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Tough beef

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have a dilemma.  I've been visiting my folks here in Greece for a few weeks and they are pestering me to cook beef.  But beef here is very tough - it is the cheapest meat you can buy and any part of it you buy is the same price, much much cheaper than pork or chicken.  I can find chuck and have made stews and ground beef, but my folks really want steak. Since nobody eats beef here, the butchers just hack it up and sell it in chunks, no regard for which part of the animal it comes.  Forget about filets, steaks, or whatever.  So I worked with a butcher and together we were able to find a rib roast which he cut to my specifications.

 

Now I can cut this up and make steaks with it which is what my family really really really really wants.  However the meat here is very tough as I mentioned.  I am afraid that if I simply grill them they will be tough and chewy. I have to find a way to tenderize it and this is not something I am familiar with doing.  Should I marinate it over night?  Any pointers here will be very welcome.

"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 #2 of 26

I'll give this a shot. As you have been eating the beef and I have not, I'll take your word for it that it is tough but wouldn't a rib roast just by nature be more tender? Chuck is a tougher cut of beef than a rib roast generally. The muscles the steer uses a lot are generally tougher than those not used as much. 

Anyway, if you can, get a couple of roasts for experimentation sake. 

     If you have access to a multi-bladed Jaccard meat tenderizer, that might help.  You could stab it multiple times with a thin blade as a substitute for the Jaccard.

Marinating may help but may make it mushy. Since you are only visiting, aging the beef isn't really an option. 

     Basically I wouldn't worry too  much or do much to the meat. Cut it into steaks and cook it.  Go back to the accommodating butcher and work out a different cut like a tenderloin. If the beef is that cheap, you have some room to experiment. There are other cuts I can't remember the name of that should be tender enough. Perhaps someone else can remember what they are called. 

post #3 of 26

You can marinate overnight to tenderize, that's what Koreans do for grilling short ribs over direct fire... sometimes I've even seen Kiwi, papaya or pineapple, or even guava or asian pears added to the marinade to tenderize because of the enzymes they contain... but it yields an odd texture to the surface of the meat, which isn't usually desirable for steaks. 

 

Chuck, cut into thin slices and grilled quickly over direct fire can be absolutely delicious, if not the tenderest of steaks...

post #4 of 26

S&P and cook it! I know of no marinade that won't mess with the texture of the meat. You could beat the crap out of them but then they will be flat...

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

I think I will go simply with it.  If I do steaks I will do them simply.  If I do a rib roast I will do a dry brine over night like I do with tougher roasts. It will be great and I'm sure it will be fine.  I think I'm contending more with a general dislike of beef here than an actual reason to dislike it. 

"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 #6 of 26

You are in Greece right?

Wait one min and I will be right there .

Between the two of us we can put an awesome RR on the table.

 

mimi

 

After we finish cooking can you take me fishing?

 

m.

post #7 of 26
Now there is a thought. I can fly down in 5 hours and bring an american rybeye with me i got tucked away in the freezer. 😄
post #8 of 26

KK, would your family be eating the steaks medium rare or would they want them more on the well done side of things.  If they prefer them more on the well done side, simply slice them on the thin side and grill quickly over really, really hot coals.  Keeping them thin will help with any toughness while using a really hot grill and very quickly searing them could keep them from overcooking too much but still getting a good caramelization on them.

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 

Half of us will be eating them medium rare, the rest will be eating them well done which is the only way greeks can fathom to eat their meat.

"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 #10 of 26
Do they just eat beef well done or all meat, like lamb and goat?
post #11 of 26

Had the same experience in Costa Rica. Maybe you can try and tenderize the steaks, then marinade overnight before BBQing them. Good luck!

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post

Do they just eat beef well done or all meat, like lamb and goat?

 

There is no protein that doesn't undergo rigorous cooking, except maybe fish.  Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, goat must all be cooked within an inch of being leather.  In my opinion.  One recent hostess was boasting about how she roasted pork chops for over 2hrs.  They had a very interesting (inedible) texture :cool:

"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 #13 of 26

Marinating really isn't going to help that much.  If you can tenderize that is what I would do, but if not then I would just go with the method I described above.  If you cook them quickly, over really high heat they will be well done, but should still retain a bit of their juices.

 

The other option would be to cut them thicker to grill them, let them rest, and then thinly slice them before serving to your guests, kind of like how London Broil is served.  My dad used to do "London Broil" regularly.  He would then serve the sliced meat over bread generously spread with garlic butter.

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

There is no protein that doesn't undergo rigorous cooking, except maybe fish.  Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, goat must all be cooked within an inch of being leather.  In my opinion.  One recent hostess was boasting about how she roasted pork chops for over 2hrs.  They had a very interesting (inedible) texture cool.gif

Fathers of the democratic process, but not of the culinary arts. Oh well I guess they did their part😎

They do know how to cook fish dont they? Please say yes cause im planning a trip there next spring.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post


Fathers of the democratic process, but not of the culinary arts. Oh well I guess they did their part😎

They do know how to cook fish dont they? Please say yes cause im planning a trip there next spring.

 

Fathers yes, grandsons no.  Now the greeks are the leading fathers of corruption.  It's so sad.

 

So anyway I found the beef I was looking for.  I will take pictures as I prep it so you can see, it has no marbling.  We'll see how it turns out.

"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 26
Work your magic good lady, we know it will turn out good.
post #17 of 26

Koukou: the day will come when you reconsider beef tenderloin. Well treated is a great and tender cut that cooks in minutes.

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 #18 of 26


We have a restaurant chain here in the states called OUTBACK  They are one of the biggest and busiest. They purchase US Good and commercial grades of beef. Normally this would be extremely tough. They however treat their meat with a product called Papain . This is a natural enzyme that is obtained from tropical fruit trees and plants. It is tastless. You can sprinkle on meat or soak meat in it.

     Or take Kee Wee's, peel them save the skin an  put on top[ of the meat about 1 day prior(inside of kee wee skin facing meat). This will tenderize it. One factor you have going against you is most Greek and Italian people only like their meat cooked well done. This in fact makes it tougher.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

Here is the beef I found

 

 

 

"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 #20 of 26

Looks like some chuck under the 10.80 price tag in the first photo and eye of round in the third.

post #21 of 26

Grass fed?

 

mimi

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post
 


We have a restaurant chain here in the states called OUTBACK  They are one of the biggest and busiest. They purchase US Good and commercial grades of beef. Normally this would be extremely tough. They however treat their meat with a product called Papain . This is a natural enzyme that is obtained from tropical fruit trees and plants. It is tastless. You can sprinkle on meat or soak meat in it.

     Or take Kee Wee's, peel them save the skin an  put on top[ of the meat about 1 day prior(inside of kee wee skin facing meat). This will tenderize it. One factor you have going against you is most Greek and Italian people only like their meat cooked well done. This in fact makes it tougher.

 

I only ever have the lamb when we go there.

The fisherman always orders a strip and comments on the flavor every time.

Said it is really deep and rich.

 

mimi

post #23 of 26

Only been once, not by choice. I was not impressed, it's an upscale Sizzler.

post #24 of 26

@Koukouvagia I haven't read through the whole thread and you have probably cooked the steaks already. BUT I really think you would be fine

setting up and doing them sous vide. You can pull a  @ 130f and finish the on a hot grill and let the WDones go a little longer. Just use zip locks.

When I don't have a machine, I put a dowel across the top and then put a paper clip in the top corner of the bag. I then string them to the dowel like fishing

lines. Even better, if you have a large enough bag of some sort doing the whole roast would come out great, then slice and grill. Just a thought.

My son was using sous vide some rib steaks the other night and for kicks I took a piece of an old check roast that was in the deep freeze and threw it in. Shocked

at the result, was like slow cooking but done medium.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

@chefbuba as you can see besides the chuck there is not much marbling to the meat.  Butchers here do not cut beef in a way that I can recognize it easily, that's what makes buying beef so hard.  The language barrier (I don't know the name of the cut I'm looking for in Greek and neither do they lol).  They consider all beef to be stewing meat.  I can't even buy a chicken here without them whacking it to bits with a butcher knife, bone splinters everywhere.  

 

@panini thanks for the suggestion, I already did cook those steaks.  Though I don't have the temperament to sous vide anything.

 

So I bought steaks from a cut of meat I thought might have been a rib roast.  But when I seasoned them they looked more like chuck to me.  Who knows, it's anybody's guess.  I cooked the thick ones to medium rare and the thin ones to a crisp.  They were pretty tender and quite tasty.  Seasoned only with salt and pepper.

 

 

"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 26

This makes me wonder if there is a national butchering guide. France, Britain and the US all have different guides for cutting beef.

     When I first found that out it surprised me to learn there were different national standards for cutting up the same animal.

Do any of the butchers have access to a Greek guide on cutting up beef or does one exist at all? 

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