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Old 12-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
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Question Advice for a chuck roast that I'm slow cooking right now

Hey :)

I used to slow cook beef, pork and poultry all the time but that was about a decade ago. Yesterday at the supermarket they had a sale on butcher cut chuck steaks so I bought a pair and some fixins'.

We have a counter top oven, that's been neglected too long, so in it I put this:
two 28oz cans of whole white potatoes
one 14.5oz can of sliced white potatoes
2/3 cup frozen sweet corn
3/4 cup frozen peas
one pound baby carrots
3 fuji apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 medium sweet white onion, diced
1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cups of water
1 cup of ketchup
2 chuck steaks, each about 3.4 pounds (they're very thick)

The canned veggies are because I'm disabled with a number of injuries and it's simply easier, and there's no seasoning because my wife doesn't like most seasoning. I never learned how to have a gentle touch with seasoning (at least not yet...).

The meat was submerged in the liquid and the oven was set to 160 degrees. At six hours I mixed it, five hours later I mixed and flipped the meat. Now it's almost 24 hours later, the meat is rare and nicely falling apart.

The reason I'm posting, though, is the broth, in that it has an add flavor. If I didn't know what was in it I'd have guessed there's too much celery in it. I say it's almost bitter, my wife says it's tangy.

I'm guessing that if I was knowledgeable and skilled in seasoning I'd know exactly what it needs. The opposite of bitter is sweet, and the opposite of tangy can also be sweet, so my first thought was to add sugar.

Then I decided *not* to and decided to post here first :)

Any thoughts?

Thanks!!!!

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Old 12-16-2014, 01:43 PM   #2
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I have never heard of putting Apples in a chuck roast. Maybe that's it? Also, did you at least use salt and pepper? Just re-read the ingredients..did you drain the canned veggies? That may make it taste Off.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lyndalou View Post
I have never heard of putting Apples in a chuck roast. Maybe that's it? Also, did you at least use salt and pepper? Just re-read the ingredients..did you drain the canned veggies? That may make it taste Off.
I've been putting apples with slow cooked chuck for years. No salt or pepper, and I included the water from the cans. All of them were no salt added.

In retrospect, maybe it's the variety of apples? These were fuji because it's what we had in the house. I don't recall what was used in the past...
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:12 PM   #4
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I've attached two pics. The meat is actually a lot pinker than the photos show, probably drowned out with the flash.

The meat tastes fantastic, with only a hint of that 'bitter'ness, same with the mushrooms. It's just the liquid that I'd like to modify.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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The oven has settings from 150 up to 450. Are you saying that these ovens aren't accurate enough to cook in?
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by paulb104 View Post
The oven has settings from 150 up to 450. Are you saying that these ovens aren't accurate enough to cook in?
I'm saying you have to cook meat at a much higher temperature than setting the oven to 160F. Meat and many vegetables are very dense so that isn't a high enough temperature to get the center hot enough to cook thoroughly. The food also sat for a long time in the "danger zone" where bacteria multiply fastest (between 41 and 141F), and it never boiled (212F) or even simmered (180-200) to kill what grew earlier.

Anything under about 200F should only be used to keep cooked food warm, and only for two hours.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:46 PM   #7
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Now I'm getting really confused.

A sous vide medium-rare steak is usually to be found at 134F.

Most slow cookers keep their temperature at 160165 F.

Are you saying that it's not safe to cook beef in a slow cooker or via sous vide?
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
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I'm saying it's not safe to bake in an oven at 160 for 24 hours. Different methods, different requirements. And from what I've seen people post here, most newer slow cookers even on low are high enough to end up simmering or boiling.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb104 View Post
Now I'm getting really confused.

A sous vide medium-rare steak is usually to be found at 134F.

Most slow cookers keep their temperature at 160165 F.

Are you saying that it's not safe to cook beef in a slow cooker or via sous vide?
Sous-Vide 101: Prime Steak Primer | Serious Eats

Quote:
Safety: Any time you eat undercooked meat, you are running a risk of food-borne illness. Use your own judgment to weigh whether or not your pleasure is worth this risk. And if pleasure is not your priority, seriously consider becoming a vegan. At 130F and above, bacteria will cease to multiply, but lower than this, and bacteria will multiply at an accelerated rate. If cooking your steak below 130F, do not leave it in the water bath for any longer than four hours.
FYI, this article was written in 2010. Food safety temperature rules were changed by the FDA in 2012. I know because I was in culinary school at the time and got a test question wrong because the book said one thing and the test said another
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:09 PM   #10
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I'm with you 100%. Too many oddities here. Case in point: meat can't be both rare and falling apart.

And, more importantly, cooking meat at 160 degrees is a recipe for food poisoning.
On the op's side, meat that is well done, especially beef, can look reddish in color. It is not rare, but could fool someone who isn't that experienced, or who hasn't cooked in a while. Also, carrots can bleed color.

My thoughts would be that the acidity of the apple contributed to the bitter flavor, as did the long cooking time. Beef that has been badly overcooked, and not even blackened, can take on a bitter flavor. If the onion is cooked too long, the natural sugars in the onion can become bitter.

Bitter and sweet are very similar flavors. In fact, items that are too sweet can come off as bitter.

My suggestion is to use a slow cooker set at medium temperature. Cook it no longer than about 10 hours or so. The beef, cooked at 160 would become hot enough to kill anything in it, however, it would take too long to reach a safe temperature, allowing the growth of nasty microbes. Even though they may be killed, while living, they will produce toxins that can ruin the food flavor, and, or make you sick.

Whenever using a slow cooker, or braising at a low temp., you should sear the meat to quickly raise its temperature, and improve the flavor. The meat can be held, after it's cooked through at 145' or so for a few hours. Much more than that and the flavor goes south.

I trust that the OP is sincere, and simply needs to understand what happens to food when it's cooked, or cooked improperly. Everything he said is plausible. I have experienced some of it as I was learning to cook.

Again, I believe we need to try and help each other on this site, not knock each other around.

paulb104, I've not seen you on DC before. Welcome. Ask any question at all. We are usually a friendly bunch, and will try to help the best we can.

If anyone takes exception to what I've said, I think you need to step back and put away your pride. And I stand by what I've said. There's been enough bashing on this site to last me a long while. It's getting out of hand.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Advice for a chuck roast that I'm slow cooking right now Hey :) I used to slow cook beef, pork and poultry all the time but that was about a decade ago. Yesterday at the supermarket they had a sale on butcher cut chuck steaks so I bought a pair and some fixins'. We have a counter top oven, that's been neglected too long, so in it I put this: two 28oz cans of whole white potatoes one 14.5oz can of sliced white potatoes 2/3 cup frozen sweet corn 3/4 cup frozen peas one pound baby carrots 3 fuji apples, peeled, cored, and diced 1 medium sweet white onion, diced 1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms 2 cups of water 1 cup of ketchup 2 chuck steaks, each about 3.4 pounds (they're very thick) The canned veggies are because I'm disabled with a number of injuries and it's simply easier, and there's no seasoning because my wife doesn't like most seasoning. I never learned how to have a gentle touch with seasoning (at least not yet...). The meat was submerged in the liquid and the oven was set to 160 degrees. At six hours I mixed it, five hours later I mixed and flipped the meat. Now it's almost 24 hours later, the meat is rare and nicely falling apart. The reason I'm posting, though, is the broth, in that it has an add flavor. If I didn't know what was in it I'd have guessed there's too much celery in it. I say it's almost bitter, my wife says it's tangy. I'm guessing that if I was knowledgeable and skilled in seasoning I'd know exactly what it needs. The opposite of bitter is sweet, and the opposite of tangy can also be sweet, so my first thought was to add sugar. Then I decided *not* to and decided to post here first :) Any thoughts? Thanks!!!! 3 stars 1 reviews
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