Tips And Tricks In Cooking Hari Raya Haji Beef!
Hari Raya Haji, also known as Aidiladha or Hari Raya Korban, is an Islamic celebration that falls on the 10th day of Zulhijjah, the final month of the Islamic Calendar. During this celebration, Muslims will take part in the act of Qurban and distribute the meat among the community, prioritising those that are in need.
As the meat is distributed, families would cook up beef dishes such as rendang, bone soup, beef porridge and many more. While beef is the star ingredient of Hari Raya Haji cooking, sometimes it can be challenging to work with. So here are a few tips and tricks to ease up the cooking process and to achieve a yummy beef dish!
Tips On Preparing Meat
Defrost the meat
To defrost meat, immerse the meat in normal temperature water while it’s still in its bag. This will allow the meat to defrost slowly and evenly, ensuring that it maintains its texture and flavour. Avoid using hot water to defrost, as it can cook the meat and lead to uneven defrosting.
Soften up the meat
If you’ve cooked with your mom or grandma, surely you’ll be familiar with this trick. To soften up a tough cut of beef, such as a brisket or flank steak, you can soften it up by marinating it with a few cuts of raw papaya or baking soda. This can help break down the connective tissue in the meat, making it more tender and juicy. Be sure to marinate the meat for no more than 20 to 30 minutes, or else your meat will be too mushy!
Clean the meat
Cleaning meat is also an essential step in preparing it for cooking. One useful trick is to use a tablespoon of wheat flour to get rid of the meat smell. This will help absorb any unpleasant odours, leaving the meat fresh and clean. Afterwards, it’s important to wash the meat thoroughly to remove any remaining flour or other residues.
Cuts Of Meat
During Hari Raya Haji, random parts of the beef would be distributed equally to the community. Each cut has a different texture, flavour and cooking method. So here are descriptions of a few common cuts of beef, so you can be prepared for any cuts that you get!
The rib is a popular cut of meat that doesn’t require a long cooking time to get the meat tender. It’s a versatile cut that can be used in various soup dishes, including bone soup or beef soup. This cut of meat is known for its rich flavour and is perfect for dishes that require a bit of meatiness and a robust beef flavour.
The tenderloin, on the other hand, is a naturally tender cut of meat that is perfect for slow cooking methods like rendang, stew, curry, and smoked beef. Its texture is exceptionally soft, and it has a rich, delicate flavour that is perfect for showcasing the flavour of the spices and other ingredients in the dish.
The brisket is a cut of meat that requires more time to cook, but when done right, it can become incredibly tender and juicy. It’s commonly used to cook smoked beef, and its thickness makes it perfect for low and slow cooking methods like smoking or braising.
Finally, the sirloin is a cut of meat with a high amount of fat, making it soft and juicy. This cut of meat is commonly used to cook roasted beef, as the high fat content ensures that the meat stays tender and flavorful during cooking.
Cooking The Meat
Once you’ve received your share of the meat, it’s time to start cooking. Cooking meat can be a little intimidating, especially when you’re trying to get it just right. But with a little knowledge and practice, it can be easy to prepare delicious and tender meat dishes that are sure to impress your family and friends. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Braising is a common cooking method that involves simmering the meat in liquid on a high flame for an extended period. This slow cooking process breaks down the tough fibres in the meat and results in a tender and juicy texture. Traditionally, Hari Raya Haji meat is cooked in a huge pot over high heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Now with the advancement of technology, there is a quicker option to cook the meat. You could also cook the meat in just 15 minutes by using a pressure cooker. Just put the cuts of meat in the pressure cooker, set it to ‘saute mode’ and let it cook.
It is also best to use spices, sauces, salt, and sugar while cooking the meat to add delicious flavours.
Do keep an eye on the meat and stir it occasionally to ensure that it’s cooked evenly. You wouldn’t want to overcook or burn the meat. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to preparing delicious meat dishes that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Storing The Meat
Sometimes you’re not going to cook all of the meat you received in a day, and that’s okay. Thus, it is important to take note of the proper ways to store meat to prevent spoilage and bacteria growth. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to freezing meat.
Firstly, it’s important to avoid washing the meat before storing it in the freezer. This is because bacteria from the pipe water may inhibit the meat, causing it to spoil more quickly. Instead, simply pat the meat dry with a paper towel before wrapping it in plastic wrap or placing it in a freezer-safe bag.
Another tip for storing extra meat is to slice it into smaller cuts. This is especially helpful if you have a large piece of meat that won’t be used all at once. By slicing it into smaller portions, such as per 1KG or per cooking portion, you can ensure that the extra meat lasts longer in the freezer and is easy to thaw when you’re ready to cook it.
By following these simple tips, you can prepare meat more effectively and ensure that it’s safe and delicious for cooking. It’s also important to understand the different cuts of meat and their characteristics for a successful cooking. By knowing which cuts of meat are suitable for your recipe, you can achieve the perfect texture and flavour, resulting in a delicious and satisfying meal. Happy cooking!