This is my new weapon to reduce meat consumption. Also stress.
Last week, we ate pork escalopes for dinner ... slices of pork egged and breadcrumbed, then flash-fried. Good, but not thin enough. And so I bought a meat hammer. I used it last night to bash some fat lamb leg steaks, with delicious results.
The Cook's Companion - a useful book by Susan Campbell subtitled The Complete Manual of Kitchen Implements and How to Use Them (beginning with your hands) - is pretty sniffy about a meat hammer: These tools should never be used on really tender meat. If you want thin escalopes, ask the butcher to cut them that way; or if the meat is so tough that it actually needs beating, cook it differently. There is a slower, but culinarily superior, method of tenderising the very tough cuts of meat - a long, careful marinading, followed by leisurely cooking.
I like the idea of leisurely cooking; I think that marinading has been proved by scientists to be useless for tenderising; and what happens when you want an escalope, or a thin steak? You bash it out. Just like a cheese-paring restaurateur. Just like a four-year-old boy with a toy hammer. Very therapeutic. Great fun too.
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