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Old 02-05-2009, 12:05 PM   #1
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Best Lean Beef to Cook in a Dutch Oven?

I am pretty new to cooking so I appreciate simple recipes - does anyone have ideas ?

1. Which cuts of beef are best to cook in a dutch oven?

2. Any good recipes for said items?


Appreciate it even if you can give me a general direction, I can wing it :)

Thanks everyone!

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Old 02-05-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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I am pretty new to cooking so I appreciate simple recipes - does anyone have ideas ?

1. Which cuts of beef are lean and cook well in a dutch oven?

2. Any good recipes for said items?


Appreciate it even if you can give me a general direction, I can wing it :)

Thanks everyone!
Pot roast/chuck roasts are great for dutch ovens and slow cookers
Brown (meaning to seare in the juices) first on both sides in the dutch oven, add salt & pepper to meat and set aside. Add potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic to the dutch oven and add one 15oz can of chicken or beef broth. Lay roast on top of the vegetables, top with the lid and let it simmer on medium heat for 2-3 hrs and voila!
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:19 PM   #3
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Really lean beef doesn't do well in a dutch oven. It dries out and can be tough.

I agree that chuck is one of the best. Brisket, too.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:22 PM   #4
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Really lean beef doesn't do well in a dutch oven. It dries out and can be tough.

I agree that chuck is one of the best. Brisket, too.
After I posted I was thinking that.. Actually come to think of it scratch the lean thing, it doesn't have to be that lean, just not tons of fat! I don't mind a bit of fat but not like marble... get my drift? :)
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:27 PM   #5
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Pot roast/chuck roasts are great for dutch ovens and slow cookers
Brown (meaning to seare in the juices) first on both sides in the dutch oven, add salt & pepper to meat and set aside. Add potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic to the dutch oven and add one 15oz can of chicken or beef broth. Lay roast on top of the vegetables, top with the lid and let it simmer on medium heat for 2-3 hrs and voila!
This sounds really good, thanks!

Are there any strategies to reduce the cooking time? I'm guessing beef just takes longer to cook in general (Can you tell I'm a newer cook? :) )
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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Dutch Oven = long, slow cooking by definition.

Think pot roast and stew -- meat braised (looked low and slow) in a heavy, lidded pot with some liquid.

You need to cook the meat for a long time -- till it's falling apart. If you cook it only until it's "done" it will be very tough.

Beef Bourguignon is kind of stew that's delicious and not that hard to make.

Pot Roast is easier though. It's just a beef roast cooked in liquid, generally beef broth or wine. Some people use dry onion soup mix or canned cream soup like mushroom. Usually you toss in some onions, carrots and potatoes, too. You cook the meat till it's very well done and falling apart.

There are loads of recipes posted here for pot roast and stews.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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Gotcha thank you... I was able to cook up chili quickly last night, So perhaps beef roasts will be something I reserve for the weekend when I have a couple hours to wait. During the week I get home at around 6 PM and I'm hungry! :)

Thank you for all the useful info!
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
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You are right. Dutch oven cooking is something for a non-workday.

But the best thing is that you can make up a lot and enjoy easy leftovers during the week.

Pot roast gives you versatile leftovers.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:57 PM   #9
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Gotcha thank you... I was able to cook up chili quickly last night, So perhaps beef roasts will be something I reserve for the weekend when I have a couple hours to wait. During the week I get home at around 6 PM and I'm hungry! :)

Thank you for all the useful info!
I make dishes like this on the weekends, put it in the fridge then heat it up when I get home. Sometimes letting it sit for a few days adds lots more flavor as well
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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This sounds really good, thanks!

Are there any strategies to reduce the cooking time? I'm guessing beef just takes longer to cook in general (Can you tell I'm a newer cook? :) )
It's not beef in general that takes longer to cook - it's the tough cuts that are suitable for braising in a Dutch oven. They have a lot of fat and connective tissue, and cooking them for a long time at a low temperature allows the fat to render out and the tough connective tissue to essentially melt and make the meat more tender. The same is true of pork and lamb shoulder or butt roasts.

If you want a faster cooking beef roast, you want a sirloin or other tender roast that bakes in a shorter period of time and is done when the meat is medium-rare in the center.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:18 PM   #11
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It's not beef in general that takes longer to cook - it's the tough cuts that are suitable for braising in a Dutch oven. They have a lot of fat and connective tissue, and cooking them for a long time at a low temperature allows the fat to render out and the tough connective tissue to essentially melt and make the meat more tender. The same is true of pork and lamb shoulder or butt roasts.

If you want a faster cooking beef roast, you want a sirloin or other tender roast that bakes in a shorter period of time and is done when the meat is medium-rare in the center.

Gotcha that makes sense...

I'm trying to think of things to brown in the bottom of the dutch oven and then mix with things into a stew type of dish.

I did this with chili last night - browned ground turkey in the bottom of the DO and then once it was done, threw in bell peppers, garlic, onions, kidney beans, tomato sauce, and boiled it up for about 40 minutes. Seasoned it with chili powder, sea salt, pepper, italian seasoning mixture, and it tasted great :)

Are there any other meats that are good to cook up quick for a whole meal in the dutch oven?

I think I've taken my whole thread off topic into more of a dutch oven thread :-X sorry!
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #12
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Gotcha thank you... I was able to cook up chili quickly last night, So perhaps beef roasts will be something I reserve for the weekend when I have a couple hours to wait. During the week I get home at around 6 PM and I'm hungry! :)

Thank you for all the useful info!
FWIW, imho, the best chile is also cooked low and slow. with dried beans that have been soaked overnight. If you are cooking this dish quickly, you are missing the wonderful complex flavors that develop when you give it the time it really wants. All bean dishes are like that.

You can make your pot roast with just a "can of stock," but I've found that mixing the liquids makes for a more complex and deeply flavored result. I also use more than 16 ounces for most meats. For instance, if you pour in your can of beef stock (imho chicken stock does not add enough "pop" to beef), and then rinse it out with a can of red wine and add that, as well. (The Belgians add beer. That's good, too!) The Provencal add a piece or orange peel. and I always add a couple of dried Bay Leaves.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:22 PM   #13
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FWIW, imho, the best chile is also cooked low and slow. with dried beans that have been soaked overnight. If you are cooking this dish quickly, you are missing the wonderful complex flavors that develop when you give it the time it really wants. All bean dishes are like that.

You can make your pot roast with just a "can of stock," but I've found that mixing the liquids makes for a more complex and deeply flavored result. I also use more than 16 ounces for most meats. For instance, if you pour in your can of beef stock (imho chicken stock does not add enough "pop" to beef), and then rinse it out with a can of red wine and add that, as well. (The Belgians add beer. That's good, too!) The Provencal add a piece or orange peel. and I always add a couple of dried Bay Leaves.

You're definitely right about the speed.. I made a big pot of it and it was hot, but I tried some right away and it was OK but then later in the night after it sat there for a while, I tried it again and it was much better. So you're definitely right about that! Thanks for the thoughts about the stock
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #14
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I did this with chili last night - browned ground turkey in the bottom of the DO and then once it was done, threw in bell peppers, garlic, onions, kidney beans, tomato sauce, and boiled it up for about 40 minutes. Seasoned it with chili powder, sea salt, pepper, italian seasoning mixture, and it tasted great :) !
Good work!

A dutch oven is specifically designed for cooking things that take a lot of time. You don't need a dutch oven to cook quick dishes. You can use a dutch oven for something fast, but you can also use a regular pot or pan.

When you make chili next (or anything) season it as you go along. Season your meat and then brown it. Deglaze the pan with liquid to release all the brown bits stuck to the bottom -- they are full of flavor. With chili, beer is good for this.

I'm not sure I would use Italian seasoning in chili, but if it tastes good to you, go ahead, but add it and the other seasonings early in the process.

Sea salt is pretty expensive and unnecessary. Kosher salt or even table salt is fine in something like chili. The only difference between sea salt and other salts is that is has trace amounts of minerals that you'll never taste in chili or most cooked foods.

Believe it or not, a little unsweetened chocolate gives chili a great, deep flavor.

You've learned that chili (like a lot of things) is better the next day. Once you've perfected a good pot of it, double up and freeze some.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:09 PM   #15
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Wise words!!! I have much to learn.. haha

Is chili powder the standard seasoning for chili or is there a chili leaf or such that provides more taste?

Definitely going to be one of my staple meals in the future... I've bored of chicken!

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:40 PM   #16
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Chili powder is the standard seasoning.

Its a blend made from chile pepper, cumin, garlic and sometimes mexican oregano and sometimes salt.

The main things that you taste is chili are the chile pepper and the cumin and sometimes people add more of those. Mexican oregano is a bit stronger and more assertive than regular.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:55 PM   #17
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Thanks again... I owe you!
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #18
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Pay me back by cooking something tasty!
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