be cooked very quickly over high heat. These small cuts of beef generally take seconds to cook on high heat, and it's important to keep an eye on these cuts since you can easily overcook it. 

When frying larger cuts of meat, such as steaks, you'll still need to keep a keen eye on these cuts, especially if you're particular about doneness. Sear it over high heat for that perfectly browned and crusty exterior that's packed with flavor.  

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Photo by Michael Angelo Chua

4 Whether prepping or eating, always slice against the grain. 

The thing with beef is that no matter what cut you prepare, there is a danger of making it tough. That's because of the grain. Imagine this: try eating a long piece of beef where you have to bite through strands. Then imagine eating the same long piece of beef, but only after it's been chopped to shorter strands.  

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That's how you know that the shorter strands of beef will be easier and more tender to eat than beef whose strands haven't been cut before you started chewing on it. Think how tender ground beef is when cooked and how fast it cooks, too. Both of these characteristics is because the strands that hold the beef strands together have been severed into tiny pieces already. 

To tell in which direction the strands or the grain of the beef goes, look closely at the cut of beef. Once you know in which direction it's going, slice through those strands to get the cut you need for your recipe. 

This principle applies as well as when you have a cooked piece of beef on your plate. Use your steak knife to slice through the grain and every bite will be tender, too. 

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Photo by Bianca Laxamana

5 Choose the right cut for the recipe, especially when substituting.  

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Even if you know all the right cooking tips for cooking beef properly, you still have to know what cut of beef is best for the recipe you will be doing. The easiest way to know the beef cut is to consult the recipe itself. A good recipe will always tell you what you need to know, in this case, what cut of beef you need. 

However, sometimes the cut of beef you need isn't available. What then? Your heart was set on the recipe but without the cut, it may not be done. Don't fret. This happens more often than most people know. What you can do is get a substitute cut of beef instead that will do just as well as the original. 

Consult your butcher. Tell him or her what you're cooking and they should be able to recommend an appropriate substitute if the cut is unavailable. Any good butcher will be able to help you in this way. If not, change butcher shops and find one who is knowledgeable. 

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Once you keep all of these tips in mind, there isn't a beef recipe you will not be able to make delicious. That's just one small step towards turning you into a better, more confident cook in the kitchen, too. 

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