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Old 10-19-2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Question Need to stop the tough pot roasts!

Help! Anytime I make a pot roast in the slow cooker, it comes out tough. Is it the cut of meat or am I just cooking it too long? I've tried cutting the time back some but it didn't seem to matter. I am looking for that melt in your mouth kind of recipe. I actually accomplished it once way back, but can't seem to do it again.

Thanks for any advice!
Deanna

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Old 10-19-2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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Tell us how you cook it!

What cut of beef do you use? How much liquid and what kind do you use? For how long and at what temp are you cooking it?
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:03 PM   #3
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it needs to be cooked at a low temp for a long time. Allowing it to boil at any point will toughen the meat. The liquid needs to cover the meat or if it is a large roast cut, it should come half way up the sides. The most flavorful cut is a chuck roast and it will be tender because of the marbling of fat. Rump and round are also good for pot roast but are leaner and will not be quite as tender/falling apart, but still good for pot roast.
For the slow cooker you might try a technique used in braising. Crumple a piece of parchment paper or foil and put it on the surface of the meat. This allows the liquid to concentrate more.
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Old 10-19-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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Deanna - I have found that slow cookers recommend way too long of cooking times - I cook my pot roast for 4-5 hours on low and find them to be very tender. I usually throw in a can of cream of mushroom soup, dried onion soup mix and 1/2 soup can of sherry - it is very good served over egg noodles!
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:44 PM   #5
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I've tried lots of different cuts of meat, so I can't say which I normally use, but I think I have been trying leaner cuts which may be part of the problem. Also, from your replies I think I am not using enough liquid. It is never covering half way up the roast. I try to cook veggies with it and I put the roast on top.

Thanks - I have some ideas now!
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:56 PM   #6
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Hi Deanna,

I always cook my pot roast with some acidic element--either vinegar or wine--to help break down the fibers. I use 1/2 wine or vinegar and 1/2 water, plus herbs. The meat should be covered or nearly covered with the liquid when you start cooking. Cook about 1 hour per pound of meat, or until fork-tender. Veggies (except onions and carrots and potatoes) should be added in the last 30 minutes or so of cooking. Put veggies beside or on top of the meat, not under it. And do not salt the meat before cooking--salt draws out the juices and toughens the meat. Cook on a low heat.

If you let the liquids dry up, and keep cooking the meat, you will end up with a piece of leather!
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:50 PM   #7
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low and slow...the longer the better as it will break down the connective tissues.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:09 PM   #8
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Yes, Tattrat, you're right. In re-reading this, I see Deanna is using a slow cooker, so she needs to allow time for the machine to reach the cooking temperature, and then time her cooking from that point. It takes as long as it takes...
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:14 PM   #9
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For cooking in a slow cooker you are doing everything

right. Vegetables on the bottom at the start of cooking, they actually take longer in the slow cooker than stove top or oven. Don't cover your meat with liquid. There is less evaporation with a slow cooker so you actually need less liquid. There should be no chance of boiling with a slow cooker unless there is something wrong with it so you can't be doing that. The only thing left is cut of meat and cooking time. You don't want a lean cut because it will come out dry and tough. I usually find that the cooking times are generally too long with slow cooker recipes. There is also a difference in cooking temp between the old original Crock Pots and todays slow cookers. The newer ones cook at a higher temp for food safety reasons so if you are using an old Crock Pot recipe cut down on the cooking time. Cut it by about 1/3 then check for tenderness. I generally check for doneness about 2 hours before the end of the recommended cooking time for any recipe I'm making. They almost always are done.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:13 AM   #10
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I have tried several cuts,i usually pick a roast which has some fat with it,and not too much marbling.The cheaper cuts will do
Last weekend i got a really nice outside round roast on sale which was about 4lbs
Roast beef
3-5 pounds of beef
1 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
Potatoes sliced or halfed
I usually season very lightly or with small amount of pepper
The key is to put all the vegetables at the bottom,then the meat on top,the liquid amount is is key.There is only two of us here,this lasted several meals,i had some sandwichs too.The meat was absolutely delicious when done,and don't lift the lid
lynda
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