Just the tip(s): A chef’s secret to perfect meat

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I’m not one to use store bought seasoning mixes, and, until recently I hadn’t used many dried herbs or spices. I always wanted that “fresh” and “from scratch” flavor. I did, that is, until I started using dried mushrooms to season meat: They’re a great way to reap the benefits of all the minerals and vitamins of mushrooms, without the full-fledged flavor or texture of the fungi (which some people don’t appreciate).

This seasoning adds another level of umami to any protein, with the right salt content to make your cheeks hurt so good. This is a short, and easy, recipe using ingredients your probably already have in the pantry, so I’ve added a few cooking tips for you as well. Its all in the details. Follow along and trust your instincts – Practice makes (almost) perfect.

Dried mushrooms perfect for seasoning

Meat seasoning

Ingredients:

2T dried mushroom powder

1T granulated garlic

1T granulated onion

1T black pepper

2T sea salt

Directions:

Combine in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Seasoning can be stored in an airtight container until you use it all.

A few tips:

  • Meat tends to cook more evenly when it’s at room temperature. Pull your meat out with enough time for it to reach room temperature before cooking it.
  • The bigger the piece of protein, the longer it takes to reach room temp.
  • With a bigger piece of meat, you need more seasoning. When you are seasoning something, you want seasoning to penetrate and be a part of every bite.
  • Depending on the piece of meat, you want to season it and allow it to sit for a period of time. This allows the seasoning to penetrate the meat as thoroughly as possible.  This could be a 1hr seasoning time for a steak, or a 24hr seasoning time for a roast, large cut of meat, or whole bird.
  • When grilling meat you can expect to lose 20% of the seasoning you put on the protein, so you need to be more liberal with seasoning when grilling. This is something you’ll get more comfortable with the more you do it.
  • When cooking steak, make sure the grill or cast iron pan is smoking hot.
  • Don’t play with it – Move it only to flip it or check on the caramelization.
  • Don’t overcook it – Pay attention to what the meat is doing. It will begin to firm up as it cooks. You can always cook it more if it is too rare for your liking, but you can’t undo a dry piece of garbage.
  • Pay attention: The devil is always in the details.
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Born and raised in the suburbs of Saint Paul, MN, Brandon has immersed himself into being a local and sustainable advocate for delicious living. Working for the best Chef’s in the Twin Cities before becoming the Residence Chef at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence and personal Chef for the Zimmern family. Foraging, eating, parenting, writing, cycling, consulting, catering and hosting pop up dinners are what his free time entails.