Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA, Oklahoma
The "dryness" and "toughness" factors are the major reasons why restaurants cook large cuts of beef to medium. The more "done" a large cut becomes, it dries out, and the exterior can actually burn. "Well done" is best for steaks that are inheritly tender to start with. The more you cook beef with dry heat, the tougher it becomes as the protein coagulates.
I worked a party a couple of months ago, where a crowd of about 100 folks were getting a steamship round. This is a sub-primal cut, from the hip to the knee, on the rear leg of a cow. It weighed 90 lbs before being cooked. The people that booked the party insisted it be cooked "Well Done". Well, it was done, all right. Can we say "Beef Jerky"?
IMHO as a food professional, the only way to fix a roast, cook it well done, and have a moist, tender, product, is to cook a pot roast. This is a "moist heat" method, since it's cooked in a covered pot or roaster, with a liquid of some sort, usually beef stock. The steam and moisture work together with the heat to break down the connective tissues into gelatin, making the end result tender, juicy, and more flavorful.
Just get a nice roast, like a chuck, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and some rosemary. Sear in a cast iron skillet (or preferably, a dutch oven), on all sides. If you are using a dutch oven, once the roast is seared, add 2 - 3 cups of good beef stock to deglaze the pan. Cover, and cook in a 350 degree oven for 3 - 4 hours. Add to the roaster or dutch oven a quartered, peeled, onion, a few stalks of celery cut into 3" lengths, a couple of carrots, peeled, and cut into 3" lengths, and a few potatoes, peeled, and cut into quarters lengthways. Cover the roaster/dutch oven, and return to the oven for another hour. I've found that if you give a pot roast a total cooking time of 4 hours, you can slice it, but not very thinly. If you cook the same cut for a total of 5 hours, don't even worry about slicing it. Just break off hunks of meat with a couple forks. When it's done, remove the roast to a plate or platter. Remove the veggies to a different serving plate or platter. Strain and degrease the broth, then tighten with cornstarch into a most delicious gravy.
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!