As with most meat, the safest way to thaw beef is in the refrigerator. Small cuts of beef can take up to 24 hours, while larger slabs can take a few days. If you’re in a pinch, frozen beef can be thawed in a bowl or container of lukewarm water. Place the bowl or container in the sink and leave under a running faucet. Never allow raw beef to thaw or sit on a counter or cutting board. Since it takes longer to thaw than most meats, it is more susceptible to bacteria growth.
1 of 3
In order to effectively freeze beef, you’ll want to limit its exposure to air. This not only prevents the production of freezer burn, but also extends its shelf life to three months or longer. The best way to package beef is to wrap it tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap. You should then wrap the meat in a layer of aluminum foil or place it in a plastic bag.
2 of 3
For ground beef, keep refrigerated and use within one to two days. It can stay in its original container if the packaging hasn’t been opened. Steaks follow the same protocol, but can last a bit longer at three to five days. It’s actually best to allow a little airflow with stored meat, as tightly-adhered plastic like Saran wrap can make meat sweat and, as a result, less tender. Meat can be transferred to plastic containers, but should be covered loosely.
Never refrigerate raw meat if it’s been sitting out beyond two hours.
3 of 3
Veal shanks usually require a long, slow braise to become tender, but using a pressure cooker significantly reduces the cooking time. The meat is browned in the cooker, vegetables are added, then white wine, beef broth, and tomatoes are stirred in to make a savory, beefy sauce for the veal to cook in. In 30 minutes, the meat will be falling off the bone and you’ll have a rich sauce. Serve it all over egg noodles or mashed potatoes, topped with vibrant gremolata (a parsley, lemon zest, and garlic mixture) to cut through the fatty meat.
What to buy: Ask your butcher for crosscut veal shank pieces from the meatier, wider end of the shank.
Game plan: Though the CHOW Test Kitchen prefers a stovetop pressure cooker, this recipe can also be made in an electric model. Use the brown setting for steps 3 through 5, then proceed with high-pressure cooking.
This recipe was featured as part of our story on pressure cookers. We also recommend our pressure cooker short ribs recipe.