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Cooking grass fed beef roasts

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

So, I have been trying to cook grass fed beef for Italian Beef sandwiches.    I have been using small chuck roasts (about 1.5 pounds), and also tried a sirloin roast.  I try pot roast style in a dutch oven in the gas oven.

 

Problem is: it cooks so fast.  Too fast. I pull it out after an hour or so, and the Thermapen says it is already way past due (150+). The meat is gray throughout and already beginning to get tough.  However, the fat/connective tissue has barely started to render.  The meat does not seem to get that fall-apart tenderness.  From the outside it looks rare, and from the inside it' well done.

 

I have tried 275 degrees and 225.

 

Thoughts please.  Thanks.

post #2 of 25

I often braise grass fed beef, but rarely cook with a thermometer. My best guess is that you're not cooking the beef for long enough. I don't really watch how long I cook it, I just cook it until it's tender, but my best guess for grass fed chuck is around 2 to 3 hours, cooking very slow (you should barely see a few bubbles here and there coming to the surface). 

 

Note that the meat WILL FIRST GET TOUGH, then later become tender. You need to cook it longer. 

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.  It occurred to me at one point that maybe I wasn't cooking long enough.  The un-rendered fat was certainly sending that message.  But haven't had the guts to cook it any longer.

 

If I am going to disregard the internal temperature and cook a couple hours longer, how do I avoid overshooting the sweet spot and end up overcooking it after all?

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

On a related note.  I also have a problem with measured temperatures on grass fed steaks cooked on the grill.  I have found very little consistency on what the internal temperature reflects in terms of how the steak is actually cooked. I have tried a variety of cooking methods (indirect, ow-slow, hot-fast, reverse sear, etc), and pull it around 125, and over time have gotten a range of outcomes for each method.

 

Sometimes it measures overcooked when its still rare.

 

I generally let them warm, salted on the counter.  Plus a little pepper and olive oil.  I measure from the side.

 

I suspect this may have more to do with inconsistency in meat qualityand cuts.  I do know there are huge variations in age at processing and feed methods, as well as processors.

post #5 of 25

I thought beefs were cooked to rare and then sliced, gently reheated in broth?

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
 

I thought beefs were cooked to rare and then sliced, gently reheated in broth?

 

Indeed.  That's the goal.  My problem is that the meat seems to overcook before it ever tenderizes.

post #7 of 25

I would try a crock pot.  When you boil the juices that are in the beef that's when the beef gets tough.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

I thought beefs were cooked to rare and then sliced, gently reheated in broth?
??? Am I missing something here? We're talking about braising chuck.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post


??? Am I missing something here? We're talking about braising chuck.

 

Yes, Italian Beef sandwiches entail thin sliced roast beef and plenty of au jus.

post #10 of 25

Try inside (top) round, I roast two whole pieces a week for cold roast beef sands, french dips, etc. Heavy Kosher salt, black pepper & granulated garlic into a 325 oven . Approx 3 hrs for a #22lb roast to MR. I let cool and slice to order the next day. Very tender and flavorful,.

post #11 of 25

I'm with @chefbuba you're using the wrong cut of meat.  I saw a show where Lidia Bastianich made this and I think this is what you're looking for.  http://www.food.com/recipe/italian-beef-sandwich-476780

 

Chuck needs to be braised slowly on low heat for a long time and then it falls apart.

"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 #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

I'm with @chefbuba you're using the wrong cut of meat.  I saw a show where Lidia Bastianich made this and I think this is what you're looking for.  http://www.food.com/recipe/italian-beef-sandwich-476780

 

Chuck needs to be braised slowly on low heat for a long time and then it falls apart.

 

Thanks.  Yes, that recipe is pretty much on target.  There are of course a wide range of opinions about the only one true authentic way to do Italian Beef.  :crazy:

 

I used chuck because that is often the only non-conventional feed method roast I have access to at the store.  I suppose I could special order if I planned ahead.  Also, I have been doing occasional work for a grass fed rancher, and taking some meat on trade.

 

In any case, the main takeaway here is for me to ignore the Thermapen and try cooking longer, definitely low and slow, at say 225 for 2.5 to 3 hours. Also worth experimenting with maybe is to try the dry roast method instead of pot roast braising.

 

Thanks.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by McMike View Post
 

 

Yes, Italian Beef sandwiches entail thin sliced roast beef and plenty of au jus.

Ok, I did miss the Italian Beef sandwhich part.... so I'm not so sure what an Italian Beef sandwhich is but the advice I gave you is more for a beef burgundy kinda braise, where the meat falls apart when it's ready (rather than allowing you to create nice thin slices). 

post #14 of 25

A sirloin roast would be best for the roast to medium rare treatment. Chuck needs to be cooked to fall apart stage.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by McMike View Post
 

So, I have been trying to cook grass fed beef for Italian Beef sandwiches.    I have been using small chuck roasts (about 1.5 pounds), and also tried a sirloin roast.  I try pot roast style in a dutch oven in the gas oven.

 

Problem is: it cooks so fast.  Too fast. I pull it out after an hour or so, and the Thermapen says it is already way past due (150+). The meat is gray throughout and already beginning to get tough.  However, the fat/connective tissue has barely started to render.  The meat does not seem to get that fall-apart tenderness.  From the outside it looks rare, and from the inside it' well done.

 

I have tried 275 degrees and 225.

 

Thoughts please.  Thanks.

 

 

 

   Hi McMike!

 

 

  From reading your initial post, and every post you made after...you really seem confused.  When asked any further questions you seem to provide more contradictory answers. 

 

 What type of beef sandwiches are you after, seasoned sliced beef often served dipped in juice, or a seasoned shredded beef cooked to incredibly tender (also served with juice)?

 

   The shredded type you get from taking a tougher piece of meat, such as a chuck roast, and cooking it lowly and slowly.  You do this to cook the meat and break down the fat and connective tissue into gelatinous goodness.  The Chuck roast could be ready to pull at an internal temperature of 195f to 205f, but if you cook it too fast...you aren't going to get the fat and connective tissue to break down correctly.  This is not a hard and fast guideline...but a general overview to get you the idea.

 

 

 

 

   The other beef can be cooked using your top sirloin.  The roast will be cooked to a medium rare, it is spiced/herb crusted on the outside and there is usually some type of searing done.  There is accompanied by a wonderful beef jus that the thinly sliced beef is finished being cooked in...you finish cooking the sliced beef by gentley warming of the slices to 140f for about 30 seconds...then build your sandwich.  If you like a good jus to dip your sliced beef sandwich in you can make a wonderful hearty jus from onions, pepper, garlic, oxtails, seasoning etc...then cook it for hours and hours to reduce....do this separately before hand!

 

 

 

   Both sandwiches are really great...there is no better sandwich as far as I'm concerned.  A problem you will have with the sliced beef method is slicing the beef thin enough to allow the right texture.  Seriouseats has a nice recipe and they recommend buying thinly sliced deli beef and making your own juice.  While I think this is pretty good advice, I've got access to a nice slicer. 

 

  Eat well!


Edited by gonefishin - 10/27/15 at 5:35pm
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post
 

 

  From reading your initial post, and every post you made after...you really seem confused.  When asked any further questions you seem to provide more contradictory answers. 

 

   Both sandwiches are really great...there is no better sandwich as far as I'm concerned.  A problem you will have with the sliced beef method is slicing the beef thin enough to allow the right texture.  Seriouseats has a nice recipe and they recommend buying thinly sliced deli beef and making your own juice.  While I think this is pretty good advice, I've got access to a nice slicer. 

 

  Eat well!

 

Thanks, yes, that clarifies quite a bit.  The internets are full of competing recipes for Italian Beef sandwiches.  Some call for chuck, some sirloin.  Now I understand the different characteristics.  I am pretty new to cooking roasts, so been mainly blindly thrashing about.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post
 

Try inside (top) round, I roast two whole pieces a week for cold roast beef sands, french dips, etc. Heavy Kosher salt, black pepper & granulated garlic into a 325 oven . Approx 3 hrs for a #22lb roast to MR. I let cool and slice to order the next day. Very tender and flavorful,.


Here's one I roasted yesterday.

 

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

 

This image is a decent representation of the goal...

post #19 of 25

Now I want a beef.

post #20 of 25

   Dang, I'm getting a taste for beef sandwiches too...the pictures are looking great!

 

    McMike, that's sliced beef that you're aiming for, in the picture.  So a roast cooked to med rare and quickly heated in a concentrated jus will get you there.  SeriousEats has a nice article on this.  Like I mentioned earlier, slicing the beef thin is an obstacle you will have to address.  

 

   Below are a few pics of the last beef roast I made for sandwiches.  I cooked it on the rotisserie of the grill...the finished sandwiches turned out pretty tasty.

 

 

 

post #21 of 25

God, i need a sandwich too!

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.
Reply
post #22 of 25

Okay I don't have bread dough ready but I want a sandwich... have to settle for a grass fed T-bone! I like to smoke the sirloin roasts I get then run them through my little slicer and basically shave them thin as I can.

post #23 of 25

:)   My wonderful wife just informed our youngest wanted beef sandwiches for her birthday that's coming up ...that'll work!

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

I know what I'm doing this weekend.... thanks everyone.

post #25 of 25

   Okay, I cooked two top sirloin roasts with a mix of herbs and garlic sous vide at 127f for 10hours.  I also roasted 6lbs of beef bones, onions, garlic, carrot and reduced down the water to a flavorful juice.  After it was reduced I roasted 6 peppers then cut and added them to the jus.  The beef had a wonderful flavor of herbs and garlic throughout the meat, it was sliced thin on a deli slicer and put on slightly toasted french bread.  The sandwiches were tender and flavorful...turned out real nice.

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