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The right beef

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi there!

 

I'm new to this forum hoping to find like minded individuals when it comes to cooking and everything revolved around it.

 

I've been obsessed with cooking for a while now and I'm the most happiest when I'm in the kitchen.  chef.gif  I live in Fresh Markets, collect recipes, and watch the cooking channel almost everyday when I get a chance.  When I'm able to cook for people I love I get the most satisfaction from that.  But on to my question.

 

I recently had a chance to make Beef Bourguignon and it tasted great except for one thing-the beef was terribly tough.  I know the method of cooking something low and slow will get it tender, but for some reason the meat didn't come out that way.  When I went to my local grocer to purchase the meat, the only kind they had were stew beef which didn't have any marble of fat.  It seemed like it was cubed from a loin of beef.  The patron who actually showed me the meat (the only they had) mentioned under her breath that no matter how you cook it it will come out tough.  Silly me, I thought that as long as I cook it slow it'll work better for me.  I was wrong.

 

Like I said, I wasn't totally disappointed by the meal-the sauce was delicious so I have plans to make it again, but this time with another kind of beef. 

 

My question-is the only reason why the beef came out tough was because it lacked marbling?  THANKS!

post #2 of 27

Without knowing a lot more about the actual beef and techniques used, I can't offer an opinion.  Heck, I don't even have one. 

 

BDL

post #3 of 27

LOL.   Crack me up BDL

 

Beef Bourguignon is a stew, so realize that you cook it like a stew, with stew meat.  Sear off the meat in the bacon fat.  Do all the other stuff.  Cover everything in the pot with your liquid and bring to a simmer on top of the stove.  Cover it up and pop it in the oven, 350* for four(4) hours.  For me, that's a long time.  You're doing a four(4)-hour braise.  That breaks down the tough meat.  It should anyway.  If you don't care for waiting that long, make something else.   LOL.

post #4 of 27
So did they just one one thing in the meat case, or one thing that's was prepped and ready to go?

No chuck or shoulder?

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #5 of 27

"watch the cooking channel almost everyday when I get a chance."

 

Here is your problem.  The cooking channel really has nothing to do with food or cooking. Its about entertainment, selling stuff ...ads...and trying to get higher ratings to sell more stuff. I have learned to hate most "cooking" shows.

 

Turn off the TV and spend your time doing research and meeting people in your local "food" community that can help you and share your passion...goggle "Food to Table...etctalker.gif

post #6 of 27

I would suggest avoiding precut meats at the grocery store.  Especially ones that are labeled "stew meat" and "hamburger."  Never buy meat that has been cut or chopped before it is sold.  There are many reasons for that, the first being that once it starts being cut up into smaller chunks it speeds up the process of accumulating bacteris - meaning it's not as fresh as it needs to be.  Secondly, these types of labels don't specify what cut of meat it actually is.  When I see stew meat I assume it's probably top or bottom round... no matter how you cook these pieces they still stay tough.

 

Instead of the grocery try to find a butcher.  Butchers are familiar with cuts of meat and can even help you by finding the right cut of meat for the type of cooking you want to do.  They can cut the meat for you in any way you want, they can trim, debone, butterfly and whatever else you need them to do.  Personally for stews I really like using chuck. You can also use brisket, but it is a little tougher. I like to buy it as a whole piece and cut it up myself, I don't like my meat to be handled to much before I get it home - personal preference.  Even when I buy ground beef, I go to the butcher and choose a cut of meat I want and then ask them to grind it for me right there on the spot.  I really need to get one of those grinder attachments for my mixer!

 

If you must buy from the grocery store buy whole pieces of meat, not something that has been chopped.  Believe it or not there is someone back there who is a type of butcher and you can request to speak to him if you don't see what you are looking for out on display.  I've done that before.  It might be a little clumsier process than going to a real butcher but it will get the job done.  And look for the cuts you want, labeled.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by takingstock View Post

"watch the cooking channel almost everyday when I get a chance."

 

Here is your problem.  The cooking channel really has nothing to do with food or cooking. Its about entertainment, selling stuff ...ads...and trying to get higher ratings to sell more stuff. I have learned to hate most "cooking" shows.

 

Turn off the TV and spend your time doing research and meeting people in your local "food" community that can help you and share your passion...goggle "Food to Table...etctalker.gif

 

Well that's a little unfair.  Watching tv shows is a wonderful past time, I learned a lot a lot a lot by watching cooking shows and the Cooking Channel has some really wonderful shows on from other countries as well.  It's not pornographic or violent television, it's about cooking and anyone who loves food shouldn't feel shame for partaking in a little Nigella every once in a while.  Visually I find it delicious, besides... any channel you watch will have commercials.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

I would suggest avoiding precut meats at the grocery store....Instead of the grocery try to find a butcher.

Totally agree but very difficult in the burbs...

 

Well that's a little unfair. yes I did exaggerate but the Food Channel has become such crap IMO...used to be pretty good. Much of my knowledge came from "food" shows but actual food/cooking shows are very rare.  Much of my inspiration came from Bobby Flay years ago when he had a simple real how to cooking show on LifeTime network.  I recently met BF...what a jerk...Tony Bourdin...same thing.

 

Watching tv shows is a wonderful past time, I agree only if there are no ads other wise its awful. In my home there is no cable or network shows. I pulled the plug.

...it's about cooking [IMO not so much any more] and anyone who loves food shouldn't feel shame for partaking in a little Nigella every once in a while.  Nigella is great...I don't think she's on The Food Network.

 

Visually I find it delicious, besides... any channel you watch will have commercials. well I don't do commercials. They're demeaning, moronic and false.....just saying...

crazy.gif

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by takingstock View Post


Nigella is on the Cooking Channel. I'm sure there are butchers if you care to look for them. Anyway, the OP is not really looking for a lecture on whether or not he/she should watch tv and shouldn't be put down for watching cooking shows. Good for you that you've found a way to avoid commercials. I'm not a moron.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 27

Television shows do not cause tough beef, please keep it on topic.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #10 of 27

WOW.     LOL.

post #11 of 27

I don't know...look at Sandra Lee.

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Television shows do not cause tough beef, please keep it on topic.
 


Some have good suggestions. Just have to learn to shop. It comes with experience so keep on cooking

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #13 of 27

THIS WAS MEANT AS HUMOR..... 

 

"Here is your problem.  The cooking channel really has nothing to do with food or cooking."

 

I apologize profusely.

 

biggrin.gif

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loves2Cook76 View Post

the only kind they had were stew beef  (...) The patron who actually showed me the meat (the only they had) mentioned under her breath that no matter how you cook it it will come out tough.  (...) My question-is the only reason why the beef came out tough was because it lacked marbling? 

No, it's not because it lacked marbling. 

 

The patron was right, you probably bought beef cut and quality that were never going to become tender in the first place. I've seen those packages labeled "Beef for stew" in my supermarkets and they don't look good. Once my father in law bought one and attempted to make a stew and it was tough, tough, tough. He usually makes absolutely delicious stews - with other cuts. 

 

I would recommend next time you buy a chuck, and cube it yourself. Or you can even cook it whole. Boeuf bourguignon is one of my favorite dishes, and sometimes I make it with one big piece, other times I make it with smaller cubes, a bit larger than a bite of food. 

 

Either way I let the meat come to room temp, sear it on all sides, remove, deglaze the pan with the carrots/onions/celery used in the marinade, sweat those veggies, add the liquid from the marinade and add stock, put the meat in again and bring to a VERY SLOW SIMMER: DO NOT BOIL! That would toughen the meat even more. After 2 or 2.5 hours check the meat and continue checking every 20mn or so until it's really tender, stop the heat and let rest for a bit before serving. 

 

Best of luck for next time!!

post #15 of 27

THIS WAS MEANT AS HUMOR..... 

 

"Here is your problem.  The cooking channel really has nothing to do with food or cooking."

 

I apologize profusely.

 

 

No worries, I know what you mean about the whole commercial thing.  Sandra Lee, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, I hate them all.  There are some great things to learn on PBS though with Simply Ming, The Scandinavian Cook, I do like Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver, there's a whole bunch of shows I learned a lot from.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #16 of 27

Very tough meat cuts come usually from old cattle. For instance, even ossobucco stew can be tender if it's veal ossobucco. And that's a tough cut.

Also helps to cook the stew one day in advance. Let it cool down; reheat.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

Very tough meat cuts come usually from old cattle.

I sometimes wonder if those "Beef for stew" packages aren't dairy cattle. Probably old too of course. 

post #18 of 27

Stew Meat could be anything, same as chopped meat . It could be kangaroo.  How long did you cook your stew.? And trust me it was not from a loin. Maybe a deckle or some other trim piece or a combo of various  pieces.  Buy a solid [piece of arm chuck or bottom round and cube your own.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Stew Meat could be anything, same as chopped meat . It could be kangaroo.

 

Personally I've never seen packages of "Stew Meat", only packages of "Beef for stew" or something of that nature. So we know we're dealing with beef here: 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loves2Cook76 View Post

the only kind they had were stew beef

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 

When I asked one of the workers they claim that's all they had which was very discouraging.  The bad thing about buying from the grocery is that most of the meat they have is already packaged and oftentimes when I get it home and unwrap it stand back-lol. 

 

I'm trying to find a butcher close to me with no luck which is sad.  I used to live in Florida where a butcher lived in my neighborhood.  I'm still looking though

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'll have to try that.  Personally, it's beginning to dawn on me that I will have to buy uncut meats so I can cut them myself.  I want to learn how to cut meat anyway, I just don't want to buy it from a package unless I am totally sure it's not rancid, but I don't know if I'm being too picky in that regard.  I've bought beef, chicken, even fish that didn't smell bad so I'm thinking I can find that if I find that right butcher.  My area doesn't have many.

post #22 of 27

I don't really get this.  All of you sound like you only have third-world quality grocery stores where you live.  The ones by me, including discount stores such as Aldi, all have very acceptable pre-packaged meats, at decent prices too.      

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

I don't really get this.  All of you sound like you only have third-world quality grocery stores where you live.  The ones by me, including discount stores such as Aldi, all have very acceptable pre-packaged meats, at decent prices too.      

 

Ironies of life. I live in a third (or fourth) world country and have access to premium veal cuts. Lots of butchers here.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #24 of 27

Have seen both ways , depends on market and location, bottom line its all  for stew.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

 

Ironies of life. I live in a third (or fourth) world country and have access to premium veal cuts. Lots of butchers here.

 

Meat eating is taken very seriously in Argentina.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #26 of 27

@KK: a revealing article about our decline on beef consuming and exporting, today in NYTimes.

 

Argentina Falls From Its Throne as King of Beef

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #27 of 27

I am lucky and can buy individual cuts from my supplier of grass fed beef. Locally processed by a butcher that is impeccably clean. I asked about eating  a rare hamburger from his beef and he grabbed some he was grinding and ate it raw. I was there mid afternoon so he must clean in between batches unlike a lot of other butchers that clean only at the end of the day.

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