Want Tender Beef? Try Braising.
Happy President’s Day Everyone. Yesterday I was talking with friends about my blog and I brought up the questions: do you like it? Is there anything you want to know about? The question came up how to braise meats (we were also talking about The Green Monkey’s blueberry/ginger short ribs recipe, which I am not ready to give up yet)
With that said if there is ever anything you would like to know about please ask. If I do not have an answer I will get one.
Today let’s talk about how to create a tender piece of beef by braising.
Braising is a process of slow cooking tougher cuts of meat in liquid in order to add flavor and to moisten and tenderize the meat. This technique is also known as pot-roasting. In a beef cut such as a chuck roast, there is a pattern of connective tissues and thick marbling that makes the meat tough. So we need to melt these tissues without drying the beef out. That’s why oven roasting is not the best cooking method. It does not allow the internal temperature of the meat to get high enough to break down the fat and connective tissues. If you leave the roast in the oven long enough to break down the tough tissues, then the outer portions of the meat will become overcooked, dry, and tough.
That’s where braising/pot-roasting works best. It is a much more effective means for breaking down the tough fibers. The internal temperature of the meat reaches a level that is high enough to melt the connective tissues and fat. Also the moisture in the pan prevents the outer portions of the meat from drying out.
The chuck cuts are usually used for braising/pot roasting because of their flavor and because of the amount of marbling in the meat that melts during the cooking process. Two nice chuck cuts that make excellent pot roasts are the chuck eye roast and the top blade chuck roast.
Here are the steps to braise beef:
Select a roast. Pot roast, chuck roast or any lean, inexpensive cut may be used.
Brown the roast on all sides in a small amount of oil in a Dutch Oven over medium-high heat on the stove top until well browned.
Add seasonings and aromatics such as garlic or onion.
Add a small amount of liquid, an inch or so deep. Water, broth, beer or wine are all good choices as braising liquids.
Cover and simmer over low heat or in a 250 degrees F. oven until the entire mass of meat is tender to pressure from the tine of a fork.
Check the roast occasionally with an instant meat thermometer to test the internal temperature, it should be about 200 degrees F. and replenish the liquid if necessary. Timing for cooking will vary depending upon the size of the roast.
Thanks for blogging and enjoy your day off.
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