Ever wonder how a chef just knows when meat is done? When I cook meat at home, I'm always slicing into the thickest part of the meat, looking for color cues or blood levels. However, this practice ruins my presentation, and it lets out all the flavorful juices I worked so hard to create with marinades and searing. So just how do chefs do it?
Take a metal kebab skewer and slide it into the meat so that the tip will be in the thickest portion. Let it sit there for 15 seconds; remove it, and press the skewer tip to the back of your hand or your cheek. If it's warm, your meat is done. This technique works especially well with fish, as fish can fall apart if you try to slice it open to check doneness.
If you don't have a metal skewer, slice the meat but serve it cut side down; that way your guest still sees an immaculate surface, and you minimize loss of juices.
My faithful blog readers will remember my pork cutlet failure; if only I had known this tip back then!