The blog of cooking-ez.com

The so-called "nervous" meats


The so-called "nervous" meats
You've probably heard this before, we're talking about "nervous" meat, or meat with nerves, to describe what is indicated by the blue arrow on the left.

This is a piece of beef, and what we call a nerve is not a nerve, it is in fact collagen (chemists sometimes call it a "collagen sink"), a protein that is found in varying amounts in some of the meats we eat.

But we'll continue to call them "nerves" for the rest of this post, it will be simpler.
5,454 8 4.3
Grade this page:

Last modified on: April 16th 2021

Keywords for this post:MeatNervesCollagenCookingGelatin
The so-called "nervous" meats
Let's say it straight, even if it's not nerves, it's not pleasant to eat, it's both hard and elastic in the mouth, in short if you find it while chewing a piece of meat, steak for example, you'll feel the difference in texture and taste (it doesn't have any taste in fact)

So naturally, if you prepare a meat before cooking, you try to eliminate as much as possible these nerves to see a certain harmony of texture. A lot of cutting to be done, it's a lot of work, I must admit.

Okay, but where is the trick?



Well, it's not as binary as that, it turns out that this collagen under the action of heat, cooking, long, we are talking about at least 2 hours, this collagen is naturally transformed into gelatin, and therefore on the one hand it loses completely its hardness, it melts in fact, but in addition it brings a natural binder to your preparation.

This is one of the secrets of meat dishes that are cooked for a long time, I am thinking in particular of beef bourguignon, blanquette de veau or carbonnade, it is not obvious but it is not at all necessary to choose a first choice meat, on the contrary a cheap and slightly nervous meat will be fine, no need to make a thousand cuts to eliminate the nerves, better it will even participate in the holding of your sauce, thanks to its natural gelatin contribution.

boeuf bourguignon



That's why if you ask your butcher for a bourguignon meat, for example, he might offer you less noble, more economical cuts (e.g. skirt steak, chuck) and a bit nervous, no worries, on the contrary.

This is the advantage of these dishes which must cook for at least 2 hours, but which can very well do it twice or three times or even more, under cover, over a low heat, where the meat gently confit and the tastes reveal themselves more and more, for our greatest gustatory pleasure.

In summary: The presence of nerves (in fact collagen) is not a problem for long-cooked meats, it can even be an asset, thanks to the slow transformation of collagen into gelatin.


Back to top of page

Lasts posts
Parmesan cheese crusts
Parmesan cheese crusts
If you use Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) in your recipes, you may have already noticed: when you grate it, it becomes (very) difficult near the crust, especially if it is a slightly aged parmesan, as the cheese gets harder and harder. So we stop grating, leaving some crust on top, and a...
9375 June 23th 2022
The gelling agent in a cream
The gelling agent in a cream
If you start making a Bavarian cream for example, or any other that contains a gelling agent such as gelatin or agar-agar, you will sooner or later be confronted with the problem: How to properly incorporate this gelling agent into my cream? (and we will focus on gelatin).
1,1154.9 June 18th 2022
The preservation of bread
The preservation of bread
Eating fresh bread is always a delight, the crust crumbles deliciously, you take full advantage of the taste of your bread (80% of this taste is in the crust), it is a fleeting moment to enjoy. Who hasn't already eaten the crouton or croutons of his baguette, on the way back from the bakery? ...
1,6103 June 11th 2022
Beans in primeur
Beans in primeur
As I write this, it is the beginning of the short season for fresh beans. If you've never made them before and you're just starting out (and that's a great idea) you'll find that it's a bit time consuming to prepare, you have to shell them once, remove the beans, scald them to remove the skin (and...
1,172 June 4th 2022
Celeriac soups and the 3rd ingredient
Celeriac soups and the 3rd ingredient
Do you like celeriac, a vegetable that is not always a big hit? If your answer is "no" or "not so much", it is perhaps that you have in mind the celery remoulade, the emblematic starter, with the eggs mimosa, of the bistrot kitchen. It's very good, well if you like it of course, but it's a bit...
1,7054.6 May 21th 2022
Other pages you may also like
Artichoke stalks
Artichoke stalks
When preparing artichokes for cooking, you may well already know that we often need to remove the first round of leaves, if they are tatty or dirty, as well as the inedible stalk. The operative word here is “remove” , rather than “cut off”.
39K3.9 October 25th 2016
85 grams of eggs?
85 grams of eggs?
Some time ago, I already spoke to you about the difference between baking and pastry-making, I emphasized, among other things, the precision of pastry-making which requires grams, cm, degrees and minutes. That's why, on the one hand, you have baking and cooking, where a certain tolerance is...
33K4.5 November 26th 2018
Salt and yeast
Salt and yeast
Let's take a look at an old baker's legend: You may have already read that somewhere in a recipe that uses baker's yeast(bread, pastries, leavened doughs in general) it is often specified "Don't put salt in contact with the yeast, you'll kill it (the yeast)"! Well, that's a belief, and there are...
53K4.1 March 15th 2019
The right weight of pastry for a pie
The right weight of pastry for a pie
Let's try to solve a thorny problem: How much dough will I need when I make my next pie? You're planning to make a pie, you're going to use your favourite mould or circle, but how much pastry will you need to fill it completely with a well spread pastry, without being too thin, or on the contrary...
33K3.6 March 20th 2020
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
This is a question that you may well have asked yourself and which I will attempt to answer. In France the two trades of "boulangerie" (bakery) and "pâtisserie" (patisserie and confectionery) have always been quite distinct, but where exactly do the boundaries lie? .
91K 13.9 February 7th 2017
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Follow this page
If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page