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AlaMoi

Pulled / Shredded Beef

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This is a dish that has been passed down through the family.  It probably exists somewhere in the culinary world - I've not seen it published - so I put it here for your consideration.  lots about pulled pork, beef is good too . . .

 

My MIL called this hash; you can see from the pix, it's not really a hash.
now, to be perfectly honest, at the time I was more interested in chasing her daughter than learning her cooking.  so this is my own "perfecting" of her dish.  forty-six years later, I've still got my hands on her daughter, but it's taken me a while to translate success with this dish from accident to sure-thing.

 

of advantage is the "one pot" approach.  brown the meat, remove, sweat down the onion, add back beef & liquids; cool, refrigerate-in-the-pot, reheat . . . minimal muss and fuss.

 

do note the braise then cool then refrigerate then re-braise - a two day timeline.  I've tried doing this all on "same day."  it works, but cooling and reheating the beef in the braising liquid the second day is far far superior.

 

the beef:  a top round cut work well with this dish.  alternatively a chuck cut.  I prefer a two pound / 1 kg top round - which is way more than two empty nesters can eat, so I buy a roughly two pound cut, lop it in half, freeze one piece for later.  the pix is about a one pound / 500 g chunk of top round.

 

2-3 hours prior, salt and counter-age the beef; pat dry prior to browning

 

brown the meat.  a heavy sear is okay/preferred as this is going for a long long braise; the "color" gets washed off.  depending on the amount of surface fat on the beef, use an oil in the pan to facilitate the browning.

 

DSC_4832s_zpssaqgpq2o.jpg

 

after the meat browning / searing, remove beef, put onion in pan and sweat down the half-moon sliced onion.  half a large onion per pound / 500 g of beef.  add oil if needed; salt and fresh ground pepper the onion mix.

 

DSC_4834s_zps9b6xvsao.jpg

 

when the onion is done, put beef back in pot, add 12 fluid ounces / 350 ml of a decent beer; add water to 70-80% of meat "height/ depth" in the pot.  cover, increase heat to get the liquid to a boil. immediate reduce heat and simmer as low as possible for four hours.  with a gas stove, I use a flame tamer to minimize the simmer, even on the smallest burner.

 

DSC_4836s_zpsqoursxef.jpg

 

after a four hour simmer, remove from heat and allow to cool.  put in the fridge (covered) overnight.  can keep 3-4 days.

final prep is 3 hour very low simmer.  if you're a fan, added sliced mushroom at start of simmer.


check mid-way for salt&pepper.  obviously additional seasoning can be used - anything you like that does beef well.

 

the pix shows a plain ole' dinner knife which separated / pulled the beef apart.  the beef is like butter - no knife required.  you can cut it with a fork to bite size.

 

DSC_4838s_zpskhnizjdb.jpg

 

our fav is served with mashed potato and the juice right out of the pot.  one can thicken the pot juice with corn starch or roux if you wish a thicker gravy.  hint:  don't go for all the juice - ladle some out and thicken it.  otherwise you'll wind up with gallons of gravy.....

 

DSC_4840s_zpsyfqrwa7b.jpg

 

fret not any left overs.  sliced across the grain it makes a spectacular roast beef sandwich.  or thicken up some gravy for a hot roast beef open face sandwich on a sturdy bread.


Edited by AlaMoi (log)
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I cooked a chuck roast like this the other day (though not the two-day version) and shredded it pretty finely, then served it in roast beef sandwiches with mayo and cheese. Pretty doggoned good!

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Interesting, @AlaMoi,

 

I would be a fan of anything that would make a cut of round good to eat. It goes on sale here sometimes, but I usually pass. I will remember your slow 2-day braise with onion the next time they run a sale.

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1 hour ago, robie said:

Isn't this just a variation of pot roast?

 

It certainly looks like what my mother called "pot roast".  She would boil that beef for hours or days, maybe with an onion - probably au naturel, then throw the resulting stock - the only part which retained any flavour - down the drain.

Shredded and served with canned carrots and potatoes.

Those were the days.

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I do something similar in the crock pot.  It's shredded barbecue beef and makes sensational sandwiches.

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>>Isn't this just a variation of pot roast?
there's not a lot that isn't a variation on something else.

 

the major thing here is the cook-cool-cook routine.  someone once explained the 'science' behind why the cool&reheat does what it does.  I wish I had paid more attention.... but the gist of it was simply that the cooling and reheating "somehow" (the bit I forgot....) results in the meat fibers separating better than the "once&done" approach.

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Casting my mind back to the 1970's, I made something like this from Joy of Cooking, called sauerbraten.  But now checking the recipe I see that even though the beef was drenched in hot marinade and refrigerated for days and days, it was cooked but once.

 

Oh, well.  Carry on.

 

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hee-hee.  first time I made sauerbraten I used some off-the-shelf vinegar.  talk about'cher pucker factor....  sauerbraten requires a much more gentle vinegar....

 

but, it slices.  as are intended most pot roasts - chuck is a notable exception - you have so slice all the little muscle groups...

 

warm, the double cook technique does not slice well - it falls apart under even the sharpest knife.  which is why my MIL likely referred to it as hash - if cut, it crumbles into chunkettes much like a "standard hash prep"

 

chilled you can get a slice - which will hold together about oh say half way to the slice of bread . . . .

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