How can I get beef soft without overcooking?

Canada
November 4, 2009 1:40pm CST
Many times over I have cooked beef with a pressure cooker and keep adding water and re-pressuring to get a nice soft easy to chew meat but instead the meat separates and still is very chewy. What else can I do? I like beef stews but not when it is mashed up into stringy pieces.
2 people like this
5 responses
@sulsisels (1685)
• United States
5 Nov 09
Hi dunamis The best cooking method for beef such as stew beef is "low and slow" The method of braising is the best way to get a melt in your mouth consistency without turning it into strings. Take for instance a lb of beef stew meat. Trim off excess fat and cut into bite size pieces. Brown meat in dutch oven or other stew type pot in olive oil, Add an onion quartered and some garlic. Saute just until meat is nice and brown and veggie are soft. (no more than 5 minutes) (I season some flour and coat meat before browning) Add enough chicken broth to cover meat and cook either in oven at 325 for 2 hours or on top of stove on low heat, stirring occasionally for 2 hours. Add carrots and whatever other vegetables you like about 3/4 of the way through. You should end up with meat that you can cut with a fork and delicious. I keep tasting as I go along adding whatever I think it needs, worchester sauce,smoked pepper,salt,whatever spices you like. I also add a couple tbsp of tomato paste in the beginning of browning process. (Beef stew needs some tomato and paste works well) Hope this method works for you.
@marguicha (91808)
• Chile
5 Nov 09
I heat the pot with oil and then throw in the meat so the the juices are sealed inside. When it is done I take it away and in that same pot I fry diced onions, swet pepper, a crushed glove of garlic, a bay leaf if you want. The meat must be with salt and pepper (optional). I pour some more oil, a dash of redwine and cook it sloooowly. I do that with time to forget about it and go check betweek posts at mylot or garden work. I donĀ“t use pressure cooker for meats, except for beef tongue or pork hams. Never forget to buy a good meat. A bad meat from an old animal will be chewy no matter what. Welcome to mylot and luck!
@carpenter5 (6786)
• United States
4 Nov 09
I was going to ask if you had a crock pot? The secret is not cooking it in a pressure cooker, but slow roasting it at a lower temperature. Even if you don't have a slow cooker, you can still get it done in your oven. Here's what I suggest. Go to your grocery store and look for oven bags. Spray your baking dish with non stick cooking spray to avoid the plastic sticking to the pan. This makes a huge mess. Take your beef and make slits in it with a sharp knife. Mix Minced Garlic, Onion powder, Ginger, Salt, Pepper and some Rosemary in a bowl. Spoon this spice mixture and press it into the slits in the meat. Then take 1 cup of beef stock and mix in a package of beef or brown gravy mix. Don't use the package directions on the gravy, just dissolve the mix into the stock. Put your beef in the oven bag and pour in the stock/gravy mixture. You can also add Carrots, Onion and Potatoes here if you like and cook it all together. Tie up the bag and place it in your glass baking dish. Set your oven to 250* and slow roast the beef at least 3 hours, until it's the desired doneness. We like ours done medium well, where the meat still has a bit of pink in the very center, but no blood and it's hot all the way through. The bag will keep all the juices inside and keep the meat moist. The slow roasting will make it melt in your mouth! Hope this helps!
@kykidd (6820)
• United States
4 Nov 09
Hi there dunamis1, and let me take this opportunity to WELCOME you to myLot. It appears that you are kind of new here. I would suggest that you sere the meat before you put it into the pressure cooker. This may help because to sere the outside of the meat, you will help to keep the original juices in which will in turn make the meat softer. Good luck!
• United States
4 Nov 09
Cook it slow at a low heat for a long time. Try the crock pot or over for best results.