Rich or Lean, now that’s a Fat choice!
While the ever-evolving dialogue around ‘Fat’ intake keeps the researchers on their toes – we’re serving some tidbits on how to cook different meat cuts (rich or lean) for your next goat or lamb recipe. So, bring out your chef’s cap, a scribble pad, and get ready to take down notes on how to cook your meat to perfection.
First things first, let’s address the pivotal question: what is the difference between rich cut and lean cut? The difference is quite literally in the presence of fat. Some cuts of lamb and goat have more fat than others, which can easily be tackled by simply trimming it off to make it lean. Well, the more appropriate comparison would be between Saturated fat and Trans fat, because here’s where the choice matters. Meat has received a bad rep over the years because of the fat content, though meat only has saturated fats that are less harmful than their notorious cousin- trans fat which is naturally present in some foods in small amounts. But most trans fats are made from oils through a food processing method known as partial hydrogenation. The meat of the matter is that saturated fat present in meat is not the villain, on the contrary, it may as well be the hero of your next meal.
Now that we’ve straightened out the facts, let’s tackle the one valid dilemma – which tastes better, rich or lean cuts? The answer to that question lies in the recipe at hand and of course, your choice.
Let’s take rich cuts of meat for example – when cooking a flavourful goat curry, you’re looking for maximum flavour and enticing textures. Here’s when rich cuts of meat will do the trick because fat helps in absorbing the spices, herbs, and other ingredients to create an aromatic, flavourful, and textured base for the gravy. On the other hand, lean cuts are going to result in an equally delicious gravy but much lighter, and some might even say healthier.
Now, there’s a great deal of science involved in cooking all kinds of cuts. For instance, when it says to let it rest for 15 minutes, you let it rest for neither a minute less nor a minute more. As they say, the devil is in the details. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while cooking meat.
More heat, more flavour
When searing or pan-frying rich meat, preheat the pan so that the fat added starts to shimmer and is almost smoking. This process is called browning that creates a blast of flavours and forms a thick crust. It’s also important to completely dry your meat before adding it to the pan because moisture is not ideal for the browning process.
Less on the pan, more on the plate
It’s not the best idea to overcrowd the pan. There should be enough space between each piece, otherwise, the meat tends to steam rather than brown. You may choose a bigger pan or cook all the pieces in small batches. Patience is key when cooking meat.
When it comes to larger cuts of meat, preserve the moisture by cooking on low heat for a longer time. This helps the meat cook evenly without over-cooking the outer layers. Not only does the meat cook evenly with the low-and-slow cooking method, but it also helps in retaining the flavourful juices (and fat).
Rest It Well
At last, the dish is ready, or is it? It is important to let your meat rest after cooking so that the juices that get accumulated at the centre gradually start spreading to the rest of the meat. So, give the meat some time to pack in all those flavours, and the result will be glorious.
Before we move on, take note that rich meat cooks best with the low-and-slow method as fat takes time to breakdown, and low heat helps in bringing out all the flavours and avoids over-cooking. Meanwhile, lean meat can be easily cooked quickly over high heat as it doesn’t take too long to cook evenly. The longer you cook the meat the more crust it forms. So make a judgement call and cook your meat the way you’d prefer it.
It’s time to go from theory to practice – read on to get detailed recipes of some of our favourite lamb and goat dishes.
Be it rasam rice or your favourite dal tadka, Mutton Sukka is a timeless classic that goes well with most things if not all. While there are many ways of cooking a delectable Mutton Sukka, we recommend using our Lean Lamb Curry Cut for best results.
This surprisingly easy mutton dish is no less than a novelty. It’s so simple that you can whip it up any day without a fuss. Go for our Goat Ribs & Chops for this recipe. They’re lean cuts and will have lesser moisture content. The idea is to bring out the flavours and cooking it evenly across the meat.
Synonymous to celebrations, festivities, and getting together with family and friends, here’s a mutton dish that is bound to make your day. We recommend using our Lamb Leg Boneless for this traditional recipe and going for a low-and-slow cooking technique.
When it comes to traditional Indian flavours, this iconic dish comes to mind immediately. To brighten up every occasion with rich taste and texture, here’s an easy recipe for Laal Maas. While cooking, keep in mind the cut you’re dealing with. If you go with rich cuts of goat, make sure you add a little less water since the fat will melt and add to the gravy. Meanwhile, if you’re choosing lean cuts you can add water as usual since the moisture will be at its minimum.
Kerala Mutton Stew
Nothing beats a rich Mutton Stew when it comes to a king-sized breakfast. One bowlful of this delicious meal and there’s nothing you can’t achieve that day. So, let’s gear up for a breakfast special recipe. For this recipe, you can choose either goat or lamb, in rich or lean cuts. Both work perfectly well.
Oh yes, we did save the best for last. This Mutton Biryani recipe is as delicious as it is easy. So bring out your pressure cooker because we’re about to drop the ultimate biryani recipe that can be cooked in less than an hour. We’ve used our Rich Goat Curry Cut for this recipe.
Treat these as basic guidelines at best, and experiment with different cuts to get delicious results. At Licious, we believe that you should trust your instincts because as scientific as it seems, cooking is an art that is personal to everyone. It’s good to know the science behind it, to know the rules, but the fun is in colouring outside the lines and adding your unique flavour to whatever you do. With that, we fold and place our apron on the counter and wish you happy cooking!