Meat should be cooked according to the cut. The more expensive cuts of tender meat require very little cooking and can be fried, grilled or broiled to develop a rich flavor. The tough cuts of meat are juicier and contain excellent food value but must be cooked more slowly. Slow cooking in water softens the fibers and dissolves the connective tissues, making the meat tender. Tough meat should be cooked by simmering, stewing, steaming or pressure cooking. All meats can be tenderized to a certain extent by any of the following methods:-
1. Wrap the meat up in crushed papaya leaves. The juice from the papaya leaves contains an enzyme that will tenderize meats.
2. Chop or mince the meat to break up the fibers, thus tenderizing the meat.
3. Pound or beat the meat with a rolling pin to break up the connective tissues.
4. Cut or slice meat across the grain to shorten the fibers.
Heat coagulates protein, so if meat is cooked at a high temperature for a long time, the meat becomes tough and difficult to digest. Meat should be cooked at a high temperature for a few minutes to coagulate the outer surface and seal in the meat juices, then the heat should be reduced to cook the inside of the meat slowly. Cold water draws out the juice from the meat. Soups are tastier if the meat is cut into small pieces and soaked in cold water which is then slowly brought to the boil. The meat in stews is juicier and tasty if it is fried to cook the outside first and then stewed slowly in water until the meat is tender, a process which takes from 1½ to 2 hours.