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Old 08-07-2011, 07:58 AM   #1
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Beef dry in casserole

Hi, I'm a novice chef and I love casseroles. How do I prevent the beef in my beef casserole from drying out. It tastes good, it's tender, but it is bone dry. I recently bought a slow cooker, but if anything the problem isn't improved.

regards,
George

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:05 AM   #2
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I know that it is not pc, but sometimes you simply need a fattier cut of beef for this. Think about a chuck. Otherwise, just increase whatever you are using for a liquid. You didn't post a recipe, so don't know what it is, but add some beef stock/broth to the recipe.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:37 AM   #3
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The recipe is for Beef Bourguignon.

Preparation Time: 30 min (45 if you need to peel the small onions).
Cooking Time: 8 hours, plus 20 minutes to reheat (or if necessary 10 minutes to thicken the sauce).
Cooking Temperature: Low.
<<
  • 4 slices of bacon, in strips. Cut the rind off but use in the cooking process
  • 500 grams of cubed beef, suitable for a casserole. I used rump steak.
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp of flour, plus another 2 tablespoons for sauce thickening
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of Red Wine, conveniently I had a bottle of French Red Wine for Burgundy
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of Beef Stock, I used a bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon of Tomato Paste / Puree
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pureed.
  • Few sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves. The recipe I used suggested crumbling them, I would advise against this. I did this the first time and I got left with crumbled bay leaf in my mouth which was not great.
  • 10 18 small white onions. These small onions are hard to get hold of in the UK, they are the ones used for pickling onions. I used shallots instead which are much bigger, and I used two per person, after choosing the smallest I could find.
  • 4 large quartered mushrooms, although whole button mushrooms may look better presentationally
>>
There is plenty of stock and I have to thicken when cooked. The problem is the beef. not tough, but dry. I've tried chuck steak, skirt, fillet and rump in different recipes, but I alway end up with a nice stock\sauce, but dry meat. the meat has no juice in it when chewed.

regards,

George
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:51 AM   #4
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You could sear the meat pieces prior to adding them. That will make them less dry and more tender.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:03 AM   #5
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I don't know what the instructions are so I'm not positive this will work, but when I make beef stew I coat the meat in the flower, then fry it until lightly browned before adding it to the broth and everything. The sauce thickens as the mix cooks and the flower being around that meat seems to help it stay moist.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
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Rump steak is kind of lean for this application. Next time buy a boneless chuck roast/steak. I find it's the best for slow cooked beef dishes. Chuck cuts in general work really well. When I make boef bourguignon, that's what I use.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geowhite
I used rump steak.
Suggest you use Chuck...brown it....use larger pieces....and not cook for 8 hours!!! ~~ Braising for 8 hours will dry out any cut of beef cut into small pieces....Cook until it tender.

Luck......
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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Three things can make your meat dry.

1. Rump is too lean. Take Andy & Bob's advice - use chuck.
2. Low heat means VERY low heat. You absolutely do not want the liquid to be boiling. It needs to stay under 200F. Most slow cookers sold today run much hotter than the old ones (thank you, food police).
3. 8 hours can be a very long time for beef bourguignon. I've never cooked it more than 2 or 3 hours.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:43 PM   #9
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I add some chopped speck or fatty bacon, it keeps the meat moist.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Suggest you use Chuck...brown it....use larger pieces....and not cook for 8 hours!!! ~~ Braising for 8 hours will dry out any cut of beef cut into small pieces....Cook until it tender.

Luck......
I agree entirely. If you overcook meat like that it will be impossibly dry.

Make your beef burg. in a Dutch oven and only cook it for 2-3 hours. Start on stove and finish in a 250 oven.
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