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Old 03-20-2014, 11:06 AM   #1
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Tasteless meat

Hi ... something that's got me perplexed for years is the result of slow cooking the cheaper cuts of meat in particular beef whether conventionally on the hob as a stew or in a slow cooker. Shin and cheek taste good if they're not over or under cooked but something like topside or 'stewing beef' seems to lose all flavour into the stewing juice and ends up tasting like (and having a similar texture to) cardboard ... excellent tasty gravy but 'dull' tasting meat ... anyone any ideas please ?

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Old 03-20-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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I think you've answered your own question!
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:41 AM   #3
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I love the descriptions of the beef parts. Cheeks and shins on the hob.

My wife is squeamish enough with US descriptions......lol
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:56 AM   #4
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I think you've answered the question. All the flavor has been cooked out of the meat and is now in the juice. Try backing off on the cooking time just a bit.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:57 PM   #5
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Things to remember. This is called 3 stage cooking. The 1st stage is to brown the meat so it caramelizes. You can flour the meat 1st or just brown it as is. Cast iron is best. Make sure the meat has enough room in the pan as to not touch each other. This holds all the juice inside the meat.
Stage 2 is reached after liquid is added and is being braised. What happens next is all the juice leaves the meat to join the braising liquid. At this stage the meat is very tough and flavorless.
Stage 3. At this point, after a long cooking, the meat breaks down and all the spices,vegs stock and flavors return back into the meat to add the flavor and tenderness.
To add more flavor use a strong stock, fresh spices and plenty of veggies. Salt should be added at the end of cooking. hope this helps, Joe
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogertb View Post
Hi ... something that's got me perplexed for years is the result of slow cooking the cheaper cuts of meat in particular beef whether conventionally on the hob as a stew or in a slow cooker. Shin and cheek taste good if they're not over or under cooked but something like topside or 'stewing beef' seems to lose all flavour into the stewing juice and ends up tasting like (and having a similar texture to) cardboard ... excellent tasty gravy but 'dull' tasting meat ... anyone any ideas please ?
My grandmother (and several published cooks) always held that shin made the best stews/casseroles. And I think she was correct.

I learned at my mother's knee never to buy "stewing beef", "frying steak", and other vaguely described meats. Always ask for it by the name of the part of the animal eg shin or sirloin, rump or fillet steak.
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
I love the descriptions of the beef parts. Cheeks and shins on the hob.

My wife is squeamish enough with US descriptions......lol
Not squeamish but was surprised to discover that what you call pork "butt" is actually shoulder of said animal. Entely the other end to what I thought it was!
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:44 AM   #8
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For stewing beef, I like to cut up sections as London Broil or sirloin. I put these of a plate, and cut deep into each piece and rub very hard some garlic powder, minced onion, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and chives.

I brown this very lightly in a skillet and dump this into a pot of broth and add any vegetables you wish.

With love,
~Cat
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:55 AM   #9
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Thanks all for your contributions, your observations were good 'salt and pepper' though it does make 'timing' a little difficult I suppose and since reading Harold McGee's excellent book on the science of cooking I don't believe sealing meat keeps juices in.

Remembering that I googled and came across this:



... which does go some way to answering my question I guess which is 'brown' the meat weigh carefully and work out the timing for cooking on 'low' - I should probably make more use of my temperature probe as well .... too lazy normally.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rogertb View Post
Thanks all for your contributions, your observations were good 'salt and pepper' though it does make 'timing' a little difficult I suppose and since reading Harold McGee's excellent book on the science of cooking I don't believe sealing meat keeps juices in.

Remembering that I googled and came across this:



... which does go some way to answering my question I guess which is 'brown' the meat weigh carefully and work out the timing for cooking on 'low' - I should probably make more use of my temperature probe as well .... too lazy normally.
Browning doesn't really seal the meat's surfaces but it adds to the flavour due to the maillard effect.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

So it is worth the bother of doing it.

Unfortunately, despite the subject of McGee's book, cooking isn't a science. If it was then every time you cooked a dish it would turn out exactly the same. You can do the same thing with the same ingredients 10 times and get a slightly different result each time. That's part of the pleasure and the interest of cooking.
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