or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › help- my beef is tough when reheated
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

help- my beef is tough when reheated

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
hey everyone- I had a disaster when I reheated my beef
cooked large inside round for hours in a slow oven (225) till medium rare
amazing results first sitting
thinly sliced the remains and placed in freezer/ovenable containers with enough au jus to partially cover slices
re-heated in same containers with a foil cover at 300 for 1 hour & got shoe leather :cry: when my goal was to create / finish a pot roast effect
what do you suggest I do and don't do to avoid this in the future?
do you think the results would have been different if the jus & meat had been heated separately? meat sliced thicker? completely thawed first?
or ???
clearly my re-heating method need to be addressed
any suggestions as to what specifically caused this result?
thanks for any guidance
doodle
Life is too short to eat bad food!
Reply
Life is too short to eat bad food!
Reply
post #2 of 11
There are a few exceptions, but as a general rule you can't cook meat twice. You can only cook it and reheat it because of changes at the cellular and molecular levels having to do with moisture crossing the cell membranes and protein denaturing, respectively.

Next time, whether you cook a tough cut low and slow to tenderize, or a tender cut hot and fast to get a nice, juicy medium rare -- cook it til it's done and stop.

Your largest mistake was to attempt to continue the cooking process -- rather than reheating it gently until it was just hot enough to eat.
You absolutely cannot dry roast, then pot roast. Under certain specific conditions you can go the other way 'round, but that's another post.

For what it's worth, the natural juices released by the meat when sliced are not properly speaking "au jus," whether in terms of American or French culinary terms. In French terms jus is usually the juices left in the pan after a roast cooked as a poele is removed. In classic American it's typically a light gravy made with the jus plus some aromatics -- poele or no poele. Most often though, an American au jus, as in prime ribs of beef or a beef dip is mostly beef broth and wine.

To get ahead of the obvious question, a poele is like a braise but with only a tiny bit of moisture added to the (covered) roasting pan. The method encourages the formation of pan juices without drying out the meat.

Just an educated guess here, but unless you actually meant what I just defined as jus, the meat gave liquid so copiously because you carved it before it had fully rested. That the meat likely started dry exacerbated the problem you caused by your over-reheating.

Bottom line: Beef reheats well in slices, and reheats well in gravy too. But as I said the reheating needs to be gentle. Heat only until warm, then stop.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #3 of 11
A lot of places do not even reheat the meat. They have it at room temp and simply pour hot Au Jus over it. A French Dip sandwich would be an example of this. I reheat whole ribs of beef all the time and never have a problem. First time it is cooked real rare, on reheat I wrap in plastic wrap then foil and heat in 250 oven about 4 hours. I have yet to get a complaint in 2 years. You on the other hand are making potroast. Roasting dries out meat, and to roast it in its own juice is boiling it, it can only get tough specially since it, is as you said sliced thin. Also rounds of beef, both bottom and top tend to get fiberous when cooked second time. Also as BDL stated DO NOT slice it before reheating
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
So , BDL if I understand you correctly, I should have potroasted it right from the get go. Are you suggesting that I should have covered the meat with some foil to create a moist cooking environment and that is when I would have had a poele?
How do you feel about using a pressure cooker?
I always allow meat to stand a generous amount of time before cutting in to so as I suspected the next fatal mistake was a boiling effect caused by the liquid jus I added before freezing plus the maisture that was released from the meat itself when it was reheated.
See, here is my problem. Once I figure out how to do it properly, I will be cooking, packaging and freezing in small amounts but I won't be the one that is reheating it. I absolutely NEED to be able to serve a delicious sliced roast beef with gravy that comes from the freezer. Clearly completely thawing before reheating is a must.
Even though I slow roasted for a long time, my pan drippings were crappy globs of gunk that resembled sludge ( I have no idea what the term is - lol) that had dried in the pan and not nice brown crispy bits to deglaze with my wine as I am used to with a smaller roast of beef. Not much taste either. I had to brown some other bones with meat and boil them to "fix" that problem. I did thicken with a bit of cornstarch but not to the point of gravy consistency that is why I called it au jus. Thanks for the insite about au jus. I think I meant what you said about au jus.
Ed, I wondered if I had made the jus a gravy the boiling issue would have been avoided and the results would have been better? Well it's back to the drawing board. Thanks to both of you for your help.
doodle
Life is too short to eat bad food!
Reply
Life is too short to eat bad food!
Reply
post #5 of 11
Doodle! For the life of me I cannot see how you can get a decent roast beef dinner(Not Pot Roast) out of thinly sliced roastbeef that has been frozen then reheated in juice or gravy. If nothing else no guest can get a choice of temperature. If someone figures out how to do this, they will make a lot of money
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #6 of 11
If you wanted pot roast, you should have made it pot roast from the giddyup, yes.

I didn't suggest you should poele. I was talking about options. If you tell me what you want to do, I might be able to tell you how to do it -- from one of a number of perspectives -- home cook, "American Bistro," small catering, 'q, French, and "California Cuisine," to name several. Chef Ed and I have some overlap, but he knows a lot more than I do about serving big numbers. Other people here bring different perspectives.

I'm not really familiar with pressure-cooking. I know great things can be done, but I've never tried to do them.

Before I comment on this, I'd like to know what you mean by jus, what the sequences were, and some rough idea of quantities.

One of the problems we're having is the meaning of the term "roast beef." I see Chef Ed is trying to get some clarity on this, too.

When you say "roast beef," do you mean roasted uncovered like a rib roast? roasted covered like a poele; or braised like a pot roast?

Not necessaily. You've pre-sliced and packed in sauce. As long as the reheating process is relatively gentle, and the packets are not too thick, reheating from frozen shouldn't be a problem in microwave or in vacuum packs reheated in hot water.

Not much of an issue. All fond is good fond -- at least as long as it isn't carbonized.

Now that IS a problem.

Aha! I see. If you care (and you shouldn't), the proper name for it is a "stock-enriched jus lie."

Bottom line: If I had a better idea of what you're trying to do, in terms of the exact nature of the dish, the number of servings, the nature of the setting (retirement home, country-club, work-site, ...?), and so on, I can either do a better job of helping or letting you know you're outside my limited area of competence.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #7 of 11
I frequently smoke top sirloin roasts to rare, slice thin and vacuum pack(no added liquid). Completely thaw, bring to room temp, a quick dip into some hot beef broth and onto a sandwich. Never had issues with it getting tough but the reheat is a minute at most in simmering broth.
post #8 of 11
Sounds like some Vietnamese pho techniques. Works well with decent cuts of thinly sliced raw beef as well.

In my not so competent opinion, part of the problem is freezing with liquid. That can lead to a lot more cell wall damage as ice crystals grow and puncture the cells. So when thawed all the moisture seeps out of the 'wounds' so to speak. Such a situation works to some extent with ground meats, like salisbury steak TV dinners and such, but when dealing with slices of roast you'll have issues with texture and toughness.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
[quote=In my not so competent opinion, part of the problem is freezing with liquid. That can lead to a lot more cell wall damage as ice crystals grow and puncture the cells. So when thawed all the moisture seeps out of the 'wounds' so to speak.
mjb.[/quote]

Oh, thanks for that insite. As well as the help I was loooking for the technical side of what went wrong as well. Most appreciated.


BDL - as soon as I can figure it out in proper wordage- I will (try) to explain to you what I was trying to do
also- it appears I was trying to accomplish a jus lie (enriched would have been nice too :D)

thanks
doodle
Life is too short to eat bad food!
Reply
Life is too short to eat bad food!
Reply
post #10 of 11
But the explosion of cell walls due to freezing shouldn't result in toughness, in fact it should result in the meat being mushy and sludgy. I just think that the double cooking process is causing a lot of moisture to be lost from the meat, even if it is being cooked in juices (think of meat left over from making broth for 4 hours, it'll inevitably be drier than meat cooked from brothmaking for less time.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #11 of 11

I'm going with the suggestion t to wrap in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and slow-bake @ about 200-degrees for about 4 hours.  I have also pre-soaked the finely diced leftover roast beef that I have to work with - in hot water for 10 minutes as I have read is recommended. At the end of the baking time, I will simmer it in beef broth until piping hot.  Going to such extremes for a son who had 15 teeth removed 2 days ago and is now wearing an immediate denture.  Chewing is not high on his list but I've asked him too trust me on this one. : )

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › help- my beef is tough when reheated