How do you like your steaks? Probably overcooked! What type of person are you? The one that stares at a medium-baked steak with disgust ( the one that is slightly pink in the middle) or the one that dies to eat it this way?
Actually, it doesn’t matter, because I am sure that after you read the post, you will at least give a chance to medium baked steaks.
What happens with the meat when you overcook it?
It becomes hard, doesn’t it? I am always astonished by people, who manage to ruin a steak in this way. It is a form of art, to turn a juicy, fatty, pork steak, into some kind of food that resembles a foot sole. Unfortunately, this is more like the norm, than an exception.
When you bake meat too much, it gets hard and dry, because the molecules of the fats and proteins “tangle” and bond together. This creates a tissue, which is pretty hard to be chewed, cut and digested. The worst thing is that in this process, the most valuable nutrients disappear- those that we actually eat for and those our body needs.
Too much baking, actually, robs the food out of nutrients, by creating chemical reactions between the nutrients, which on the other hand, form another type of chemical compounds, which are unknown for our body- i.e. it doesn’t understand their language; it doesn’t know what to do with them and until it finds a way to answer their presence and demands, they have already taken everything in their control and they are raging in our body, causing harm on our organs, vessels, hormonal balance and so forth.
When the meat is being cooked properly, then a big part of the nutrients are preserved. It turns out that cooking only improves the quality of the food and allows the body to absorb these nutrients.
It is no coincidence that most traditional recipes, that have reached us, require 4-6 hours of baking. In this process, the meat is being cooked slowly, without using its healthy and nutritious compounds.
I used to love cooking shows. There are some really good productions and there are chefs which have really soaked the wisdom of traditions and recipes, and everything they cook carries this wisdom. Good chefs take advantage of the variety and diversity of foods. They use everything from food, without throwing half of it.
The methods of cooking, also play a key role when it comes to if the food preserves its taste qualities and the available nutrients. Cooking methods, which should be used when cooking ( but which we often skip, in our rush to cook the food as fast as possible), contribute to keeping the moisture inside the meat, which on the other side allows for the water molecules to do their work.
What does that mean?
When this moisture is being heated, it creates conditions for hydrolytic “cutting”. When the temperature is moderate, the water molecules play the role of knifes, which carefully cut the proteins and manage to soften even the stringiest tissues. Besides that, water doesn’t allow nutrients to tangle together and form a consistency, which turns your juicy steak into a foot sole.
It is exactly this process, which makes food taste good or to be more precise this is the process which allows us to sense its taste. Taste buds are really small. The receptors, through which chemicals bond to them are also really small. That’s why the practices, which give taste to our food, should also be small.
For example, if you try raw meat, it want taste pretty good. If you cook it, the process of cooking, will help the release of the taste, which is “locked” in the meat, because the process mentioned above, aids in the cutting of proteins into small segments, which break down to amino acids, called peptides. It is exactly these peptides, which have the size which perfectly fits the size of our taste buds. When this happens, we manage to experience the real taste of food.
That is why it is really important to realize why cooking all parts of the steaks and meat is crucial- i.e. bones, skin, connective tissue and so forth.
If we prepare the meat on a low temperature, the process mentioned above, aids for the gradual release of nutrients from the connective tissue. Thus, we come to the point, where meat, bones and other cooked parts, release their minerals and molecules, which are extremely nutritious and which are the foundation of healthy bones.
In order to keep your joints healthy, you should know what their health depends on. The key factor for the health of joints is the health of collagen in our tendons and ligaments. Collagen is consisted from a family of bio- molecules and those that matter the most, among them, are glucosaminoglycans.
When you cook meat, without leaving aside bones, tendons, cartilage, you have a bone stock that contains all the nutrients, that represent the building blocks of your own bones. In other words, you give your bones the whole family of molecules it needs, as well as a good quantity of minerals.
The advantage of giving your body the nutrients it needs, through real food, and not through pills bought from the drug store, is in the fact that the whole package of nutrients in the food, aids in its digestion, absorption and proper use from your body.
The stock you get from cooking meat this way is something like a health elixir.
Glucosaminoglycans in the stock, stimulate the growth of a healthy collagen and they can even repair your joints. This makes your joints stronger and helps you move easier and pain free.
Besides that healthy collagen is not just in your joints. The truth is that it is everywhere- in your bones, skin, hair and arteries. If I haven’t convinced you yet, why healthy collagen is so important, think about the annoying cellulite, that you desperately want to get rid of. One of the reasons for “the orange skin” is exactly not enough healthy collagen.
Personally, I love eating cartilage, the bone ends and other similar stuff. Every time I see somebody, who eats a steak and leaves the cartilage and the skin, because they are “disgusting”, my heart skips a beat and my eyes tear up. The thing is that eating cartilage is good for your own cartilage. Eating meat organs is good for your own organs. Do you get what I mean?
And the best thing is that your DNA recognizes this. Your genes are used to getting nutrients from bone stocks, meat organs and the lack of these nutrients makes your body and health suffer.
Cooking is the method, which we might use in order to make our food healthier or exactly the opposite- make it worse. Everything is once again in our own hands and in the decision to cook using the wisdom of our ancestors, and the wisdom they’ve encoded in the recipes or just cheat in the cooking, just because we are in a rush to have some food on our plate, that will satisfy our physical hunger, in a short term aspect, but then it will leave our body starving in the long term! It is up to us!
P.S. And some more fun with Gordon Ramsay.