Papaya leaves

How to use papaya to tenderize meats?
The most common meat tenderizer used in India is raw (un-ripened) papaya
The leaves, and green skin of raw papaya contain an enzyme called Papain. The connective tissue in the meat breaks down when it comes in contact with Papain. Papaya is preferred tenderizer for red meat (Lamb, Mutton, Goat, Beef). It can be used for fowl. The preferred tenderizer for fowl is Yogurt How to use yogurt to tenderize meats?

You should NOT discard the tenderizing paste. When the connective tissue gets gelatinized, the gelatin gets mixed with the tenderizing paste. If you discard the tenderizing paste, you will throw out a lot of flavor.

In United States, Papain is available in Grocery stores as Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer. You can also buy Papain in tablet for at health food stores.

If you score the skin of a raw Papaya with knife, the fruit will exude a milky white substance known as the latex that contains Papain.

Preparing Papaya Tenderizer Paste
Raw Papaya
1. Peel green skin up about 1/8th to ¼” deep off the raw papaya.
2. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt per two Tablespoons of Papaya.
3. Grind to a paste. You need 2 Tablespoon of Papaya paste for one pound of meat.
Adolph’s Meat tenderizer
You do not need to add salt. Adolph’s meat tenderizer already has the salt. Add one teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon of water to make Papaya paste. You need 2 Tablespoon of Papaya paste for one pound of meat, it only hast 2 teaspoons of the Adolph’s meat tenderizer.

Papain Characteristics
The Papain enzyme activity depends on two factors: pH factor, and the temperature.
Effect of the pH factor
pH for optimal Papain activity: 6.0-7.0
The enzyme is active when the pH factor is neutral (pH = 7) to slightly acid (pH = 6). The pH of most of the meats is neutral to slightly acid.
Effect of temperature
Temperature for optimal Papain activity: 149 °F
Inactive Papain: 170°F to 185 °F
Active Papain Range: 140 °F to 160 °F
If you just store the meat with the papaya paste in the refrigerator, it will do nothing to tenderize meat. It starts to become active at 140 °F, slows down at 170 °F, and dies at 185 °F.

How long to tenderize meat?
It depends on pH factor, temperature, type of meat (mutton takes longer than spring lamb), fat in the meat and cut of meat. It also depends on the level of tenderness sought. I use the following guide
Beef Steaks: 30 minutes
Cubed / Minced Lamb: 1 hour
Cubed / Minced Mutton: 90 minutes
Cubed / Minced Goat: 90 minutes

Methods
There are three alternate methods Stove-top, Oven baking and Electric heat pad.
Stove top
This is suitable for muscle meat.
1. Pierce every piece of meat with a fork.
2. Put the meat in a heavy bottom stainless steel pot.
3. Add just enough water so that the meat is submerged in water.
4. Add Papaya Tenderizer Paste.
5. Turn on heat at low. Warm the mixture to 149 °F
Make sure the heat does not rise above 165 °F
6. Simmer for one hour at 140 °F to 160 °F.
7. Turn off heat.

Bake Oven
This is suitable for minced, chopped or ground meats.
1. Add Papaya Tenderizer Paste to the meat. Knead the meat thoroughly like dough for 5 minutes.
2. Put meat in a glass container. Cover with lid.
3. Turn on oven at 350º F. After 20 minutes turn down temperature to 200º F.
4. Check the temperature of meat every 30 minutes.
Make sure the heat does not rise above 165 °F.
Bake for one hour at 140 °F to 160 °F.
It may take up to 2 hour total to get get active one hour at 140 °F to 160 °F.

Electric Heating pad
This is suitable for minced, chopped or ground meats.
1. Add Papaya Tenderizer Paste to the meat. Knead the meat thoroughly like dough for 5 minutes.
2. Put meat in a glass container. Cover with lid.
3. Wrap the glass container with a heating pad. Cover the heating pad with another throw blanket.
4. Turn on heating pad to medium. Check the temperature of meat every 30 minutes.
5. Let it rest for 90 minutes. Turn off the heating pad.

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