My parents are on a hamburger budget but occasionally like a cut of meat. Unfortunately, they are only able to afford the tougher cuts. I am sure many of you have the same constraints.
My mother is really not much of a cook, so my dad does most of it. My mother's favorite way of cooking meat is to fry it quickly, dump bunch of water in the pan and cook till done.
I don't think my parents ever owned a tenderizing mallet or even did much towards marinating meat. If we had meat, it was often cut in thin slices and cooked in stir fry or it was ground beef served with gravy on rice.
If you check the internet, you'll find several ways to improve the tenderness of the meat so its more edible and desirable.
1. The usual way is to grab one of those special mallets and just pound it until it is thinner. Be sure to hit the whole surface on both sides so it is fully covered.
2. If you do not have the mallet, you could use a knife to score the surface so the cuts are against the grain. The cuts should be thin, long, and deep.
3. Marinate it with lemon or lime juice, buttermilk, yogurt, or vinegar to help break down the muscle fibers. These acids can break it down too much so only leave the meat in it for between 30 min and 2 hours.
4. Marinate it in an enzyme such as pineapple, papaya, or kiwi . These help tenderize meat but if you are using pineapple, do not leave it in too long. It is suggested you puree the fruits, add seasonings, and marinate. I know someone who often mixed the juices together.
5. A simple method for marinating meat is to salt it heavily. Let it sit for a couple of hours and wipe the salt off before cooking. Salt is considered to be a
6. Slow cook it over low heat for several hours to help break down the muscle fibers.
Have a good time trying some of these. Let me know how it goes.