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Tough beef

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by tassiegirl, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. I've just followed a recipe for a red wine and beef casserole/stew and I have followed it TO THE LETTER and I know that the oven temp is true. However, my beef is still like chewing leather, despite only having 20minutes left to cook. Please can someone explain to me why! Was so looking forward to a great meal, and now I'll be eating late just so that I eat dinner :(
  2. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    type of beef you used? is stewing steak, casserole beef
  3. Casserole beef from the butcher, in 3cm cubes as it says too. I really, really did follow it to the enth degree!
  4. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    maybe it really was an old cow.
  5. Next time, get beef shin. Cooked long and slow it just melts in the mouth and oh, the flavour!
  6. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Acid in the casserole helps tenderise beef, eg wine, tomatoes, vinegar. Longer cooking will help as well, slow cookers are really good for beef.
  7. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I experienced this once, and no amount of cooking would tenderise it. Just not good beef. I'd complain to the butcher.
  8. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Maybe the recipe is faulty - what was the cooking temperature? Time?
    Beef can easily be rendered tough if cooked on a high temperature. Barely a blip is needed. Boiling it will ruin it.
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    3cm cubes seems big to me.
    A hint for the future: try shin, which is beautiful, and be prepared to cook it very slowly after browning, for up to four hours if necessary - and make it the day before you want to eat it!
    We have a good fan oven but I'm often irritated by cooking times as given in recipes. Roast potatoes are an obvious case in point. Three quarters of an hour? Come off it!
    Don't worry. Just keep it cooking very very slowly, eat cheese on toast tonight and enjoy it tomorrow when it'll be splendid!
    Ultimately, the trick is to gain enough experience not to be intimidated into obedience to recipes. This is especially true of stews.

    Good luck X
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    any recipes that specified 3cm cubes would arouse my suspicion.
  11. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I have to say I disagree. 3cm would be a minimum for me - even bigger, generally. Larger pieces will be juicer and tend less to toughness.
    Although I'll make it clear, I cut meat into cuboids, not cubes. Say 3x3x2.

  12. Did you seal it first? - boiling it in the liquid can make it tough
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I see what you mean and, aving consulted a ruler, agree with you. What I really meant was that the recipe sounds a bit exact, so the cooking time might be the same. Sorry - that's not too clear!
  14. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    It is clear, and I agree completely!
  15. Next time soak the beef overnight in milk.

    I can only suggest long slow cooking - I uss a slow cooker for most things like caseroles / stews.
  16. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    or look up some simple marinades

    By the way, did it taste nice in the end?
  17. Was it quite lean? That won't tenderise quickly. Or possibly that batch needed a lower, slower cook, the cow could have been a mean old moo!The meat/stock should not boil!
    Don't eat it today. Leave it and reheat it very slowly tomorrow, it should be fine then! Better yet freeze it and then defrost and reheat slowly!
    And let us know how it turned out!

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