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Will a crockpot make any beef tender?

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  • Will a crockpot make any beef tender?

    I have a package of "stew" beef from our 1/4 cow purchase in the freezer. The last package, when just sauteed in a pan, was chewy/tough as heck. It is already cut into cubes. Will putting the next batch of meat in a crockpot for a few hours on low heat increase the likelihood of this meat not having the consistency of leather?

  • #2
    Yes. Just add some liquid. I suggest "stewing" the stew meat. Red wine is good.

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    • #3
      Stew beef is meant to be cooked long and low - so yes, either a crock pot or long, slow simmering in a pot on the stove is the way to go.

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      • #4
        If you don't mind spending a little cash and want guaranteed tender meat, get yourself a pressure cooker. You absolutely cannot cook anything and have it come out tough.
        Durp.

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        • #5
          We give our stew meat a good sear in a pan on the stove, then cook it in the crock pot for at least 6 hours.
          --Trish (Bork)
          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
          http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
          FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            We give our stew meat a good sear in a pan on the stove, then cook it in the crock pot for at least 6 hours.
            This is the only way to cook non-steak beef IMO!

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            • #7
              Second on the pressure cooker. That's the fastest and surest way to tender beef. Usually, but not always, the crockpot works too after several hours.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone. What exactly makes stew beef stew beef? How is that muscle fiber physiologically different than tenderloin muscle fiber? Or is it not the muscle fibers but the connective tissue? I suppose I can use the google machine to answer this as well

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                • #9
                  I am no expert at this but I think the stew meat is muscle that the animal used more, hence is tougher and stringier, also may relate to the age of the animal. I make beef stew in the crockpot all the time and would cook for at least 6 hours. The goal is to get the meat to break down and become somewhat gelatinous. I would also sear the meat first for the added flavor. Have never used a pressure cooker so can't help there.

                  I recently cooked a grassfed London Broil in the crockpot and it was disappointing. Grassfed beef seems to be lower in fat than the same cut in conventionally raised beef. Either way, definitely cook long and low - 8-10 hours on low gets a much better result than 4-6 hours on high. Also resist the desire to peek. Every time you open the lid, you lose moisture. Good luck!
                  Last edited by Wrenwood; 06-17-2012, 05:33 AM. Reason: Added info on long cooking
                  My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

                  "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

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                  • #10
                    Slow cooking will tenderise any meat - that's what the process does.

                    For an extra special tenderness, try marinating. Lemon juice will do, for an hour at the minimum. Red wine is good, overnight, where possible.
                    Paul
                    http://www.pjgh.co.uk
                    http://www.livingintheiceage.co.uk

                    "... needs more fish!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gavinWang2
                      We give our stew meat a good sear in a pan on the stove
                      No you don't. Dr. Bork Bork does. Stop lying. You are a bot. You don't even have a brain.
                      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Grumpycakes View Post
                        No you don't. Dr. Bork Bork does. Stop lying. You are a bot. You don't even have a brain.
                        I found myself totally relating to a post on another thread this morning.

                        Then I realized it was my own post from almost a year ago.

                        Freaking bots.
                        Durp.

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                        • #13
                          Stew meat is a generic name for a combination of different cuts that are often left over from butchering a side of beef. It usually has lots of fat and connective tissue. Slow and low (crockpot or smoker) will give the connective tissue a chance to melt and turn into a juicy liquid that is reabsorbed by the meat. This transforms chewy and tough into juicy and tender.

                          For stews, if you want a really tender meat, get a chuck roast and cut it down yourself, then brown and cook (btw pressure cooked stew is my favorite).

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                          • #14
                            Another technique is a dutch oven. Basically a cast iron pot with a lid, or cast iron covered with ceramic. $60 bucks at target for a 5 qt CastLogic beaut.

                            Marinate meat if desired. Then sear in the dutch oven in some kind of grease until browned but not cooked. Add seasonings and a cup or so of stock or water. Put the pot in the oven on 150 degrees and leave for 8-10 hours.

                            I love that dutch oven. Very low temperature is the secret here. 150 is perfect if your oven will obey it's dial!

                            Robin in Colorado

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
                              I found myself totally relating to a post on another thread this morning.

                              Then I realized it was my own post from almost a year ago.

                              Freaking bots.
                              It's a sign of how smart they are that they're quoting you, right?

                              On topic: as agreed by the thread, slowcooked meat is the BEST way to cook meat. If it's too tough, cook it for longer (we usually do it for 6-10 hours on low). And it's called stewing steak because of the cut of the animal it comes from. Basically it's the lowest grade cheapest and toughest meat.
                              Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                              Griff's cholesterol primer
                              5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                              Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                              TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                              bloodorchid is always right

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