Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

« Previous Post | Daily Dish Home | Next Post »

Test Kitchen video tips: Defining the grain in meats

April 19, 2012 |  3:00 pm

Often, you'll see a recipe say something like, "Slice thinly against the grain." So, what does this mean? And why should you do it?

The "grain" refers to the flow of the muscle fibers in a cut of meat. Like wood, the fibers tend to go in a single direction. Slicing a cut of meat "against the grain" refers to slicing strips crosswise -- through the grain itself -- whether you're slicing a steak or a roast. Slicing "with the grain" would be to slice following the lines of the muscle fibers.

Muscle fibers can be tough, difficult to chew and digest. Slicing against the grain helps to tenderize the meat by shortening those fibers. You may not notice this that much with a soft muscle, like a tenderloin, but this can mean all the difference when you're slicing through a tougher cut of meat like a skirt or a flank steak or a roast, and it can even save an overdone piece of meat (slice the meat thinly against the grain, and moisten with a sauce or gravy before serving).

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

ALSO:

Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen

134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes

Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

-- Noelle Carter
twitter/noellecarter

Video credit: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times

Comments 

Advertisement










Video