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Thread: Will a crockpot make any beef tender? page

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    lorichka6's Avatar
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    Will a crockpot make any beef tender?

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    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?

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    DarthFriendly's Avatar
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    Yes. Just add some liquid. I suggest "stewing" the stew meat. Red wine is good.

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    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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    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.
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    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.
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    zilog's Avatar
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    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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    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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    lorichka6's Avatar
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    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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    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 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Added info on long cooking
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    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.

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