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Old 02-28-2007, 04:38 PM   #11
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I am certain.

Read this article on the subject for the facts.
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Aging will improve (concentrate) flavor- but when dealing with "cheaper" cuts of beef (both the grade and where on the animal it comes from) it has no tenderizing affect on the connective tissue ... which is what makes the meat tough. Remember, Alto was dry aging a Prime grade cut of tender meat - not one with relatively little inter-muscular fat (marbling) and loaded with connective tissue.

As Corey noted - this is not a cut of meat that can be dry roasted - it has to be cooked with a wet method (braising or stewing - the pressure cooker would solve that problem) and as Andy noted - it's also a matter of time and temperature ... connective tissue doesn't begin to break down (melt) until about 180ºF ... and then it needs a little time to do that, it's not an instant melt.

It sounds like you had both the time and temperature right the first time ... 45 minutes of cooking got the meat up over the 180ºF mark for about twice the time of the second roast - 20 minutes which only got it up to 160ºF, below the melting point of the connective tissues (and you didn't say anything about adding vegetables and cooking for any additional time after the initial 20-minutes cooking time so I'm guess the cooking stopped at 20 minutes?).


Thanks, Mike!

Yeah, I forgot to mention that in order to save that roast which was like a piece of leather or a side of Godzilla , I had to make some onion gravy, slice the meat in thin slices and add it to the gravy.

Then I let it cook slowly for about an hour. It became tender after some "doctoring up".

Basically and truthfully, this cut has to be babysat treated and cooked as you would a pot roast - nice and slow. It's the only way that you can methodically break down and melt those extremly tough fibers and connective tissue.

Try it that way, and you'lll be quite surprised! You won't feel like you're eating something from Jurassic Park!!
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:46 PM   #13
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Attempt number 3.
Cooked for 40 minutes under pressure, then released pressure to add veggies, brought back up to pressure and cooked another 5 minutes.

Result: the exterior quarter inch or so was perfect - falling apart and delicious. The interior of the meat was very flavorful and delicious, but I still needed a knife to cut it.

Given that the exterior was perfect, I feel that it must be possible to get that consistency throughout. I'm thinking about trying to cut the roast into maybe 3/4" thick slices before cooking next time. Any thoughts on pros/cons of this approach?

Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:51 PM   #14
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Don't slice it, cook it longer. A 4 pound pot roast can take 3 hours to cook on the stovetop. If a pressure cooker cooks foods in one third the time, you should expect to cook the roast for an hour.

Meats always cook form the outside in whether they are roasted, braised or pressure cooked, so just cook it longer.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Don't slice it, cook it longer. A 4 pound pot roast can take 3 hours to cook on the stovetop. If a pressure cooker cooks foods in one third the time, you should expect to cook the roast for an hour.

Meats always cook form the outside in whether they are roasted, braised or pressure cooked, so just cook it longer.
I see, I wasn't sure if I was in danger of overcooking the meat so the slicing thought was just to avoid that potential pitfall. The descriptions I have read seem to suggest that the proteins will coil up tightly and squeeze out moisture if overcooked. I'm not sure I can imagine it actually drying out in the pressurized steam environment of the pressure cooker, so I don't know what the consequence would be of overcooking it. If that is even possible.

Can you tell me what the consequences would be of slicing it before cooking?

I would like to give it another attempt when having some friends over next weekend, but I don't know if I'll have another practice attempt first so any extra advice is appreciated :)
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:07 PM   #16
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Slicing the meat before cooking will result in the meat's cooking in less time and possibly getting to the point of shredding. The slices would probably fall apart when you try to take them out of the pot.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:36 AM   #17
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Usually, this cut or a chuck pot roast will shred or chunk when done because it needs to cook so lng to get tender. Same thing with a pork shoulder.

I re-did this cut sometime later, but first, I browned and seared it in the same pot in which it was braised. Miraculously, that time, I was able to slice it. In any case, it's always tender and is very easy to chew.

In short, it must be cooked just as you would cook a regular pot roast - long and slow.
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:42 AM   #18
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Thanks again for the suggestions. I know I want to stick with the pressure cooker rather than the crock pot because the vegetable flavors from the PC are just to wonderful to give up. I don't mind cooking it for quite awhile, but I also don't see any obvious reason to avoid some preslicing to give me thinner cuts of meat. Therefore my game plan for the next attempt is to slice into large pieces not more than perhaps 1.5" at their thickest, and cook under pressure for an hour. If that is successful in giving me a tender result that doesn't seem overcooked in anyway, then I will probably followup with a subsequent trial of leaving the meat uncooked and just cook it for longer still (maybe 1.5 hours).

I love tasty things, engineering/experimenting, and saving money, so this is a lot of fun for me :)
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:22 PM   #19
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I tend to cook my pot roasts in the pressure cooker for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, depending on the size. You won't overcook the meat - it will shrink but it will be VERY tender. LOW and slow is the term you want to remember but that's mostly for another cooking method. I LOVE my pressure cooker and use it a couple times a week. You can take a frozen roast/chicken/whatever and be eating it roughly 2 hours later.
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