Where did I go wrong with my lamb curry??

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Joined Dec 5, 2020
Hello All
I'm hoping you experts out there can help explain to me where I went wrong with my lamb curry.
Essentially I got some diced boneless leg of lamb pieces from the butcher and followed a slow cooker recipe.
Had it cooking on low for 4.5 hours then tested a piece and it was quite tough/dry and chewy. Basically unable to swallow because all I could do was chew it. I tested a piece with a meat thermometer and it was 89°C.
I then transferred to a simmer on the job and had it cook for another 45 mins or so on there which reduced the sauce but the lamb was still the same.
So I'm wondering did I
A) overcook it in terms of cooking time
B) overcook it in terms of cooking temperature (although I can't do much with this as the slow cooker was set to 'low')
C) cook it for longer
I don't know if I undercooked it or overcooked it. What are the different stages that lamb pieces go through when being cooked so that it's easy to identify if it's over cooked or undercooked? For example raw--> medium-->soft and tender --> dry and chewy?? Etc
The fact that the lamb piece was at 89°C suggests this was too hot and therefore overdone but it shouldn't have been as the slow cooker was set to low so I really don't know what and where I went wrong so any help could be appreciated.

I also get the same results in terms of chewy lamb when cooking on the hob in a pan after 1to 1.5 hours on a low simmer so me and lamb curries do not seem to get along which is a crying shame as I love that soft and tender taste when I have it in a restaurant!
Thanks for your help and advice everyone.
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
I actually think you got mutton, not lamb.
I don't have a slow cooker. I cook on the stove top, at a low simmer.
Time is your friend. If you cook with enough moisture everything becomes soft eventually.
Like our local oxtail. It normally takes 7 hrs plus.
Can you give us your recipe? Maybe there is something else that cpuld cause the meat to stay tough.
A picturte of your meat may also hellp. Some cuts just need a lot of time to break down collagen etc
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Jun 11, 2001
A few things help. Flour and brown your meat. Kinda like the velveting process in Chinese food. This helps keep moisture in. Make sure your meat pieces are not too small 1" square or a little more for a slow cook. Don't boil it because once the moisture inside of the meat boils you evaporate the moisture. Also you should braise, not cover it all with water. Full water coverage is for extracting.
 
4
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Joined Dec 5, 2020
A few things help. Flour and brown your meat. Kinda like the velveting process in Chinese food. This helps keep moisture in. Make sure your meat pieces are not too small 1" square or a little more for a slow cook. Don't boil it because once the moisture inside of the meat boils you evaporate the moisture. Also you should braise, not cover it all with water. Full water coverage is for extracting.
A few things help. Flour and brown your meat. Kinda like the velveting process in Chinese food. This helps keep moisture in. Make sure your meat pieces are not too small 1" square or a little more for a slow cook. Don't boil it because once the moisture inside of the meat boils you evaporate the moisture. Also you should braise, not cover it all with water. Full water coverage is for extracting.
Thanks for that. I'm guessing as the meat temperature was 89°C most of the moisture inside had more or less evaporated away which rules out using the low setting on the slow cooker! Guess I'll just try for a low simmer on the hob.
 
4
0
Joined Dec 5, 2020
I actually think you got mutton, not lamb.
I don't have a slow cooker. I cook on the stove top, at a low simmer.
Time is your friend. If you cook with enough moisture everything becomes soft eventually.
Like our local oxtail. It normally takes 7 hrs plus.
Can you give us your recipe? Maybe there is something else that cpuld cause the meat to stay tough.
A picturte of your meat may also hellp. Some cuts just need a lot of time to break down collagen etc
Thank you. Will try and post a picture next time I attempt it. Sounds like I should have kept on cooking on that basis. Just I was getting hungry and having cooked it for almost 5 .5 hours was almost an hour late and was getting hungry! Next time will start cooking earlier if I follow the same method. Guess I was just scared if I'd already gone beyond the soft and tender stage and had already entered the overdone stage
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
Wrong cut of meat, and probably not very good meat. When you bought it, did you choose the piece and ask them to dice it up for you? Or was it already diced? I never buy meat that is already diced, you just don't know what you're getting or when it was cut up. There is such a thing as overcooking when it comes to leg of lamb. Try a completely different cut, shoulder of lamb stands up perfectly to long cooking times and comes out soft and tender.
 
4
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Joined Dec 5, 2020
Wrong cut of meat, and probably not very good meat. When you bought it, did you choose the piece and ask them to dice it up for you? Or was it already diced? I never buy meat that is already diced, you just don't know what you're getting or when it was cut up. There is such a thing as overcooking when it comes to leg of lamb. Try a completely different cut, shoulder of lamb stands up perfectly to long cooking times and comes out soft and tender.
Thanks - yes it was already diced and I just asked them to give me a kilo of it.
Good point with the shoulder. I was just being adventurous and pushed the boat out and it backfired on me!

That's why I thought I can't go wrong with the slow cooker but obviously I did (unless all that was required was further cooking but don't know if that was the case or if I'd already gone beyond the point of no return)
 
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