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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The other day I brought home a leftover short rib. I simmered it with some oil, bacon grease and onion. Once recooked I added the usual Mexican spices and shredded it with a fork. I loaded it into a (EDIT) flour tortilla it tasted great, out of this world. My question is there some other stringy beef that you could recommend for tacos in place of short ribs which tend to be expensive? No more hamburger tacos anymore!!!! TIA.
 

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Sounds like you essentially made beef carnitas. Pork shoulder is the more traditional cut for that. Turns out much like you described.

Bayless has a good sous vide version I recommend for the simplicity and mess reduction.
 

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Food Ingredient Recipe Staple food Cuisine

This is pork… cold so it might not look as appealing as it should. Slow roasted in oven (covered roasting pan) to about 210 defF, then shredded/pulled.

Done the same with beef Chuck and brisket.

At 250 degF it takes about 12 hours for a 4-5 lb hunk o’meat.

Seasoning varies based on end use. I would not call this carnitas as that is traditionally fried. But it’s a reasonable imposter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
two steps? yes - the collagen congeals, the second braise more readily dissolves the (already) hydrolyzed collagen.
doing it in one long(er) braise simply does not work quite the same . . .

I need a more exacting explanation here. Former Chiro who has taught Health Science.. I like stuff cooked in grease and lard. Obviously some of you grasshoppers ain't been to L.A..
 

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try it, then get back to us on how it did/did not work for you.

neither grease nor lard dissolve collagen.

I'm a foodie, and I know stuff that for undetailed reasons work, are better than ethereal detailed theories than don't work.
my formal education is limited to what is on the fork- that's a pH acid test value of minus100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
try it, then get back to us on how it did/did not work for you.

neither grease nor lard dissolve collagen.

I'm a foodie, and I know stuff that for undetailed reasons work, are better than ethereal detailed theories than don't work.
my formal education is limited to what is on the fork- that's a pH acid test value of minus100.
Scheiste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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try it, then get back to us on how it did/did not work for you.

neither grease nor lard dissolve collagen.

I'm a foodie, and I know stuff that for undetailed reasons work, are better than ethereal detailed theories than don't work.
my formal education is limited to what is on the fork- that's a pH acid test value of minus100.
This is called a lack of explanatory depth. Its a sign you don't know what you're talking about. Other barbecue circles can explain the sensation of moisture at higher finish temps being primarily fat. Try mad scientist bbq or chuds bbq on YouTube for example.
 

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This is called a lack of explanatory depth. Its a sign you don't know what you're talking about. Other barbecue circles can explain the sensation of moisture at higher finish temps being primarily fat. Try mad scientist bbq or chuds bbq on YouTube for example.
Mr. Know It All, just why don't you offer to us a simple explanation instead of criticism. Knowing you for a long tim here, I expected better of you.
 

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I did, I pointed to sources indicating fat is the primary sensation of moisture in meat cooked to a high finish temperature, specifically barbecue where these temps are the highest, and ostensibly melting the most collagen.

But OK.

A link, and a quote from the link


Literature & Lore

Braising does not make a meat moister or juicier, nor does searing “seal in the juices”; these ideas are both myths. Meat only exudes water during cooking; it won’t absorb any. Only fat will keep meat moist. The only purpose of the water in braising is to moderate the cooking temperature, though the tasty stock given off afterward could be said to be a great added benefit.


Harold McGee, in his excellent “On Food & Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen” (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997, page 120 — Braising) points out, in fact, that cooking meat in water in a covered vessel will in fact help to make meat drier. The hotter meat gets, the more water it exudes, and steam is a more effective conductor of heat than air is.
Sticking with Mcgee, he talks about two stage braise, but not in the way @ItsMeAgain talks about it. Rather Mcgee wants to extend the time the meat hangs out below 120. This is the range where the enzymes remain active, indeed become more active, simulating what happens in the aging process with the enzymes cutting proteins making the meat more tender. Though I assume this is primarily about beef as other meats aren't generally aged that way? Or else why compare it to aging?

On to collagen. When collagen breaks down, it forms gelatin. In most cooking we talk about this happening at 180 degrees. This isn't precisely true, but is certainly when the break down accelerates generally, especially in the most common types. Else sous vide wouldn't work at the common temps used for tough cuts of meat, 155. The longer cooking time also helps out as it's not happening as fast. It starts as low as 122, and some types have to go to 200, thus those temps we talk about in bbq, and needing fat, often added fat to feel moist.

Collagen as gelatin also gets wrung out of meat just as water does as the meat contracts. This is why your stock or juices from a roast gel as it cools, it's full of gelatin--denatured collagen.

This link talks collagen in both beauty and food aspects, but does cover some interesting temperature behavior. Note also the protein cutting that helps collagen loosen up, another enzyme behavior.


Hydrolyzed collagen is not what collagen turns into in cooking. Collagen forms gelatin. Gelatin is broken down further into hydrolyzed collagen--usually from skins and bones and such for the beauty market. This is a chemical process breaking apart the collagen chemicals with water. This is not a cooking process per-se as water in the meat is in short supply at the points we usually talk about for collagen conversion to gelatin.

And so we come to explanatory depth.

Saying the collagen in braised foods is hydrolyzed and moister through a double braise is ignorant. Saying fat doesn't break down collagen is a red herring. Fat can work as well as water or conducting heat through the protein mass. It's about heat conduction, the material--fat, water,meat is irrelevant.

Now it might have more rendered fat that comes through as mouth feel moisture. That's not my experience in reheating things up to finish braising temperatures. But the details of what @ItsMeAgain actually does are woefully lacking. Instead we got a description of, well, nothing really. We could all comment more meaningfully with better process info from itsmeagain.
 
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