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Food & Drink > Recipes > Recipe Testing

Recipe Testing

Looking for a new way to prepare chuck roast today, I came across this recipe that I copied from Yankee Magazine a few years ago. It's such an unusual preparation technique I was curious to know if the results are so special that it is worth all the extra work. I'll tell you up front: it's not.

It involves soaking the meat for 30 minutes, salting it and standing for 45 minutes, then par-boiling for 2 minutes before draining, then starting with the meat in cold water to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, and then brown it in a hot oven. Whew! I kept wondering why it was necessary to do all that.

The result was meat cooked to very well-done. It was moister than I'd expected, and it had a nice flavor if you like garlic, and browning it in the oven gave the outside a steak-like texture that was more interesting than my pot roast usually has. It would be a lot easier to throw the meat in the crockpot the whole time and brown it in the hot oven at the end. I'm not going to delete it yet, but will mark it questionable.

Braised Beef
2 pound beef chuck roast
Cold water
Kosher salt
6 large cloves garlic
3 tbsp oil
6 peppercorns

Remove the solid fat from the roast.
Soak the meat in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain off the water and cover the meat with a light coating of salt. Let stand for 45 minutes, then wash off the salt.

Bring enough water to cover the meat to a boil in a large pot. Add the meat and simmer for two minutes, drain in a colander, discarding the water. Rinse the meat in cold water, then return to the pot with enough cold water to cover. Add the garlic, oil, peppercorn, cover the pot, and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook the meat, covered until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the meat to a roasting pan and spoon about 2 cups cooking liquid over it. Roast the meat, basting with more liquid, until well browned, about 30 minutes. Salt the cooking liquid to taste. Serve the meat in thin slices with noodles and cooking liquid.

posted on Dec 17, 2016 7:09 PM ()


Meats are a mystery. The steps here sound like a religious ritual to counteract the evil dryness but trick the tenderness into staying and it all takes much doing.
comment by drmaus on Dec 19, 2016 10:26 AM ()
That's a good way to put it.
reply by troutbend on Dec 19, 2016 12:42 PM ()
I remember the good old days a few years ago when chuck roasts were cheap enough to have every week in the crock pot.
comment by jjoohhnn on Dec 18, 2016 6:04 PM ()
I remember when short ribs were a bargain meat but trendiness took over.
reply by troutbend on Dec 19, 2016 12:09 PM ()
I look for the easiest way and cook my beef roasts in the crock pot.
I buy my turkey in a box. It's a big roll of turkey meat. I still have to cook it but there is no skin, no grease, no bones and no icky guts to deal with.
comment by nittineedles on Dec 18, 2016 10:41 AM ()
It's amazing what crockpots have done for our cooking lives. Seems like they went out of style in the food trendy world for several years, even though those of us who got them in the 1970s were still using them all along, and now they are back with a vengeance, along with updated pressure cookers. One of mine is a smaller size - not tiny like for dips, just smaller - and the dial part of it lost its glue or something so it's held in place with duct tape, but still working.
reply by troutbend on Dec 18, 2016 1:13 PM ()
My preferred method is to sear the roast, deglaze the pan with wine and
put in the crock pot. I don't think I would have the patience for extensive prep.
comment by elderjane on Dec 18, 2016 5:18 AM ()
This one, and I don't know how far back it goes, appears to depend on sealing in the juices via the 2 minutes of hot water. I wanted to try it to see if it is really all that different from searing the meat first, and have to say the 400 degree oven part at the end adds texture to the outside that gets lost in the hours of moist crockpot cooking, so I might try that step on my next crockpot pot roast to see if it gives the meat more distinction.
reply by troutbend on Dec 18, 2016 1:15 PM ()
I am the official Greasy Taster Tester so send it to me and I'll let you know whether to throw out or keep the recipe!!
I'm such a nice guy and NO don't comment back you can just make it--that is not for the Greasy Taster Tester to do!!
comment by greatmartin on Dec 17, 2016 8:31 PM ()
No, it's not for you to make. Someday I will box up something to send to you for taste test, I'm sure you're hoping it's carrot cake.
reply by troutbend on Dec 17, 2016 10:19 PM ()
I assume this extensive preparation is to make the meat exceptionally tasty, tender and moist. But if you buy a good quality roast, and time it properly, won't you get the same result? the meat I cook for dinner is broiled steak, or roast beef, or roast lamb. None of it needs fancy. But even if you got a better result, we all know I am not spending more than 20 minutes on any prep.
comment by tealstar on Dec 17, 2016 7:20 PM ()
Yes, starting with better meat would be the thing to do. I was trying to imagine what sort of meat these days would require such treatment. Even chuck roast doesn't need all of this. Maybe it was originally for something strong-tasting like venison or mutton.
reply by troutbend on Dec 17, 2016 10:18 PM ()

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