"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-27-2007, 05:08 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Tough meat from pressure cooker

About a 1.5 weeks ago I bought a big hunk (about 3.5 lbs, I think it was) of boneless beef bottom round roast since it was on sale for $1.99 / pound. Threw it in the pressure cooker for awhile, maybe 30 minutes, then depressurized it to add potatoes/carrots/cellery and cooked it another 15 or something. Sorry, I don't remember the actual times. I checked the temp of the meat briefly after it was done cooking and it shot up to 200* so I didn't even bother to let the thermometer stabilize - all I know is it was very hot.
It was extremely delicious, and fairly tender. Not falling apart on the fork tender, but I was able to shred it with two forks without too much work.

Fast forward a few days and I want to try to improve this so I buy another one (still on sale). This time I'm thinking about how Alton Brown talked up aging beef on Good Eats, so I stored it in the fridge for 3 days with good circulation. Then I put it in a zip loc baggie for 24 hours with some red wine (about a cup), garlic, bay leaves, and a bit of olive oil (about 1/2 cup).
After that I cooked it in the pressure cooker (with about another cup of red wine) for less time, maybe 20 minutes, and the thermometer reported 160*F which sounded great to me.

The beef was very tasty, with perhaps more yummy beefy flavor than the first time. BUT, it was a serious workout to try and shred it with two forks. I almost bent the forks. I gave up and just ate it with a fork and a knife.

My question to you all is if you would expect the beef to get more or less tender if I had kept cooking it at that point. Should I have let it go as long as the first time? Or is it better to have a temp around 160*F and my problem was just the lost moisture from the aging process? I'm googling around the web but I can't find any clear science to tell me either way.

Thanks!
-Adrian

__________________

__________________
ahains is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 37,331
The answer is in the internal temperature of the roast. It has to be around 200 F for that shreddable texture. It takes that temperature to breakdown the connective tissue that makes the meat a tough cut.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2007, 06:56 PM   #3
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Thanks a bunch for the info! I'm going to have to give this dish one more try and cook it longer to see how it goes.
I found some more info here:
Tender beef - What causes toughness?
This one states that over 100*C you get additional tenderizing, which my pressure cooker will readily supply. It also mentions that ageing tenderizes, but I doubt my 3 day aging process will do a whole lot in this area :)
__________________
ahains is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2007, 07:55 PM   #4
Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: East Lansing, MI
Posts: 80
ahains

In either method of aging, (dry/wet), most of the tenderizing occurs in the first three days. The beef you are using has been already wet aged in its vacuum packaging as it traveled from processing plant to your grocer's and has reached its maximum tenderness buy the time you buy it.

Any additional dry aging in your fridge would only intensify the beef flavor and somewhat change its character.
__________________
Crash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2007, 08:38 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Corey123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: East Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,881
I once made the tragic mistake of directly dry-roasting this cut in the oven - and it also came out tough as an alligator steak!!

Even though the pressure cooker is a speedy means of getting cheaper tougher cuts of meat done in a hurry, I mainly prefer to slow cook (braise) this cut either on top of the stove or in the slow cooker.

As a longer method to break down the tough fibers and connective tissues of the meat.
__________________
Corey123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2007, 10:43 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
Michael in FtW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,592
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 180F ... 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 180F mark for about twice the time of the second roast - 20 minutes which only got it up to 160F, 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?).
__________________
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
Michael in FtW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2007, 10:59 AM   #7
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Thanks everyone for the helpful information, you are quickly dispelling large segments of my beefy ignorance.

I had read somewhere online that an acidic marinade used for longer than a day can make the meat mushy. Can I also ask you folks if this is correct? I thought a friend had told me before that he marinaded flank steak for several days to tenderize, but I could be misremembering.

The local QFC has cross rib roast on sale for $2.99/pound this week so I'll probably give this one a try next. I see that many folks give this a slow cook typically but I'll probably give it a go in the pressure cooker as well. I just love how it leaves the vegetables bursting with flavor. Or is this just completely inappropriate method for rib roast?

Finally, I am confused as to whether it is best to attain cooking pressure on high heat to do so as quickly as possible, or is it best to use medium high and let it take awhile. I've found with bean stews that I can sometimes get a bit on the burnt side on the bottom when ramping up on high, so I'm guessing maybe medium-high is best. I seem need to keep my stove at about 70% power to maintain pressure, so maybe I could use like 80% to ramp up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
It sounds like you had both the time and temperature right the first time ... 45 minutes of cooking got the meat up over the 180F mark for about twice the time of the second roast - 20 minutes which only got it up to 160F, 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?).
You are correct, the second attempt was just one bout of cooking for 20 minutes or so. I assumed with the super high temp from the first attempt that I should go much slower, so I just threw carrots in from the very beginning instead of bothering to release the pressure and add them partway through. Skipped the potatoes because I wasn't sure they would go as well with the red wine based liquids.

Thanks!
Adrian
__________________
ahains is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2007, 12:26 PM   #8
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 37,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahains
...I had read somewhere online that an acidic marinade used for longer than a day can make the meat mushy. Can I also ask you folks if this is correct? I thought a friend had told me before that he marinaded flank steak for several days to tenderize, but I could be misremembering.

The local QFC has cross rib roast on sale for $2.99/pound this week so I'll probably give this one a try next. I see that many folks give this a slow cook typically but I'll probably give it a go in the pressure cooker as well. I just love how it leaves the vegetables bursting with flavor. Or is this just completely inappropriate method for rib roast?

Finally, I am confused as to whether it is best to attain cooking pressure on high heat to do so as quickly as possible, or is it best to use medium high and let it take awhile. I've found with bean stews that I can sometimes get a bit on the burnt side on the bottom when ramping up on high, so I'm guessing maybe medium-high is best. I seem need to keep my stove at about 70% power to maintain pressure, so maybe I could use like 80% to ramp up...

Marinades are usually acidic and DO NOT tenderize the meat. Prolonged exposure to an acidic environment will make the meat mushy. How long that takes depends on the meat and the amount of acid in the marinade.

Typically, you qould borwn the roast before pressurizing and cooking. I would get up to pressure fairly fast.

I don't jnow what a cross rib roast is so I cannot comment.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2007, 01:51 PM   #9
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Whoops, looks like I should have searched this very forum for cross rib roast and pressure cookers:
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ast-18912.html

Sounds like it is a good idea :)
__________________
ahains is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2007, 04:16 PM   #10
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Marinades are usually acidic and DO NOT tenderize the meat. Prolonged exposure to an acidic environment will make the meat mushy. How long that takes depends on the meat and the amount of acid in the marinade.
If this is correct, it would seem this is one of the wide spread urban myths. Even the wikipedia page states states that marinades tenderize. Are you certain this is not the case?
__________________

__________________
ahains is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Cooking News & Tips Straight to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Cooking info to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]