Storing meat

Storing meat

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

As a general rule, the larger the piece of meat and the less surface area it has for its size, the longer it will store. Minced (ground) meat, sausage and variety meats should be cooked within 24 hours of purchase. Diced meat should be used within 48 hours, steaks and chops within 2–4 days, and roasts within 3–5 days. The bacteria which cause the surface of meat to become slimy thrive in the absence of air, so meat should never be stored tightly wrapped in plastic. Unwrap it, put it on a plate, cover loosely with foil or baking paper and store in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

To freeze meat: Freeze it as quickly as possible. If you want to pack several pieces together, wrap them individually in foil or freezer wrap and freeze in a single layer first. It is practical to prepare meat ready for cooking by trimming or cutting it up before freezing. Small cuts or diced meat can be stewed or casseroled from frozen, and thin pieces can be fried or grilled (broiled) from frozen; but larger pieces will be overdone on the outside before the inside is fully cooked, so first thaw these completely. It is better to thaw meat in the refrigerator than at room temperature as less juices are lost. Allow 5–6 hours for steak and chops, 6 hours per 500 g for large pieces.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

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