Will a tough cut of meat always get tender with braising?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, May 13, 2019.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    I wonder, when braising a tough cut of meat, does it always end up tender after a while (say 3 or 4 hours), or do some really tough cut, or certain quality of meat never really go tender?
     
  2. mike9

    mike9

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    I've never had one that didn't give up at some point.
     
  3. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Oxtail really needs 5 hours.
     
  4. Innocuous Lemon

    Innocuous Lemon

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    fair bit
    Anything will become tender given enough time, and then go seemingly almost "over-tender" and dry given too much longer. The trick is identifying sweet spots of cuts of meat and finding ones which overlap well enough. Oxtail and shin is divine in 6 hours of no pre-sear, half-submerged braising
     
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  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Cool thanks. I guess different muscles yield different amounts of tenderness. I was braising a large cut of beef that was made of at least two large different muscles, one of them got really tender and the other one was just okay, not tough but not super tender, a little on the dry side.

    When I get mixed stew beef meat (who knows from what cuts the pieces come from), some pieces get super tender and others are again a bit tougher and drier.
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I never buy stew meat for the exact reason that you mentioned. I cut up my own, well actually for a second reason as well and that is because I am cheap.

    If I buy stew meat, I get meat from different muscles with different cooking times plus I am paying for someone else labor. Okay, now I thought of a third reason and that is because my dog gets no snackies if I buy pre-cut.

    I recently bought pork shoulder for $0.99 a pound and got 3 meals out it. Country style ribs, a stew, and a pasta dish. I love the challenge of finding an inexpensive protein and then using my skillset to produce a flavorful meal. Cooking a filet mignon doesn't present much a challenge (so I get no self-pats on the back), plus it dents my wallet, and my dog gets no snackies.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  7. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Pot roast is one where you need to hit the window. Go too far and the collagen or whatever around the fibers breaks down too much, fluids get released and you are left with stringy and dry mouth feel.
     
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  8. Transglutaminase

    Transglutaminase

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    Uh, tried braising a {previously frozen} raccoon leg.. many, many years ago.
    After 3-4 hours of "braising", it was tough/solid..so in it went.. to the pressure [email protected] ..after an hour..it was still tough as a truck tire! Really! Could not stick a fork into it!
    House stunk like nobody's business & the dog went absolutely wild! (no, did not feed it to her)
    Ah, experiments.. that should never, ever.. be repeated! :rolleyes
     
  9. mike9

    mike9

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    With long cooking you need to test it often. I find some over cooked re-toughen and some get livery. @french fries - did you separate the two muscles before braising? Some silver skin and tendon never seem to break down.
     
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    No I did not I braised the whole cut in one piece.
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Yes I think those bottom rounds will never get totally tender. They get tenderish.
     
  12. french fries

    french fries

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    Yeah that what it seems to me too, but sometimes it's hard to identify what I'm getting from the store. :(
     
  13. Innocuous Lemon

    Innocuous Lemon

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    your local butcher is always the answer. its a profession seeing a resurgence that should get every scrap of support it can, and you can form a much deeper connection to your food (a luxury which i personally equate unreservedly with enjoying food from cooking to eating) by talking to them and even seeing exactly what you ask for being taken off the animal right in front of you
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    I know. But the local butcher is expensive, and sometimes I shop at the supermarket.
     
  15. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Supermarket butchers will often take the time with you also.
     
  16. kongfeet

    kongfeet

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    Based on my experience, in order for meat to get "tender" after 3 to 4 hours of braising, you need two things: marbling (as in shortribs and point cut brisket)and sinew (as in oxtails and shanks). Bottom round, for example, has neither, thus will not get tender, that is, tender in a pleasant way. It doesn't mean that it will be inedible. There are better ways to cook it.
     
  17. french fries

    french fries

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    Ah.. that has not been my experience. Some cuts have literally ZERO marbling and sinew and can get very tender.
     
  18. Sm_okie

    Sm_okie

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    One of my chefs told me not to braise sirloin as it will just get dry. I've tried it anyways and I think he may be right