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Dr. Susan

Why is my roast beef always tough?

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Well..

The bag (roast) was removed out of the bath after 6 hours 45 minutes.

Can already see a lot of liquid had escaped the meat. Total weight still 3 lbs.

gallery_39290_2072_67581.jpg

Looks good. Lots of liquid lost though.

gallery_39290_2072_27879.jpg

Here shows the roast weighing 2lb 3.75 oz.

gallery_39290_2072_111777.jpg

Liquid lost 11 oz.

gallery_39290_2072_50671.jpg

This waaaaay... contradicts what was said in the http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=40548 thread.

What gives?

The roast is cooling in the fridge. Will make sandwiches tomorrow.


Edited by ChefCrash (log)

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Katie : What is the cut of beef you use? And does using meat tenderizer the same day really make a difference for such a thick cut or is it just  wishfull thinking?

At this moment (inspired this thread) I have a 3 lb. Chuck Roast simmering in the oven that was browned first and then surrounded with sauteed onions, fresh fennel, roma tomatoes, garlic, a touch of red wine and enough water to bring it to the 2/3 mark.

I will probably save it for tomorrow, as with anything braised it's always better the next day. This will make a dynamite pasta as leftovers!

I had not realized that the Chuck Roast cut is the same as for beef short ribs.

I usually use an Eye Round or Bottom Round roast. I put the tenderizer and seasonings on the meat when it comes out of the fridge and then let it sit for about 30 minutes until I bung it into the blazing oven. Seems to work just fine. Sometimes if the meat looks a bit stringy or tough I'll poke it all over a bit with a fork to get the seasonings down into it. If it's really lean I'll sometimes give it a light spritz with some olive oil out of my Misto canister so it doesn't dry out completely. Usually the basting takes care of that though.

I dunno. I suppose it seems deceptively simple but this method always seems to work for me. I've even made roast beef as "company" dinner and folks have always seemed to like it.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Chefcrash:

Great pictures!

The problem is the temperature. If you want the meat to retain moisture and stay reasonably pink don't take cook it so hot. It really should be arounf 130F( v.rare), and not over 140F (medium) depending just how raw you like it.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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For roasting beef, your cuts should be prime rib or sirloin. All others should be slow cooked including brisket.

When roasting, I always keep the temperature lower; 325 for regular oven, 300 for convection. I pull the roast at 118 - 120 for rare and 125 for med and let it stand for 15 minutes or so.

For the tougher cuts, marinading before cooking can certainly help, but the low and slow cooking of three to four hours in some braising liquid (not covered, but coming about 1/4 to 1/2 the way up makes for a very tender piece of beef.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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ChefCrash,

<br><br>

Nice work and documentation.

<br><br>

I have a conjecture that would say that you should have let

the meat cool in the bag with the liquid, that, as the meat

cooled, it would absorb a significant amount of this liquid

and, when sliced and eaten, be more juicy.


What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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Thanks Project

After I took the photos the roast went into a Tupperware with the jus. Today I took it to work and sliced it very thin. It was not too juicy, but no drier than Deli roast beef. Right away one notes the uniform color of the slices from edge to center, In this case grayish pink.

Made great sandwiches with horseradish and watercress on Pumpernickel.


Edited by ChefCrash (log)

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"on another thread about cooking brisket, we discussed the fact that briskets aren't generally graded at all. briskets are NOT a prime cut of meat. but you can get melt-in-your-mouth results if cooked properly. "

While the above statement is technically correct, there is a substantial difference from a brisket from a USDA Grade Select animal vs a brisket from a USDA Prime graded animal. If you obtain your brisket from a seller that sells Select beef, that's what your brisket will be. If you obtain from a seller that deals in Choice or Prime, your brisket will be of a higher quality. I have been purchasing Waygu briskets for a few years now, first from Lobel's and then from a US source in Kansas I believe. These briskets are substantially more tender than any other 'Choice' type I have used.

It's the same with roasts, slow cooking will not turn a Select roast into a silk purse.-Dick

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I'll stick with my way when I want roast beef. I cook other cuts different ways. Worked for 30 years no reason to change. :smile:


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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From my days as a butcher's assistant I recall that only two cuts can be roasted on a rack to produce reliably tender results: rib (standing or eye) and sirloin tip. One should not have to baste a roast beef, but you do what you have to, I guess.

Recently, here in the midwest, I have been served 'prime rib' with grill marks. What gives? Has the rib-eye steak become the new roast beef? I order medium rare.


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

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Chiming in a bit late...

I love pot roast, but it's no substitute for roast beef; totally different dish. I've had good luck with the following method:

1. Look for a bottom-round roast that is cone-shaped, with marbling at the pointy end that looks like netting. I had a butcher once point those out to me as the best bottom round cut, and a Cooks Illustrated article some time later confirmed it (I forget what they called it).

2. Unwrap it and stick it on a plate or in a shallow roasting pan, and stick it in your refrigerator for four days. Must be unwrapped, otherwise it just spoils. Make sure your fridge temperature is below 40F - use a thermometer to be sure.

3. Take it out, slice off the dried exterior layer (you may want to buy a bigger roast to start with, to accommodate this loss - I've gotten some pretty dinky roasts this way...).

4. Preheat oven to 500. Coat the roast in a mixture of kosher salt and fresh coarsely ground black pepper.

5. Roast at 500 for 15-20 minutes. Then turn down the temp to 300. When the temp gets down under 350 (use an oven thermometer), stick the probe of a probe thermometer in the thickest part. (The probes tend to get obliterated by heat over 350, that's why you wait...) If you want gravy, I find it helps to baste the roast with a bit of beef broth - I use Better Than Boullion -- somehow this seems to generate better drippings. Also, if you have a little chunk of beef fat available, stick it on top of the roast and let it melt as it roasts. Whenever I trim excess fat from beef, or pour off excess rendered fat, I wrap it tightly and store it in the freezer for this purpose.

6. Take it out when the roast is about 122 degrees. Let rest for 15-20 minutes. Leave the thermometer in to watch the temperature rise as it rests. I aim for about 135 degrees by the end and usually hit the mark. Make gravy from drippings.

This produces a roast with a dark crusty exterior and a medium rare interior, and usually it's reasonably tender when sliced thin. The aging really makes a difference. Once I bought a big roast and cut it in two - roasted the first part that day, and aged the other part for four days. The first part was tough, the aged second part was tender.

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It all depends on what cut you're using but with any moderate to good cut to get really tender meat you're only going to get a decent end product by buying properly aged and hung meat.

You want to find a butcher that knows what they are doing and hangs their meat for at least 21 days and sources it from a decent breed.

Do not leave it in the fridge in any packaging, when you get it home take it out and put it on a plate loosely covered with foil so it can breathe, it should be OK for a few days. Depending on the size take it out of the fridge an hour or two before you want to cook it so it comes to room tempearture. Quickly sear it all over in a hot pan and chuck it an oven at 180 deg celsius for 20 minutes a pound plus an extra 20 minutes. Check the thickest part of the meat with a digital probe, when it hits somewhere around 60 deg celsius it's rare, 70 for medium and 80 for well done. If the middle is rare the ends are probably medium to well. If you insist on having it well done then baste it with a bit of beef stock as you go.

Take it out and rest it for 15 minutes under foil. It should be perfect!

I cooked a boned and rolled sirloin for christmas this way and it was perfectly tender and extremely tasty. The meat had been hung for about 28 days by the butcher and was properly beefy.

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Jackal10 or others in the know,

When you cook a roast at very low temps as you suggest, such as 150 F, for a very long time until it reaches medium rare, for example, do you cover it during this time or leave it uncovered? It seems like it might dry out a bit uncovered, but having never used this roasting technique before, I don't really know.

Also, are beef roasts ever brined? I don't think I've ever heard of anyone doing that. Perhaps it is because most brined meats are cooked until well done and the brining is, therefore, useful for holding in liquids that otherwise would be lost, whereas with a rare or medium-rare roast that is cooked properly, this wouldn't be an issue. Any thoughts?

Best,

Alan

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Jackal10 or others in the know,

When you cook a roast at very low temps as you suggest, such as 150 F, for a very long time until it reaches medium rare, for example, do you cover it during this time or leave it uncovered?  It seems like it might dry out a bit uncovered, but having never used this roasting technique before, I don't really know.

Also, are beef roasts ever brined?  I don't think I've ever heard of anyone doing that.  Perhaps it is because most brined meats are cooked until well done and the brining is, therefore, useful for holding in liquids that otherwise would be lost, whereas with a rare or medium-rare roast that is cooked properly, this wouldn't be an issue.  Any thoughts?

Best,

Alan

Alan~

There is a recipe from Tra Vigne that calls for brining short ribs (RECIPE) that is terrific but I think the brining is more for flavor that moisture.

Kathy

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Jackal10 or others in the know,

When you cook a roast at very low temps as you suggest, such as 150 F, for a very long time until it reaches medium rare, for example, do you cover it during this time or leave it uncovered?  It seems like it might dry out a bit uncovered, but having never used this roasting technique before, I don't really know.

Also, are beef roasts ever brined?  I don't think I've ever heard of anyone doing that.  Perhaps it is because most brined meats are cooked until well done and the brining is, therefore, useful for holding in liquids that otherwise would be lost, whereas with a rare or medium-rare roast that is cooked properly, this wouldn't be an issue.  Any thoughts?

Best,

Alan

Alan~

There is a recipe from Tra Vigne that calls for brining short ribs (RECIPE) that is terrific but I think the brining is more for flavor that moisture.

Kathy

If you look for a thread on Prime Rib you will find the answers to your questions.

Good eating,

Jmahl


The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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a) I don't brine unless I'm making salt beef

b) 150F is way too hot for rib. 58C/136F is the desirable internal temperature for rib or other soft cuts (filet, sirloin tip),

c) Anything else has lots of connective tissue, so treat as pot roast or BBQ, and take to 75C/170F and hold there for 7 hours or so to dissolve the collagen, Since this is way over the point the muscle fibres contract you will get lots of juice out.

d) I cook both uncovered in the AGA oven, and covered sous vide depending what I'm doing, If sous vide you can add flavourings if you want,. Uncovered if only he very outside dries, and I discard the first slice.

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Simple Roast Beef:

Bottom Round Roast (2-3 lbs, good fat cap)

Red Wine

Roasted Garlic

Coarse Sea Salt (Hawaiian is ideal)

Cooking instructions:

Turn the oven on as high as it will go, and get it heating. A good 20 minutes at least.

Tenderize the roast if you have a Jacquard tenderizer, otherwise don't worry.

Rub the meat sides of the roast liberally with roasted garlic, and place in an oven safe pan such that the fat cap is on top.

Add enough red wine to cover the bottom of the pan to 1/4" or so.

Sprinkle the sea salt liberally on the fat cap.

Once the oven is at temperature, flip it to broil, and put the roast in. Broil until the fat cap is starting to brown, and then turn off the oven. Let it cook in the cooling oven for an hour or so (do not open the oven early, you are cooking with retained heat). Since the oven is cooling, it won't hurt it if you forget and watch a movie or something.

That's it. No problems, and it's pink all the way through, with a nice sear. If you want, use an in oven thermometer to keep an eye on the meat internal temperature. If you are using a larger roast, or your oven doesn't hold heat well, add a pizza stone to retain more heat.

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Roast beef sandwiches made with leftover rib roast from this past Christmas were so good we had to have more.

Last night I picked up a top round roast. The plan was to make it the same night to take to work today. Last night's dinner however, was to be pizza and I couldn't occupy the oven for three hours with the roast. This presented the perfect opportunity to argue for a second, in-wall oven. She countered: "wouldn't it be cheaper to buy you a coupon for a life time supply of roast beef"? (insert attitude)

She'd said the same thing when I wanted to buy the Berkel VCMA/1 3 phase 188 Cup Dough Maker so we could save money on take-out pizza.

I now have a coupon for a life time supply of dough from Papa Johns.

So, I decided to make stove-top-roast sousvide (red neck sousvide if you will) :smile: . I had done this 5 years ago (click here) and here with an electric stove. The lowest temperature I could maintain was about 150*F. Now we have a gas stove with a nice simmer burner.

This is what I did this time. I didn't want to sear the roast in a pan because splatter on continuous grates means continuous cleaning. So, straight out of the fridge, I seasoned the roast, turned the oven broiler to HI, placed the roast on a 1/4 sheet pan lined with foil and placed that on the top rack. It took 5 to 7 minutes to brown each side. One must be careful here. Any fat melting into the pan can catch on fire (I caught mine in time).

I put the roast in an oven bag following the same steps as before. I had a 150*F pot of water ready. After submerging the bag-o-roast, the temperature equalized to 132*F.

Roast-Sousvide.jpg

I turned up the heat to bring water temperature to 135*F then lowered the burner all the way.

Roast-Sousvide2.jpg

I only had to make minor adjustments once or twice to maintain temperature. About 2.5 hours later internal temperature reached 136*. I pulled the bag, placed it in a deep dish, and in the fridge it went.

This morning I poured the liquid into a Tupperware container (about 1/2 cup) and sliced most of the roast. Note that the browning only penetrated a 1/4" and the uniform color through the slices.

Sliced-roast-beef.jpg

All sliced and back in the jus.

Roast-beef-to-go.jpg

At work, individual servings were slightly heated in the microwave and sandwiched between slices of cheap white bread smeared with Kraft horseradish sauce and watercress.

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It's not fancy, but this recipe was given to me years ago and has never failed. It uses the eye of round cut, which makes for an affordable roast beef. I actually prefer the leftovers in sandwiches. I think it tastes better cold, but it's delicious hot, too.

Basically, I trim most of the visible fat. I then rub it down with olive oil, some crushed garlic, salt, lemon pepper, and paprika. I've used garlic salt in a pinch; it works.

Preheat oven to 500. Place roast in oven for 5 minutes per lb for medium rare or 7 minutes per lb for medium. When the time is up, turn the oven off, but do not open the door. It will continue to cook as the oven cools down.

When you remove the roast, you will be convinced it's ruined because it kind of looks like a dried lump. Your pan will also be completely dry because all the juices remain inside the roast. Slice it thinly to serve. The entire roast will be moist and cooked the same from end to end.

We love the leftovers so much that I'll usually make two at a time. I wrap the second one before slicing and refrigerate it. It's much easier to slice it thinly when it's cold. Makes great sandwiches. It's a big party hit, too.

Magi

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Just wanted to say thanks to Dave Weinstein for the Simple Roast Beef recipe above. Tried it last night and it worked like a charm! And no kidding, it IS simple! Easy, in fact, and the best roast I've ever cooked.

This was a test run for Christmas dinner. Went very well with mashed potatoes mixed with garlic and chevre. Yum!

K

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Just wanted to say thanks to Dave Weinstein for the Simple Roast Beef recipe above. Tried it last night and it worked like a charm! And no kidding, it IS simple! Easy, in fact, and the best roast I've ever cooked.

This was a test run for Christmas dinner. Went very well with mashed potatoes mixed with garlic and chevre. Yum!

K

Please do a little research on your own if you use his method.

If you use the Jacquard tenderizer tool, you will be pushing all surface microbes deep inside the meat. You will have to make sure that the interior temperature is hot enough for long enough to sanitize the meat.

dcarch

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You know, I skipped right over the tenderizing part - I never do that, for the reason you stated. I just "didn't worry," as Dave said.

ETA: Although I think that probably the screaming hot oven/broiler until the fat cap browned probably was hot enough.

Thanks for the warning, though.


Edited by Special K (log)

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There are roasts that you cook with dry heat such as your rib roast and loin roasts, and there are pot roasts such as chuck, round, rump and brisket. Those should be braised. Braised roasts are cooked at a fairly low temperature in a covered, moist atmosphere such as a Dutch oven and cooked for a rather long period of time with a little water and vegetables added. That is a quick overview of those roasts. You can smoke the brisket or use other methods if you have special equipment.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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image.jpg

Conventionally cooked prime rib. 200 F until 125 F then a quick sear. Was a small 2-rib roast about 1.8 kg. took about 4 hours.

  • Like 4

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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