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Why is my roast beef always tough?


Dr. Susan
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Anna, that is gorgeous. I didn't take a photo of mine (bottom round, not prime rib) the other night, but it was just about the same size and the finished roast looked exactly like yours, was juicy, tender and delicious - and took just over an hour. That's why I like Dave's method so much - easy weeknight dinner! Prep, shove in the hot oven, switch to broil, watch for a few minutes to see when the fat cap starts to brown, turn the oven off and go on about your business until it's done. I had plenty of time to make mashed potatoes with garlic and chevre to go with it. Steamed some frozen peas at the last minute - I swear, it was a Christmas dinner-worthy meal with absolutely no stress!

Just goes to show you, there are many different ways to end up with the same results! :smile: We each have our favorite methods, and if we get the results we want, we're all doin' it right!

Cheers, K

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Anna, that is gorgeous. I didn't take a photo of mine (bottom round, not prime rib) the other night, but it was just about the same size and the finished roast looked exactly like yours, was juicy, tender and delicious - and took just over an hour. That's why I like Dave's method so much - easy weeknight dinner! Prep, shove in the hot oven, switch to broil, watch for a few minutes to see when the fat cap starts to brown, turn the oven off and go on about your business until it's done. I had plenty of time to make mashed potatoes with garlic and chevre to go with it. Steamed some frozen peas at the last minute - I swear, it was a Christmas dinner-worthy meal with absolutely no stress!

Just goes to show you, there are many different ways to end up with the same results! :smile: We each have our favorite methods, and if we get the results we want, we're all doin' it right!

Cheers, K

K. I am usually a great fan of the 5 mins/lb at 500F and the shut off oven and leave for at least two hours method but not with such a small roast. This was the first time I tried the 200F oven. I was thrilled with the results. Being retired time is less of an issue for me. Nevertheless if I can fit another roast into my menu (AND MY BUDGET) I will certainly give your/Dave's method a go. Thanks for sharing. Anna

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Anna, so the roast was about 4 lbs? My math is meh... I wish we had degrees of "like" to choose from; I'd have to "adore" that roast!

Yep, just a shade under 4lbs.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The meat along the spine from below the shoulder blade to the rise of the rump are called prime cuts. This is where the best steaks come and if cut in large enough pieces, the most storied roasts. This is the area of the cow that gets the least exercise so these are tender and are delicious when cooked no higher than medium. They are the rib roasts, the loin, tenderloin and sirloin. They are cooked in the oven to just below the desired temperature and removed to finish cooking outside the oven. The parts of the cow that get a lot of exercise are tougher cuts. They have a lot of flavor but if dry roasted to medium or above are very tough. Tasty but tough. These roasts benefit from long slow cooking like in a slow cooker or in a dutch oven so not only temperature but time needs to be included in the process so that the collagen can break down and and the meat becomes fall apart tender and juicy. For roasts like chuck, 7 bone, brisket, rump, round, and flank look for a good looking slow cooker recipe and follow that for great traditional cooking.

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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  • 4 months later...

It's getting a lot more hit or miss these days even with prime cuts. I put it down to animals reared in unnatural environments like chemical feed lots. Fat marbelling or in a layer helps as most of us don't lard anymore (yes I confess, I still have my larding needle, somewhere), a quick, hot caremilization on top of the stove then into a slower, cooler oven than you'd normally roast in, then a good long rest afterwards covered with foil. (Pot roasting on the stovetop can give a tender result although it's not strictly roasting and gives a different flavor). For the bigger, cheaper cuts an overnight marinade before cooking is a must. I must admit I love rib roasts too but too expensive now so I resort to whole fillet, scotch fillet or porterhouse/entrecote. I wonder if this 'toughness' question is the reason chickens, pork and lamb are easier choices for a roast?

Edited by TheCulinaryLibrary (log)
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