Cooking grass fed beef roasts

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mcmike, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. mcmike

    mcmike

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    So, I have been trying to cook grass fed beef for Italian Beef sandwiches.    I have been using small chuck roasts (about 1.5 pounds), and also tried a sirloin roast.  I try pot roast style in a dutch oven in the gas oven.

    Problem is: it cooks so fast.  Too fast. I pull it out after an hour or so, and the Thermapen says it is already way past due (150+). The meat is gray throughout and already beginning to get tough.  However, the fat/connective tissue has barely started to render.  The meat does not seem to get that fall-apart tenderness.  From the outside it looks rare, and from the inside it' well done.

    I have tried 275 degrees and 225.

    Thoughts please.  Thanks.
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    I often braise grass fed beef, but rarely cook with a thermometer. My best guess is that you're not cooking the beef for long enough. I don't really watch how long I cook it, I just cook it until it's tender, but my best guess for grass fed chuck is around 2 to 3 hours, cooking very slow (you should barely see a few bubbles here and there coming to the surface). 

    Note that the meat WILL FIRST GET TOUGH, then later become tender. You need to cook it longer. 
     
  3. mcmike

    mcmike

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    Thanks for the reply.  It occurred to me at one point that maybe I wasn't cooking long enough.  The un-rendered fat was certainly sending that message.  But haven't had the guts to cook it any longer.

    If I am going to disregard the internal temperature and cook a couple hours longer, how do I avoid overshooting the sweet spot and end up overcooking it after all?
     
  4. mcmike

    mcmike

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    On a related note.  I also have a problem with measured temperatures on grass fed steaks cooked on the grill.  I have found very little consistency on what the internal temperature reflects in terms of how the steak is actually cooked. I have tried a variety of cooking methods (indirect, ow-slow, hot-fast, reverse sear, etc), and pull it around 125, and over time have gotten a range of outcomes for each method.

    Sometimes it measures overcooked when its still rare.

    I generally let them warm, salted on the counter.  Plus a little pepper and olive oil.  I measure from the side.

    I suspect this may have more to do with inconsistency in meat qualityand cuts.  I do know there are huge variations in age at processing and feed methods, as well as processors.
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought beefs were cooked to rare and then sliced, gently reheated in broth?
     
  6. mcmike

    mcmike

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    Indeed.  That's the goal.  My problem is that the meat seems to overcook before it ever tenderizes.
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I would try a crock pot.  When you boil the juices that are in the beef that's when the beef gets tough.
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    ??? Am I missing something here? We're talking about braising chuck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  9. mcmike

    mcmike

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    Yes, Italian Beef sandwiches entail thin sliced roast beef and plenty of au jus.
     
  10. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Try inside (top) round, I roast two whole pieces a week for cold roast beef sands, french dips, etc. Heavy Kosher salt, black pepper & granulated garlic into a 325 oven . Approx 3 hrs for a #22lb roast to MR. I let cool and slice to order the next day. Very tender and flavorful,.
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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  12. mcmike

    mcmike

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    Thanks.  Yes, that recipe is pretty much on target.  There are of course a wide range of opinions about the only one true authentic way to do Italian Beef.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif

    I used chuck because that is often the only non-conventional feed method roast I have access to at the store.  I suppose I could special order if I planned ahead.  Also, I have been doing occasional work for a grass fed rancher, and taking some meat on trade.

    In any case, the main takeaway here is for me to ignore the Thermapen and try cooking longer, definitely low and slow, at say 225 for 2.5 to 3 hours. Also worth experimenting with maybe is to try the dry roast method instead of pot roast braising.

    Thanks.
     
  13. french fries

    french fries

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    Ok, I did miss the Italian Beef sandwhich part.... so I'm not so sure what an Italian Beef sandwhich is but the advice I gave you is more for a beef burgundy kinda braise, where the meat falls apart when it's ready (rather than allowing you to create nice thin slices). 
     
  14. maryb

    maryb

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    A sirloin roast would be best for the roast to medium rare treatment. Chuck needs to be cooked to fall apart stage.
     
  15. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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       Hi McMike!

      From reading your initial post, and every post you made after...you really seem confused.  When asked any further questions you seem to provide more contradictory answers. 

     What type of beef sandwiches are you after, seasoned sliced beef often served dipped in juice, or a seasoned shredded beef cooked to incredibly tender (also served with juice)?

       The shredded type you get from taking a tougher piece of meat, such as a chuck roast, and cooking it lowly and slowly.  You do this to cook the meat and break down the fat and connective tissue into gelatinous goodness.  The Chuck roast could be ready to pull at an internal temperature of 195f to 205f, but if you cook it too fast...you aren't going to get the fat and connective tissue to break down correctly.  This is not a hard and fast guideline...but a general overview to get you the idea.

       The other beef can be cooked using your top sirloin.  The roast will be cooked to a medium rare, it is spiced/herb crusted on the outside and there is usually some type of searing done.  There is accompanied by a wonderful beef jus that the thinly sliced beef is finished being cooked in...you finish cooking the sliced beef by gentley warming of the slices to 140f for about 30 seconds...then build your sandwich.  If you like a good jus to dip your sliced beef sandwich in you can make a wonderful hearty jus from onions, pepper, garlic, oxtails, seasoning etc...then cook it for hours and hours to reduce....do this separately before hand!

       Both sandwiches are really great...there is no better sandwich as far as I'm concerned.  A problem you will have with the sliced beef method is slicing the beef thin enough to allow the right texture.  Seriouseats has a nice recipe and they recommend buying thinly sliced deli beef and making your own juice.  While I think this is pretty good advice, I've got access to a nice slicer. 

      Eat well!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  16. mcmike

    mcmike

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    Thanks, yes, that clarifies quite a bit.  The internets are full of competing recipes for Italian Beef sandwiches.  Some call for chuck, some sirloin.  Now I understand the different characteristics.  I am pretty new to cooking roasts, so been mainly blindly thrashing about.
     
  17. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Here's one I roasted yesterday.


     
    pete and flipflopgirl like this.
  18. mcmike

    mcmike

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    This image is a decent representation of the goal...
     
  19. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Now I want a beef.
     
  20. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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       Dang, I'm getting a taste for beef sandwiches too...the pictures are looking great!

        McMike, that's sliced beef that you're aiming for, in the picture.  So a roast cooked to med rare and quickly heated in a concentrated jus will get you there.  SeriousEats has a nice article on this.  Like I mentioned earlier, slicing the beef thin is an obstacle you will have to address.  

       Below are a few pics of the last beef roast I made for sandwiches.  I cooked it on the rotisserie of the grill...the finished sandwiches turned out pretty tasty.



     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015