Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Even if a tough roast has been cooked to the point that it has become tender but unpleasantly dry, the cook can restore a certain succulence to the meat by pulling it apart into small shreds and pouring over them the meat’s collected juices, or a sauce. A film of liquid clings to the surface of each shred and thus coats many fibers with some of their lost moisture. The finer the shredding, the greater the surface that can take up liquid, and the moister the meat will seem. When “pulled” meat and sauce are very hot, the sauce is more fluid and tends to run off the shreds; when cooler, the sauce becomes thicker and clings more tenaciously to the meat.