Past Articles

Monday, April 2, 2012

Love Me Tender: Natural Tenderizers

Wrapping meat in a papaya leaf from the paw paw tree is one way to tenderize it naturally.
Meat derives much of its flavor from fat.  The ideal cuts have fat “marbled” in its texture.  Some cuts of meat are simply tough.  Many meat tenderizers are available on the market.  The critical ingredient in most of these is papain.  As you might guess, papain comes from papaya.  I was not able to figure that out on my own.  I though it came from the Pope.

Good news!  You can tenderize your meat without a packaged meat tenderizer or papal intercession. 

  • Liquify or smash ripe papaya to create a tasty marinade that will tenderize your meat using natural papain.  You can also wrap meat overnight in paw paw leaves to reap the benefits of papain.
  • Use fresh pineapple.  It contains an enzyme, bromelain, that quickly tenderizes meat in 30-60 minutes.  It will add flavor to the meat, which may be good, or not.
  • Use a meat mallet to pound chicken, beef or pork.  It breaks fat tissue, increasing tenderness.   

Be sure to use fresh pineapple and papaya.  Canning and bottling destroys these enzymes.  Do not tenderize for long periods or your meat will turn to mush.

Papaya leaves, which are very bitter in their raw form, are believed to cure scarlet fever, lessen menstrual pain, treat acne, increase appetite and improve digestion.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Atomic Kitchen Table
Thanks for your comments and idea-sharing!