Amazing Transformation of Meat
So over this last week I have tried cooking a couple of tough cuts of meet for longer periods of time. The first thing I did was a corned beef. This was a crazy eye opening experience. I was not expecting such a huge change in texture from cooking this. Now I won’t take credit for the flavor or anything because I did take the short cut of buying one pre-brined from my local Costco.
So I set my circulator to 140 F and started it warming up. While it was warming up I took the corned beef and opened it up and resealed it using my Polyscience Chamber Sealer. I did not add any other seasonings or flavors. I wanted to just compare this to one that had been cooked a couple of weeks earlier that had been done in the crock-pot.
Once I got the meat in the water and cooking I made the decision to do a long cook on it to see how it would change the overall texture of the meat. I was not expecting the results that I got. And I mean this in the best way possible. It was really amazing how much it changed. Whenever I think about eating corned beef I think of the stringy texture that you get when cooked in a crock-pot with a bunch of cabbage and potatoes. What I got instead was a much tighter grain with no stringiness. This would have been the perfect consistency if you let it cool to run it over a slicer and make a bunch of lunch meat from it. The best part of this is that it stayed so delicious and moist. The downside is because of the texture change it was not as tender as I was hoping it would be. I think in hindsight I would cut it up into chunks and try a few different time combos.
Chuck Roast Experiment:
This experiment has really excited me and is making me want to try a long cooking time on a different cut of meat and a nice tough one, just to see what the texture is like. So I went out and picked up a chuck roast. I kept this super simple and just put some sliced garlic, salt, pepper and a little avocado oil in a bag and sealed it. I cooked this roast for 24 hours at 140. I have to say I was happy with the results but it was not quite as tender as I was hoping it would be.
There is something said to keeping your flavors simple with beef. I think maybe next time I would toss in a little rosemary and thyme.
I was really going back and forth on the time and temperature that I wanted to cook this roast at. I was trying to decide if I wanted to cooking it more along the lines of medium rare or medium. Since I was looking for a little more break down of the meat I decided to go with the higher temp.
It did have a beautiful color to it right out of the bag which I was impressed with. It almost had that look of having a sear on it even though I had not done anything to it before or after cooking it in the circulator. I used my Anova Precision Cooker for this one because I was planning on doing some other cooking in my Polyscience for our Easter dinner. Here was the finished result of the inside of the beef.
As you can see nice, juicy and beautifully pink in the center. I am looking forward to trying this again. I think that I will try a slightly longer cook and see if it has a good outcome and maybe will denature the meat a little more and tenderize it a bit more.
I cooked this up for Easter dinner and it was really just like a delicious pot roast. I took all of the juice from the bag as well as some red wine and made a simple gravy for it. Served alongside some carrots and some sous vide duck fat potatoes. Here is the final result.
I love cooking a delicious dinner for the family. Can’t wait for the next one!