The Right Spices for the Right Meats

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The definition of the word spice typically is described as the dried root, seed, bark, berry, twig, or flower of a plant. Herbs are described as the leafy part of a plant, fresh or dried. Spices lose their flavor and health potency quickly, so it is normally best to store only a small amount after drying and grinding. Keep them in a cool and dark dry place.

Health Benefits of Spices

Finding the right spice for the right meat can be a healthful adventure. Not only do spices provide wonderful flavors, they also decrease oxidation damage in our bodies. Meat cooked at high temperatures creates potent destructive chemicals. These chemicals decrease dramatically with the addition of spices and herbs. There are big benefits gained from using spices as an antioxidant to lower your body's oxidative stress. Try using a blend of cloves, cinnamon, oregano, rosemary, ginger, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Use spices on meats regularly during cooking to take full advantage of their health properties.

Cooking with Spices

The secret to cooking outstanding meats with spices is to not use too much. Experiment by using a strong flavored spice, such as turmeric, and add a smaller amount of a lighter spice like cinnamon or coriander. Always add a pinch of pepper. The peptides in pepper act as a catalyst to benefit health. Herbs go well in a blend with spices, but start with small amounts. A little goes a long way, and it is easy to overwhelm your meat if you use too much.

Try rubbing a light coat of spices into your meat. If you have the time, allow the seasoned meat to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before cooking. To preserve the nutrition and health benefits, cook meat slowly at the lowest possible heat. Your goal is to produce a savory, tender, and healthy meat dish.

Chicken

Finding the right spice for chicken is easy. Just about every spice is used to season this versatile meat. Turmeric is a great choice, either fresh or ground. You can also use coriander, cumin, pepper, or ground cayenne pepper. Other options to try are ginger, saffron, and anise. The zest from orange and lemon peel is also commonly used.

Beef

Spices for beef are generally applied a little heavier than lighter meats, such as chicken. Rodale's mentions caraway, cumin, ginger, and pepper. Turmeric and ground chili peppers are also frequently used.

Veal

Veal is is a delicately flavored meat. Because of this, spices should be used lightly. The best for veal are ginger, pepper, and lemon zest.

Pork

Spices that work well with this meat include anise, caraway, cardamom, ginger, saffron, and pepper.

Ham

This meat traditionally uses cloves. A combination of mustard, honey, and pepper are frequently used to make a glaze.

Lamb

Many spices work well with lamb, including coriander, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, and pepper. Rodale's adds cinnamon, ginger, and saffron. Other spices to consider are fennel, anise, and lemon zest.

Turkey

Saffron, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper are all perfect spices to use with this fowl, along with herbs.

Rabbit

Turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, pepper, cayenne pepper, ginger, saffron, anise, mustard, and lemon and orange zest work will with this game meat.

Using spices will enliven you meats, and provide you with healthier meals. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find favorite combinations.

Guest Author: This article was contributed by Jonathan Rodgers, a foodie who loves sharing his knowledge on spices and sauces throughout the web. He writes this on behalf of Berkel Sales & Service, your number one choice when looking for a Professional Meat Grinder! Check out their website today and see what they have in store for you.

** Image courtesy of EssjayNZ

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