Tenderizing tough meat

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Quiver0f10, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    TWe just bought a 1/2 cow from a local butcher and the meat is very tough. The last time we bought from him, he hung the meat for a week or 2 ( can't remember exactly how long) before cutting it and it was soooooo good.

    This time he killed it and cut it just a few days later. The steaks are almost unedible, they are so tough. Same for the stew meat and roast. I have a lot of this meat and need to use it, so what can I do?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jeff54321

    Jeff54321 Well-Known Member

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    Take the steak or roast or whatever it is: Pierce it deeply with a sharp tool in many places and soak it in cultured buttermilk for 3 days prior to cooking it. Then rinse it off and cook. Also a long slow covered oven roasting (300 degrees maximum) will make any cut tender.
     

  3. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Here's a trick my mother always used for tough meat. I've done it too and it works extremely well.

    Place a cut of meat in a pan, pour coffee on it, let it soak for a couple hours, and then when you cook it it will be tender enough to cut with a fork.

    It does not pick up a coffee taste at all.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If you don't have buttermilk you can accomplish the same thing by putting the meat in water to cover and keeping it in the fridge for several days. Change the water daily. It might take a week or more to get the tougher bits tender, but it will happen.
     
  5. TamInAz

    TamInAz Well-Known Member

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    Marinades or Crock pot!!!
     
  6. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Any option for taking it back to the butcher? Next time be sure to specify how long you want it to hang. Most say two weeks minimum, three even better.

    For what you have now, crock pot. For a roast, use a large covered pan like a crock pot by slow and low cooking. You do not want the water to bubble or churn.

    Is making roasts, etc. into hamburger an option? Perhaps due to your dissatisfaction the butcher would do it for free to avoid losing your business.
     
  7. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone! I can't bring this one back, but I will definitely be speaking to him before we purchase another side.
     
  8. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For roasts and stews add a pint or so(more if you like tomatoes) of stewed tomatoes simmer for a couple 3 hours.....for a 5lb roast I would use a quart of tomatoes and water to cover and actually the tomatoes will cook down to almost(in 3 hrs of simmering)
    nothing recognizable if you have non tomato types ;) a beef buillion cube or lipton onion soup packet is also a nice enhancement to the broth.
     
  9. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Soak it overnight in pineapple juice the day before cooking.
     
  10. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    A marinade of red or pink wine, soy sauce, shot of lemon juice or vinegar, brown sugar, ground ginger, garlic and a tablespoon of oil and a little water. Pierce your meat with a fork and soak it in marinade overnight will make it tender and delicious. This is DH's favorite marinade.

    For a more teriyaki, use pinapple juice instead of wine.
     
  11. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    In addition to the advice for slow, low, moist cooking, you can also can it. This gives you instant casserole and soup meat that will be very tender.
     
  12. djuhnke

    djuhnke Well-Known Member

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    Make it into jerky and sell it, then get another cow tenderized correctly. Jerky typically sells for $1 an ounce.
     
  13. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get a "Jaccard Meat Tenderizer" on Ebay. Its what the restaurants use. I have the supersized one. Worth every penny (about $45.00).
     
  14. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you got an entire half of the beef critter maybe it's too soon to judge as you may have just got a steak or two off one of the less tender parts of the animal. Be a shame to assume it's all tough and miss out on some potentially good cuts.

    That being said, for what you believe are going to be chewy cuts I would do one of the following things:

    1. Slow, moist cooking, such as a roast
    2. Marinade steaks in your favorite mix
    3. Grind into hamburg (mixing with at least 10% pork fat)
    4. Cut up into stew meat
    5. Canning in 1" cubes

    Good luck!
     
  15. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    A chemistry proffessor explained tough stew meat to me.

    To tenderize stew meat, do not let the temp go above a certain amount: if you do the muscle fibers will set. You need to cook it at barely simmering for a while to change the muscle fibers (an hour, perhaps?), THEN you can kick up the heat and boil it IF you wish! The chemical change will have already taken place, and it will cook up tender even if you let the pot boil.

    If you start OUT boiling it, no amount of boiling will EVER tenderize the muscle fibers because they have been "set".

    That is why, when you brown stew meat, you sear it very quickly in a hot pan and GET IT OFF just as quickly!

    If you see medium to dark brown specks on the seared meat, the natural sugars have been carmelized and the meat will taste more succulent. HOWEVER, you have to brown it FAST or you will toughen the inside of the chunks of meat because it will start to cook. That is why the skillet has to be hot. The inner parts of each piece of stew meat has to be cooked slowly or it will not become tender as it cooks.

    I no longer worry about the cut of pot roast: since learning this my pot roast is ALWAYS fork tender! It WORKS!
     
  16. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i go with a crock to that would make a 2x4 tender
     
  17. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    I'll say a marinade,too. One that I use with steak....water and oil,a little vinegar,a little mustard,some soy sauce,throw in some parsley,garlic,onion(dried),red pepper,black pepper,and paprika...let the meat marinade in the fridge overnight,it's very tender. Tastes great,too and you can always variate to change the taste a little for different uses.
     
  18. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Interesting--I like to learn!! I also bought a whole ribeye for $2.99 per lb, mercy it was REAL tough, so what I have been doing is opening the bag, adding some meat tenderizer--cover the meat with water and let it set for a few hours, then season and grill----Helps Alot. Randy
     
  19. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Just as aside here. Some folks have been put off from grass-finished beef because they thought it was tough. Likely it was the method of cooking more than the beef. Grass-finished beef doesn't have as much inter-muscular fat as feed-lot beef. As such, it must be slow cooked, much as noted for your side.

    Like the stew meat, you may need to slow cook the beef for a while before adding the other ingredients. Steaks should not be be hot grilled, but need to be slow cooked off to the side of the main heat.
     
  20. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Marinade, & include coca cola or beer in your recipe. Both of them help break down the tissues. Slow cooking & boiling will make almost any meat tender. If you think it's tough,don't try to pan fry it. Another method is to pound it with a meat hammer. Different cuts need to be cooked in different ways.