The right beef

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by loves2cook76, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. loves2cook76

    loves2cook76

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    Hi there!

    I'm new to this forum hoping to find like minded individuals when it comes to cooking and everything revolved around it.

    I've been obsessed with cooking for a while now and I'm the most happiest when I'm in the kitchen.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif   I live in Fresh Markets, collect recipes, and watch the cooking channel almost everyday when I get a chance.  When I'm able to cook for people I love I get the most satisfaction from that.  But on to my question.

    I recently had a chance to make Beef Bourguignon and it tasted great except for one thing-the beef was terribly tough.  I know the method of cooking something low and slow will get it tender, but for some reason the meat didn't come out that way.  When I went to my local grocer to purchase the meat, the only kind they had were stew beef which didn't have any marble of fat.  It seemed like it was cubed from a loin of beef.  The patron who actually showed me the meat (the only they had) mentioned under her breath that no matter how you cook it it will come out tough.  Silly me, I thought that as long as I cook it slow it'll work better for me.  I was wrong.

    Like I said, I wasn't totally disappointed by the meal-the sauce was delicious so I have plans to make it again, but this time with another kind of beef. 

    My question-is the only reason why the beef came out tough was because it lacked marbling?  THANKS!
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Without knowing a lot more about the actual beef and techniques used, I can't offer an opinion.  Heck, I don't even have one. 

    BDL
     
  3. Iceman

    Iceman

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    LOL.   Crack me up BDL

    Beef Bourguignon is a stew, so realize that you cook it like a stew, with stew meat.  Sear off the meat in the bacon fat.  Do all the other stuff.  Cover everything in the pot with your liquid and bring to a simmer on top of the stove.  Cover it up and pop it in the oven, 350* for four(4) hours.  For me, that's a long time.  You're doing a four(4)-hour braise.  That breaks down the tough meat.  It should anyway.  If you don't care for waiting that long, make something else.   LOL.
     
  4. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    So did they just one one thing in the meat case, or one thing that's was prepped and ready to go?

    No chuck or shoulder?
     
  5. takingstock

    takingstock

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    "watch the cooking channel almost everyday when I get a chance."

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Here is your problem.  The cooking channel really has nothing to do with food or cooking. Its about entertainment, selling stuff ...ads...and trying to get higher ratings to sell more stuff. I have learned to hate most "cooking" shows.[/font]

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Turn off the TV and spend your time doing research and meeting people in your local "food" community that can help you and share your passion...goggle "Food to Table...etc[/font]/img/vbsmilies/smilies/talker.gif
     
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I would suggest avoiding precut meats at the grocery store.  Especially ones that are labeled "stew meat" and "hamburger."  Never buy meat that has been cut or chopped before it is sold.  There are many reasons for that, the first being that once it starts being cut up into smaller chunks it speeds up the process of accumulating bacteris - meaning it's not as fresh as it needs to be.  Secondly, these types of labels don't specify what cut of meat it actually is.  When I see stew meat I assume it's probably top or bottom round... no matter how you cook these pieces they still stay tough.

    Instead of the grocery try to find a butcher.  Butchers are familiar with cuts of meat and can even help you by finding the right cut of meat for the type of cooking you want to do.  They can cut the meat for you in any way you want, they can trim, debone, butterfly and whatever else you need them to do.  Personally for stews I really like using chuck. You can also use brisket, but it is a little tougher. I like to buy it as a whole piece and cut it up myself, I don't like my meat to be handled to much before I get it home - personal preference.  Even when I buy ground beef, I go to the butcher and choose a cut of meat I want and then ask them to grind it for me right there on the spot.  I really need to get one of those grinder attachments for my mixer!

    If you must buy from the grocery store buy whole pieces of meat, not something that has been chopped.  Believe it or not there is someone back there who is a type of butcher and you can request to speak to him if you don't see what you are looking for out on display.  I've done that before.  It might be a little clumsier process than going to a real butcher but it will get the job done.  And look for the cuts you want, labeled.
    Well that's a little unfair.  Watching tv shows is a wonderful past time, I learned a lot a lot a lot by watching cooking shows and the Cooking Channel has some really wonderful shows on from other countries as well.  It's not pornographic or violent television, it's about cooking and anyone who loves food shouldn't feel shame for partaking in a little Nigella every once in a while.  Visually I find it delicious, besides... any channel you watch will have commercials.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  7. takingstock

    takingstock

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  8. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Nigella is on the Cooking Channel. I'm sure there are butchers if you care to look for them. Anyway, the OP is not really looking for a lecture on whether or not he/she should watch tv and shouldn't be put down for watching cooking shows. Good for you that you've found a way to avoid commercials. I'm not a moron.
     
  9. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Television shows do not cause tough beef, please keep it on topic.
     
     
  10. Iceman

    Iceman

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    WOW.     LOL.
     
  11. cacioepepe

    cacioepepe

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    I don't know...look at Sandra Lee.
     
  12. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    Some have good suggestions. Just have to learn to shop. It comes with experience so keep on cooking
     
  13. takingstock

    takingstock

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    THIS WAS MEANT AS HUMOR..... 

    "Here is your problem.  The cooking channel really has nothing to do with food or cooking."

    I apologize profusely.

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    No, it's not because it lacked marbling. 

    The patron was right, you probably bought beef cut and quality that were never going to become tender in the first place. I've seen those packages labeled "Beef for stew" in my supermarkets and they don't look good. Once my father in law bought one and attempted to make a stew and it was tough, tough, tough. He usually makes absolutely delicious stews - with other cuts. 

    I would recommend next time you buy a chuck, and cube it yourself. Or you can even cook it whole. Boeuf bourguignon is one of my favorite dishes, and sometimes I make it with one big piece, other times I make it with smaller cubes, a bit larger than a bite of food. 

    Either way I let the meat come to room temp, sear it on all sides, remove, deglaze the pan with the carrots/onions/celery used in the marinade, sweat those veggies, add the liquid from the marinade and add stock, put the meat in again and bring to a VERY SLOW SIMMER: DO NOT BOIL! That would toughen the meat even more. After 2 or 2.5 hours check the meat and continue checking every 20mn or so until it's really tender, stop the heat and let rest for a bit before serving. 

    Best of luck for next time!!
     
  15. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    THIS WAS MEANT AS HUMOR..... 

    "Here is your problem.  The cooking channel really has nothing to do with food or cooking."

    I apologize profusely.

    No worries, I know what you mean about the whole commercial thing.  Sandra Lee, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, I hate them all.  There are some great things to learn on PBS though with Simply Ming, The Scandinavian Cook, I do like Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver, there's a whole bunch of shows I learned a lot from.  
     
  16. ordo

    ordo

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    Very tough meat cuts come usually from old cattle. For instance, even ossobucco stew can be tender if it's veal ossobucco. And that's a tough cut.

    Also helps to cook the stew one day in advance. Let it cool down; reheat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  17. french fries

    french fries

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    I sometimes wonder if those "Beef for stew" packages aren't dairy cattle. Probably old too of course. 
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Stew Meat could be anything, same as chopped meat . It could be kangaroo.  How long did you cook your stew.? And trust me it was not from a loin. Maybe a deckle or some other trim piece or a combo of various  pieces.  Buy a solid [piece of arm chuck or bottom round and cube your own.
     
  19. french fries

    french fries

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    Personally I've never seen packages of "Stew Meat", only packages of "Beef for stew" or something of that nature. So we know we're dealing with beef here: 
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  20. loves2cook76

    loves2cook76

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    When I asked one of the workers they claim that's all they had which was very discouraging.  The bad thing about buying from the grocery is that most of the meat they have is already packaged and oftentimes when I get it home and unwrap it stand back-lol. 

    I'm trying to find a butcher close to me with no luck which is sad.  I used to live in Florida where a butcher lived in my neighborhood.  I'm still looking though