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Tenderizing Tough Beef

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  • Tenderizing Tough Beef

    We bought 1/2 grass-fed cow from a farm that we will never buy from again. It's hard to imagine such tough beef and such a bad butchering job, it's all cut and wrapped in 3 lb chunks, no hamburger, no steaks. The seller kept hedging on how long it had been aged. I'd say not more than 2-3 days. It must have been wild, and cattle prods used before killing by slicing it's neck. We've decided give all the left-overs to our dogs to help us get through this beef faster.

    However we still must cook and eat it. The only process that works so far is this:
    1. Thaw the meat overnight in aan aciddic marinade of vinegar or lemon juice or buttermilk or yogurt.
    2. Beat it to death with a tenderizing mallett
    3. Peirce it all over with a thin, pointed metal something
    4. Put it back in the rinsed marinade bag with one of the naturally occuring enzymes: papain from papaya, bromelain from pineapple, or oractinidin from kiwifruit. To do this prepare the fruit, than beat it to pulp with the tenderizing mallett in a bowl and pour it all into the bag. Put it in the refigerator over night.
    5. The next morning dry it and salt it, or put in in a brining salt solution.
    6. Before cooking it that night, rinse the salt off and dry it.
    7. Braise it first, then cook it slowly at low temps.

    This does work. It becomes chewable and it's rather tasty. It's certainly nothing like a commercially fed beef.
    Last edited by Cryptocode; 02-14-2013, 09:49 PM.
    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

  • #2
    Sounds like they mangled the butchering.

    Have you tried slow cooking it?
    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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    • #3
      I would second slow cooking it. It sounds like you need to make some crock pot meals out of that one.
      High Weight: 225
      Weight at start of Primal: 189
      Current Weight: 174
      Goal Weight: 130

      Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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      • #4
        Who was it from? Seeing as how you are in Norco, I'm guessing maybe Eden Tropics? I have a little bit of beef from them in my freezer. My parents have more. Paleobird also has a quarter cow from them. I haven't found the small amount I've tried to be especially tough but it was strangely butchered and there was, to be nice, "confusion" surrounding the order.

        What I do with tough meat:
        * make sausage or hamburger. You'll need a grinder.
        * make "barbecue" ... the name is a bit confusing for someone like me who grew up in socal where barbecuing was the name for grilling, but I mean the slow smoked meat you would get in Texas on east. When I moved to Texas I learned you can buy a whole brisket (which is very tough) fairly cheap and when smoked for 14-18 hours it turns into something tender and delicious.
        * partially freeze, slice thin (e.g. with a meat slicer), and use for Korean barbecue style "just in time" cooking.
        * Stew/chili/curry meat. Brown first, then add to a relatively slow-cooked sauce/soup. During the winter I'm often a practitioner of the "neverending soup pot" but that's not an idea everyone can get behind.
        * pressure braise - with a pressure cooker you can get the results of 8 hours cooking time in 1 hour.

        Hope that was helpful and sorry about to hear you got a bum steer.
        Last edited by Him; 02-14-2013, 02:03 PM.

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        • #5
          You can rub it with seasoning and soak it overnight in slightly salted water. Then slow-roast it or stew it if you want it cooked through or thinly slice it and flash-fry it if you want it rare. I do this for tougher cuts like cheek and heart and they turn out a treat!
          --
          Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

          --
          I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
          I'd apologize, but...

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          • #6
            Any interest in trying sous vide? I've been able to take really tough cuts of meat and get them filet tender. Can be done with a slow cooker and a temp control unit.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Him View Post
              Who was it from? Seeing as how you are in Norco, I'm guessing maybe Eden Tropics? I have a little bit of beef from them in my freezer. My parents have more. Paleobird also has a quarter cow from them. I haven't found the small amount I've tried to be especially tough but it was strangely butchered and there was, to be nice, "confusion" surrounding the order.
              Our 1/2 a cow was his last of the season, which is why it was aged only 2-3 days. And yes, it is very strangely butchered, to say the least. Typically I give the butcher an order of instructions as to how I want it cut. That didn't seem to be possible here. And Never have I had such tough meat. But this method does get it eatable. I said slow cook it. Isn't that the same as putting it in a slow-cooker. Do that if you prefer.

              We won't be buying from him again.
              Last edited by Cryptocode; 02-18-2013, 05:08 PM.
              "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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              • #8
                Do you think you just got leftovers out of his freezer instead?
                ------
                We eat a lot of venison. Sometimes I will marinate for 2 solid days and the meat is usually much tastier and flavorful that way. My go to marinade is:
                1/2 c. olive oil
                1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
                grated rind of 1 lemon
                salt and pepper
                few dashes liquid smoke
                parsley, oregano and basil
                3 crushed garlic cloves
                ----
                combine everything and pour over meat and marinate in a glass dish, preferably. Even let it thaw in the marinade and add on an extra day---just takes more preplanning. Good luck!
                Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                • #9
                  Prepared Horseradish put on the meat before cooking does a really good job of tenderizing.

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                  • #10
                    You can always marinate in red wine ... Bourguignon-style.
                    Paul
                    http://www.pjgh.co.uk
                    http://www.livingintheiceage.co.uk

                    "... needs more fish!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
                      Our 1/2 a cow was his last of the season, which is why it was aged only 2-3 days. And yes, it is very strangely butchered, to say the least. Typically I give the butcher an order of instructions as to how I want it cut. That didn't seem to be possible here. And Never have I had such tough meat. But this method does get it eatable. I said slow cook it. Isn't that the same as putting it in a slow-cooker. Do that if you prefer.

                      We won't be buying from him again.
                      So it was Eden Tropics? I am finding the meat I got from them to be wonderfully flavorful but very tough. The slow cooker and some broth are the way to go. The packaging left a lot to be desired too. I lave some large lumps of "mystery meat" in my freezer. Since I bought some goat, some lamb and some beef, it's hard to even tell which animal any one lump is much less what cut.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Him View Post
                        Hope that was helpful and sorry about to hear you got a bum steer.
                        *Groan*

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                        • #13
                          I love beef bar-b-que - take the chunks and do a nice pan sear for a quick outside cook, then toss all these chucks into a big bowl, mix in some liquid smoke, hickory seasonings, garlic, and some tomato sauce. Cook it for 5-6 hours at 200-225 degrees.

                          Now you can chop it up, mix up bar-b-q sauce, and cook it again for an hour, Don't need bread or anything else.

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                          • #14
                            I have a question about ground beef. I love lean ground beef or bison for burgers and I usually get 95/5 or 96/4. High heat, no flip if I use my griddler, one flip if I use a pan. Juicy, tender, and yummy.

                            Last night I was experimenting with lean ground beef to make meat muffins - sort of meat cups filled with different things like tomato, egg yolk, cheese, jalapenos, etc. The first batch came out pretty tough. I turned the heat up for the second batch and that improved it a bit.

                            Is there anything I should add to the ground beef to get it moister, or should I just play around with raising the heat until I get the right consistency? Any tips would be appreciated.

                            Thanks!
                            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                            B*tch-lite

                            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                              *Groan*
                              Exactly the reaction that comment deserved.

                              I bet Cryptocode got the other half of the same animal you and my parents split.

                              I made ribs from that animal for dinner tonight. I used same cooking technique I've used for ribs in the past. They were delicious, but they also came out very dry...much drier than I expected. There may have been a technique issue (I let someone else tend the food while I was at work) but there was also less fat than I anticipated. In hindsight I should've added fat and more moisture. The meat pulled apart easily but the connective tissue was hard. Net result? Yeah, it was tough. Kinda beef jerky tough. I'd completely blame the cook except I've followed the same process with other ribs and enjoyed more tender results.

                              The bones (including both picked clean and left over) are in a pressure cooker now preparing for a soupy sequel.

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