A new column for meat lovers and more with advice, information and curiosities about meat from Samuele Cesarini of Masterchef 8!
Let's start talking about the quality of the meat and its characteristics.
How many of you happened to be offered a prized meat of excellent quality at the butcher's counter in the supermarket or in your trusted shop? A term the latter often and willingly abused in recent times to capture the attention of the consumer.
But what is really meant by "quality of the meat"?
It must be assumed that the quality of the meat always depends on a series of interrelated factors, starting with the feeding of the animal up to the correct processing to be carried out subsequently, on the craftsman's workbench; these components determine its appearance, color and smell, which are then the greatest indices of freshness.
In recent years, on the other hand, other characteristics have been added, such as the attention to healthy quality, the use of lean meats, the differentiation between red / white / black meats and the guarantee of origin, all elements that have contributed determining the consumer's choices more and more. Of course, the concept of quality for each of us is different: there are those who use a brand to determine the quality, while there are those who chooseon the advice received from their trusted craftsman.
Let's deepen what are the main indicators of freshness: let's take the example of beef, whether it is proposed in the form of minced meat, slices or steak, its color can be a bright red or at the most burgundy, these shades are given from the maturation index of the meat itself.
To recognize its quality and freshness, you can also take advantage of the use of smell: if the smell of beef is delicate and does not have pungent and unpleasant aspects, it can be considered good; if the smell is pungent and sour, the surface is slimy to the touch and sticky, it means that the meat has lost its freshness.
Let's take into consideration the lean parts: color may not be the only factor to refer to, because it also depends on the type of animal, its age, nutrition, slaughter and cut; thanks to all these factors it is possible to explain, for example, why the lean parts of fresh veal tend to a pink-brown color, but this does not mean that they are not good.
On the other hand, the lean parts of the beef have a gradation thatgoes from a bright red tone to a burgundy. The fat in fresh beef slices must be white or tending to cream (in some cases even straw yellow in color), the latter specifically for steaks. This always depends on the age of the animal and the maturation.
To avoid doubts, it is always advisable to contact professionals in the sector and shops of specialized artisans who can guarantee you greater competence in the field.