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Why can't I cook a pot roast?

Discussion in 'Pay It Forward - PIF' started by Adja, Nov 19, 2011.

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  1. Enid

    Enid Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 13, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    Oooh, I like cooking and I like science.
    Caution geeking out ahead.

    This is all for the crock pot.

    You generally want a tougher cut of meat for pot roast. Tougher cuts if meat have more connective tissue (collagen) and when they cook at a low temp, around 225, they break down into gelatin and that creates a more tender roast with it's own gravy from the natural gelatin. 10 hours on low is my standard. If your short on time, 4-5 hrs on high will about right. The meat is more tender cooked on low.

    I do use some liquid in my roasts and I make sure that at least one of my ingredients is an acid, like tomatoes, but using straight tomato juice as the only liquid makes it tougher. This explains why, if you're wondering. Marinades Add Flavor but Don't Always Tenderize - Fine Cooking Recipes, Techniques and Tips
    Cooking liquids? I've tried it many ways. Beef broth with some worcestershire, red wine or tomato juice splashed in is good. So is the super easy onion soup mix packet with some water. I don't cover the roast with liquids, about halfway works great.

    Browning (maillard reaction) does make it much yummier. Brown an extra minute or two on the second side, since the first side lowered the temp of the pan. Oh yeah, salt before browning.

    Don't forget the onions and carrots.

    Here's a awesome chart for different types of cuts of roast.
    http://www.cooksillustrated.com/images/document/howto/ND02_BeefRoasts.pdf
     
  2. atom48

    atom48 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 27, 2009
    Colorado
    My grandma (who would have been about 122 yoa this year) used one of those ole-fashioned pressure-cookers to cook her pot roast. They were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. My sister's probably comes closest, without the pressure-cooker, but she sears first, then adds beef broth, RED WINE, etc. Great stuff. And makes for a relaxing cooking event, too. :)
     
  3. Adja

    Adja Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Michigan
    Success!

    I can't believe it! It turned out really, really good.

    I think I used almost everyones suggestions. First I salted & peppered the roast really well and let it sit for awhile to warm up. Preheated the oven to 400 degrees.

    Meanwhile, I cut up and seared a big onion, then put it aside. Then seared the meat in the same pan on all sides.

    Put the meat in the roasting pan and put the onions in with it. I didn't use carrots cause my husband doesn't like them.

    Then I deglazed the frying pan with some wine and added a little water. Put all that into the roasting pan and added a can of clear broth too.

    Found some dried fresh rosemary that a friend gave me, and added a couple sprigs to the roasting pan. Covered it all up with aluminum foil, and stuck it into the oven. Reduced the oven heat to 250 degrees when I put it in.

    Left it alone for about 2 hours, then checked the level on the broth. All was okay, so just left it alone again. Cooked it five hours at 250, then pulled it out and let it sit for about 15 minutes before carving.

    It was awesome! Nice and tender, and very flavorful. I don't think it was quite as good as Grandma's, but I think she would have been proud. LOL

    Thanks very much to everyone for their help!!

    SGT, that brining suggestion sounds very intriguing. I may give that a whirl soon!
     
  4. Lauralie

    Lauralie ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    That's great - and now you will play with it and keep making it better and better!!!!
     
  5. Adja

    Adja Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Michigan
    I hope so Laura! I never cooked at all to speak of until about a year ago. My husband had a heart attack, and we were advised to put him on a healthier diet. Previously, it was mostly fast food and microwavable frozen food, which is basically filled with salt and other bad stuff. So, I've been learning how to cook fresh foods, and it's been an adventure. LOL
     
  6. VetSGT

    VetSGT Destroyer of Mods Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 20, 2011
    kansas
    YAY sucess glad it came out good. Now you can keep perfecting it :D
     
  7. atom48

    atom48 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 27, 2009
    Colorado
    Sounds like it came out great!! Congrats!! As Laura and Vet said...now you can tweek it and make it your own. You can be a grandma, too!!
     
  8. meems

    meems Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    Ohio
    Didn't read replies so sorry if a repeat..crock pot! I use english cut (chuck ok too) potatoes in first (and whatever you want), top with meat, then pour over a can of progresso french onion soup, cook all day, the quickest meal I make. Ohhh...MMMMYYY...GOSSSHHHHHH...
     
  9. Sallana

    Sallana Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 4, 2010
    the North Pole
    My dad does them in a pressure cooker. It takes like 30 minutes and they are always amazing.

    PS - Too lazy to read through and see if someone else already suggested this.. :p
     
  10. gramakittycat

    gramakittycat Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aija!!!so glad to see you! just had to comment about the brining method it is fantastic !I brine my turkeys in a big plastic trash bag.Just had to share this with everyone .Alton Brown did a show a few years back on brining ...Any way 'Night everyone and God bless!!!
     
  11. ThatJoeGuy

    ThatJoeGuy Resting In Peace

    Oct 18, 2011
    St. George, UT USA
    Pot roast is typically cooked using the "braising" method. It's essentially the same in the slow cooker. The thing about braising is that it needs to cook long enough for the connective tissues to break down and the fats to render. It's typically 'done' when it reaches the level of tenderness that you want, typically by pulling apart easily with a fork.

    The 'trick', if you will', is that when a hunk of meat like that is cooked in a liquid, it needs to REST in that liquid. I'm sure you've cooked a steak before and took it off the heat right away and put it onto a plate and cut into it. That first bite or two is great, but then all of a sudden it's like you have someone else's steak - it's much more dry and even a little tough. When the meat is cooking, the fibers are constricting and squeezing the juice out...when you let it rest, it redistributes those juices back throughout the meat.

    Same with a braise or pot roast...it's sitting in the liquid that it needs to reabsorb. Let it rest in the juice for 15-20 minutes after it's cooked.
     
  12. MegaBee

    MegaBee Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 29, 2011
    Queensland Australia
    Yum!!! I love this thread!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. MASTER0FDAMPF

    MASTER0FDAMPF Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 22, 2011
    Philly
    Dont ever cut into the roast while it is cooking. It will release the pressure of the browning that helps hold the juices in. make sure when you let it "Set" after it is done that you do so with the roast covered. If you are going to cut it thin (deli or similar) leave it barely underdone and slice it while it is still warm but not hot. As you slice it the roast will steam off and finish cooking. Great thread! NOMNOMNOM!

    WHA? icantal wif ros im my mouf.
     
  14. Adja

    Adja Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Michigan
    I want to try that brining technique soon, SGT. Thanks again!

    LOL Atom. I just found out that I am a great-grandma. I don't feel old enough to be a great-grandma yet. LOL

    I was really tempted to do the crock pot method Meems, but I cook half our meals in the crock pot now, so I really wanted to learn how to do it the "old-fashioned" way.

    Hi Sallana! I would be afraid to use a pressure cooker, even if I had one. I'm clumsy, and would probably end up with pot roast all over the ceiling. LOL

    Hi GKK, good to see you too! I will try the brining soon!

    Oh! I didn't do that! I pulled it out of the pan and put it on a plate to sit. Will leave it in the pan next time. Thanks Joe!

    Me too Dyanne! Yum!

    Good to know. Next time I will leave it in the pan and leave it covered while it sits. Thanks Master!
     
  15. bamsbbq

    bamsbbq Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    Tacoma,WA
    exactly...also works great for a roast cooked in the oven as well... i also dont cook mine in water i use beef broth... i also inject inject inject with beef broth as well..i do this for my briskets,chucks and boston butts. always juicy.

    the best way to tell if your roast or any other meat is done is by a simple digital meat thermometer..it takes the guess work out of the cooking..no more 45 minutes for every lb old fashioned guesswork..lol
    [​IMG]
     
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