I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a master at overcooking meat. Unlike many of my kitchen mishaps, this particular problem isn’t due to lack of skill or inability to multitask. I am terrified of making someone (or myself) sick by serving them undercooked meat. This means I tend to overcompensate and we eat a lot of burned and/or extremely tough, barely-chewable meat in my house.
I’ve been taking extra caution lately, trying SO HARD to cook my meat just perfectly. I’ve made several chicken dishes now with chicken so tender I can’t believe I was the one to prepare it. Despite my improvements in poultry, there’s still…
UGH, beef. If I wasn’t thinking of my husband (you’re welcome, husband), I would cook my beef so long it becomes jerky. All you people who like rare or medium-rare, or hell, even medium doneness in your beef: you crazy! I want my “red meat” to be as non-red as it gets.
But I know that in cooking, nothing about overcooked beef is appealing. So damn it, I’ll get better at this!
The other night for dinner, I chose a recipe for copycat PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef. It called for sliced flank steak, but I opted for pre-cut stir fry meat. In either case, I was about to fry little pieces of beef in hot oil. This is pretty much a guarantee we’ll be chewing leather at dinner.
I don’t have a method to “not overcooking” other than to take the pan off the burner the very second I’d normally give the meat just a couple more minutes…to be on the safe side. Guys, this is so difficult for me. If only you could feel my internal struggle.
But last night, that’s exactly what I did. And THANK FREAKING GOODNESS, because the meat was cooked so wonderfully. It was soft, but not red and bloody. It was just a little bit crispy on the outside from the cornstarch, but not tough and dry on the inside.
I don’t often get to say this in the kitchen, so here goes: Nailed it!!!
I also added broccoli to mine, which wasn’t in the recipe. I have no regrets.
If you have any good tips on how to NOT overcook meat, please share! You’ll be my hero.