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Why and How to Sear Meat

I admit that I don’t always do this step, but when I do, I’m always reminded of why it’s worth the effort. And if I’m doing something special like a Standing Rib Roast, I’ll definitely do it.

First things first, why do you need to sear meat? The number one reason for searing meat is FLAVOUR. The combination of the meat hitting a super hot pan and the resulting caramelisation that occurs is what delivers the beautiful flavour.


 How to Sear Meat

  • A hot pan is key to getting the caramelised crust you’re looking for – don’t use a non stick pan
  • Add some oil to the pan and when it starts to bubble and smoke a tiny bit, you’re ready to  add your meat to the pan
  • While you’re searing your meat, swirl the oil around the pan so it’s evenly coated and is making a continuous thin coating under the meat
  • Just like cooking a steak – resist the temptation to turn! The meat needs a few minutes on each side to do it’s thing. You’ll notice that it will stick to the bottom of the pan when you first turn it to an uncooked side, but it will naturally come unstuck once it’s seared.
  • If you’re cooking cut pieces of meat (e.g. to go in to a casserole), make sure you have a single layer with space in between each piece of meat. You may need to sear the meat in batches.
  • You can test if it’s seared and ready to be turned by giving the pan a gentle shake. If the meat moves, it’s comes unstuck and is ready to be turned to another side.
  • Once all sides are seared, transfer the meat to your roasting pan, slow cooker, or whatever method you’re using and continue the cooking process.

BONUS TIP: As the meat is searing, a sticky brown glaze will form on the bottom of your pan. When you’ve finished searing your meat and transferred in to another dish or pan, you can create a sauce or jus to serve with your meat. Simply add 1 cup of wine, broth or water to the pan and it will dissolve all the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Use a metal utensils to scrape the bottom of the pan and incorporate all the sticky bits. If you’ve seared meat for a casserole, add this liquid to the rest of the liquid that the recipe calls for (reduce the amount accordingly). For a roasted dish, you can reduce the glazed sauce even further and serve it over the top of the final dish. 

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