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How To Use Evaporated Milk To Tenderize A Cut Of Meat

Evaporated milk in pitcher with raw chicken
Evaporated milk in pitcher with raw chicken - Tatiana Foxy/Shutterstock

Meat is best when juicy and tender, which is why everyone has their own special method for softening the protein. Whether that be pounding it out with a meat hammer, submerging it in kombucha, or cooking it low and slow, as long as it's supple, that's all that matters. If you're looking for a new meat tenderizing method, marinating it in evaporated milk is the way to go.

The pantry staple is probably already somewhere in your kitchen, although you may be using it to whip up fudge or cakes. While it's delightful when used for sweet treats, evaporated milk is the secret to an incredibly tender cut of meat. Dairy in general is the key to supple meat, which is why you should always soak your lamb chops in milk and soak ground meat in heavy cream. Milk contains both lactic acid and calcium, which help to break down the protein and collagen found in meat, ultimately softening it.

For that delectable, fall-off-the-bone texture, evaporated milk is even better. Made from milk that's been heated until 60% of the water content is gone, evaporated milk has a larger concentration of nutrients than milk. It's also richer in phosphates, a salt that diminishes the harder fibers in meat and gives it a delicate texture.

Read more: Tips You Need When Cooking With Ground Beef

Evaporated Milk Doesn't Require Lengthy Marination

Evaporated milk in bowl
Evaporated milk in bowl - AtlasStudio/Shutterstock

If you have a particularly tough cut of meat, you may think it needs to be soaked all night before it becomes tender. While you can marinate it overnight, four hours is enough to tenderize the meat, although you can get away with one if you're rushing. Cover the meat in a can of evaporated milk and combine it well with your seasoning mix. The milk tends to be on the sweeter side, so you may want to amp up the herbs and add a splash of lemon juice to balance it out. For a fiery piece of meat, spring for a hotter pepper like habanero, since dairy tempers spice.

When tenderizing meat, you don't need to just stop at the marinating process. Evaporated milk can be used to cook meat, as well, giving it a richer flavor. Even if you don't use it to marinate meat, braise a thick cut of meat with evaporated milk for a deeper taste and creamy sauce. Swap out chicken broth for evaporated milk in this harissa beef pot roast. You may need to add more harissa for the spice to be present, but the sauce turns even more luscious when mixed into thick evaporated milk.

You can also use evaporated milk when whipping up a batch of beef stroganoff. The ingredient produces a silkier sauce than sour cream, with a slightly sweet touch. Plus, evaporated milk isn't prone to curdling, so you can cook the dish at a higher heat without any mishaps.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.