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Old 07-10-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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Pot roast is tough?

Hi! I'm new to the forum and seeking advice. I've got a pot roast on the stove right now. I heated up some oil, browned all the sides, added water, wine, thyme, bay, salt, and pepper as well as onions and it's been on low for about 4 hours now. However, the meat is still tough. It didn't get tender and then tough again, it just stayed tough. What am I doing wrong? I found a website that says cheap cuts of beef like the chuck roast I'm using will get tougher at first, then tender. Will cooking it more fix this problem? Is it possible that I'm using too low heat?

Editing to add that I just tested the temp of the meat and it's only 160. I read another thread on here that said it had to get up to 200 to break the bonds between the muscle, so I'm turning the heat up for now and cooking it some more. Somebody tell me if I'm doing something really wrong and ruining my meat!

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Old 07-10-2007, 05:03 PM   #2
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Hi, erinspice! Welcome to the forum!!

The key to a really successful tender pot roast is to braise or slow cook it after browning it, which comes to about the same thing. Are you doing that? Didn't see it mention in your post.

Slow cooking, be it in a heay kettle on the stove, in the oven, or in a slow cooker, helps to break down tough stringy fibers and connective tissue, making the meat much more tender and palatable, which also eases chewing pain from eating tough meat. Like you said.

I usually brown the meat on all sides like you do. But I cook mine longer than 4 hours. Maybe 6 to 8 hours.

No, you're NOT using too low heat, as fast cooking doesn't do the job - not for cheap inexpensive cuts of meats that require much longer cooking times.

Probably, the things is to slow cook it longer, to get it to the tenderness that you're looking for. Try it.

And BTW, this same method can also be used for beef stew as well!
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:04 PM   #3
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You have the right idea. Internal temp of the roast should be over 200 F. Make sure the liquid is simmering.

Another option is to pop the whole pot into the oven at 350 F.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #4
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Another sweet idea is to use a pressure cooker, if you have one.

Just be careful to follow the coking times to the letter so that you don't end up with mush.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:13 PM   #5
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Thanks! Yes, I've been slow cooking it in a heavy pot on the stove for about 6 hours now. It was at about 160F for 3-4 hours, then I turned it up after reading the thread on here that I mentioned in my first post. It's been 200F+ for at least 1 hour now, and it is getting tenderer! The liquid was not simmering for the first portion of the cooking, but it is simmering now.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:17 PM   #6
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It's ready when a carving fork goes in easily (fork tender).
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:26 PM   #7
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Yes, that, also!
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:27 PM   #8
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Beef Roast is one of my all time favorites. I have found that is just better to rely on a slow cooker to get the best quality. Place your seasonings on the bottom cover with sliced onion, add the roast and a cup of water.

Cook on low overnight. You will want to let it cool and refrigerate and then
warm it for dinner but it is throughly cooked and ready to go.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:31 PM   #9
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Follow the directions and you'll have the best pot roast you ever tasted.

GRANDMA SNARR’S POT ROAST

Chuck roast or any pot roast)
Canola oil (Grandma used Crisco and maybe a little bacon grease)
Flour
Salt & pepper
Water
Carrots
Russet potatoes
Celery (opt)
Onion (opt)

There are no amounts given on the ingredients, as that is up to you.
The most important part of this recipe is searing the meat. It must be done at a high temperature, and, as grandma said, you have to “burn the meat”. You know it’s right when the smoke detector goes off. You don't actually burn the meat...you just want a good dark crust on the outside. That's what makes the gravy so good.

Salt and pepper the meat. Season the flour (about 1 ˝ cups), and dredge the meat in it.
Heat heavy Dutch oven on high heat, add enough oil to cover bottom of skillet, and add meat. Lower the heat just a tiny bit, then let meat brown, uncovered, without turning until it’s very dark brown, like a chocolate roux. It's OK if there are a few black edges. Turn meat and let it brown on the other side.
Add about 2 cups off water, turn heat down to med/low, and place meat on trivet if you have one. Cover and let cook until meat is tender, but not falling apart. Lift up meat and put vegetables on the bottom, then re-cover and let simmer until they are tender.
Remove meat from pot, place on platter and keep warm. Spoon out vegetables, and put in a separate serving bowl. Remove trivet. Estimate how much liquid you have in the pan, and make a slurry out of one tablespoon of flour and one tablespoon of water for each cup of drippings. Whisk into liquid in pan, turn heat up to medium high, and cook until thickened. Adjust seasoning, and pour into gravy boat.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:57 PM   #10
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Still yet, another way to make a killer pot roast is to use a cast iron Dutch oven with a lid that has bumps on its underside, if you have one.

The bumps help gather up the hot moisture from the steam and constantly bastes the roast as it simmers in the kettle ever so gently.

And the dark brown bits from the browning process helps to flavor and enhance the liquid, which when thickened, also makes a tasty killer gravy!

Use little liquid, if possible. The wine also helps to tenderise the meat as it slowly cooks. Use a burgundy wine for this recipe.
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