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Old 07-24-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
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Stir Fry Beef

Everytime I stir fry beef (I use London Broil) in a recipe, weather it be a chinese dish or fajitas, it always comes out super tough, even if I marinate it. What is the trick to getting the beef to come out tender..I so tired of eating shoe leather..Thanks, Joyce

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Old 07-24-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
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You're probably over cooking it. Try cooking it just a short time then cut into a piece and see if it's sufficiently cooked in the middle. This could take as little as 2-3 minutes.

Also, I presume you are cutting your LB across the grain.

You might consider using a more tender cut if none of the above helps.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Be sure to slice it thinly across the grain. That shortens the fibers and enhances tenderness. It doesn't take long at all to over cook beef especially when sliced thinly.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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Velvet the beef before stir frying. Also consider the tips posted above.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:12 PM   #5
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I've got this one. This method is the one used at Chines restaurants to make silky-tender beef or meat for stir fries. It's called velveting. here's how you do it, and yes, it keeps you from overcooking the beef, or chicken, or whatever meat you are using, while still cooking it all the say through, and at the same time, gives great flavor.

Marinade: Make a slurry of the following:
1/2 cup of water
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. minced onion, or 1/2 tsp. granulated onion powder
1 clove garlic, finely minced, or 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic powder
scant dash of Chinese 5- spice powder (optional)
1 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Some people add rice wine or vinegar. I don't.
Combine all ingredients until the cornstarch is dissolved in the liquid.

Meat - well marbled single meat muscle such as sirloin, chuck, or whatever you prefer, so long as there is no gristle. Slice into small pieces, like jerky, but shorter, and against the grain. Place in the marinade and let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes.

This cooking technique gently poaches the meat in either oil or water. I have used both cooking liquids with equally good results. The secret to this method is that the coating helps prevent moisture from escaping the meat, while also insulating it a bit so that the protein doesn't toughen up from getting hot. It's like eating medium rare beef, but cooked all the way through, if that makes any sense. The soy sauce, and other flavorings aren't required, but give the meat a good flavor. You can change up the flavors if you like.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then back down the heat until the water is still (not moving), but hot. Or, heat oil in a frying pan to between 260 and 280' F. Gently remove the meat strips and place in the pot or pan, one at a time. Cook them just until the coating turns opaque. Remove from the pot or pan and set aside until you're ready to put the meat into the stir-fry veggies. Heat all together, without cooking the meat further. You just want to bring it ujp to eating temperature, about 120' F or so. You're meat will be tender and juicy.

You will be very satisfied with the results of using this technique. It works equally well with poultry, beef, lamb, and pork. I believe it would also work with rabbit, hare, venison, grouse, pheasant, and know it works with scallops, and shrimp. Give it a try.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the north
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #6
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The key is in how you cut up the flank steak. As others have said, you have to cut across the grain.

Lay out a flank steak on your cutting board. You will see pronounced 'lines' in the meat that run end to end at an angle.

Make your first cuts along these lines to make long strips about 1.5 inches wide. Then cut across each strip slicing off 1/4" pieces. Because these pieces are cut across the grain the muscle fibers are very short so cannot be tough.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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Make sure your pan is hot and do not overload it. I usually stir fry 8 to 10 oz max.

Here is a good example of how I do my stir fry's. Just after the 5 min mark I add the meat to the wok.

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Old 07-24-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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Stir Fry Beef

Hi Chief..Thank you for taking the time to share this velveting technique with me. I will surely try it next time I do stir fry. It sounds not only delicious, but logical. Thanks again and I'll let you know how it comes out when I do it..Joyce
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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nothing more to add to what everyone else has said about slicing,velveting,loading the pan & especially the temperature.all spot on imo.the picture is of a stirfry i cooked recently & i'm coming to the end of the cooking,you can see the wok is still smoking.gotta keep it moving too but DON'T do any of that fancy "flipping" stuff you see on the television,woks are usually made of thin metal which cools quickly so everytime you take it away from the heat source it cools down,you put it back on the heat & it heats up.this in itself can lead to toughening.those commercial burners have long hot flames so when the chef flips the wok,it is usually still in contact with the flame.leave it on the heat...the clue is in the name...STIRfry!!....good luck next time,let us know & take some pics!!
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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I guess the London Broil is the main problem here. I do not think it is a good part of meat to use for stir fying. Plus, of course all the sugestions above.
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