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For The Carnivorous Latinos!

Getting to know your meats

By Chef Elly Pendekar, Spicy Cilantro
Published on LatinoLA: October 25, 2012


For The Carnivorous Latinos!


Growing up in a large family my parents always managed to have meat several times a week we either raised it or they would purchase the cheap cuts of meat or innards and cooked the heck out them until they melted in you mouth. Lengua (Beef tongue) one of my favorites. Here's a brief description of what Latinos cook in their kitchens.

Chicken

The type of meat that seems to be popular among the widest variety of diners. Chicken is commonly found in a number of popular dishes from Mexican restaurants around the world. You can find chicken in appetizers like nachos and quesadillas, and main courses such as tostadas, burritos, and tacos.

Machaca

This type of shredded beef is another popular meat found in many favorite Mexican dishes. Spices and chiles are used to give the beef its distinctly delicious flavor. Machaca can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! It's also a popular choice for salads, burritos, and enchiladas.

Carne Asada

Beef is served in many forms in Mexican cuisine. Carne asada is grilled beef that is thinly-sliced and marinated to accentuate the exquisite flavors. It is commonly found in tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. It is also a popular dish when served on its own with rice and beans.

A brief description of various beef cuts and cooking methods:

Beef is muscle tissue. The first thing that must be understood is that frequently used muscles are tougher and generally require long, slow, moist heat cooking methods to loosen their connective tissue, while lesser used muscles are tender and need dry heat methods. Moist heat cooking methods for beef include braising, boiling and stewing. Dry heat methods include sautéing, grilling, roasting, and broiling.

The chuck, brisket, round and shank are the most exercised muscles and hence, the toughest. A pot roast can be made from chuck via braising, (cooking the meat in a small amount of liquid for an extended period of time). Chuck is also useful for stew meat, making soup stock.

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