My oven's lowest heat setting is 160 degrees Celcius. Is that unusual? Is a crock pot my only option for making fork-tender stews or should I purchase a new oven?
Julienne, chiffonade, emince...? Fancy names. Simple concepts. Find clarity here.
160˚C, which is 320˚F, does seem to be strange for the lowest setting. Sometimes I think that the people that make ovens are not necessarily cooks, if you know what I mean. You can still produce pretty good results with this temperature; however, for those wonderful slow and low dishes that we talk about, you may want to think about transferring the dish to the slow cooker. I would do this after you sear the meat etc. Basically just when you would normally transfer the pot to the oven. that's when you may want to transfer it. Most slow cookers cook things at lower temperatures, around 190˚F (90˚C).
Hope that helps. If however, you were hoping I would say "you must buy a new oven", so that you could have an excuse to buy one, then I would say yes, definitely buy a new oven :-) Cheers!
Hi. I prepared braised ribs six or seven times end in all of them the meat shrunk to something like 3/4 to 1/2 of the initial with, exposing part of the bone in both sides. I can't find the good marbled meat you show in the videos. So it has been taking me 18 hours of cooking at 95 ºC. I end up with a internaly pink colored meat. Can I avoid this shrinking? Thank you.
You cannot prevent the meat from shrinking during cooking; however, the slow and low cooking does help a bit. But it's just the nature of this type of cooking.
As for not being able to find nice marbled meat, perhaps you might like to try calling around for a new butcher. Not every butcher or store sells the same quality of meat. Cheers!
Tried for the first time after watching your video. Wished I had used oven instead of slow cooker. Reading one of the posts above about bland tasting meat makes me think that I cooked the meat too long--6 hours at high. Next time I will definitely try oven. When I removed the meat the gravy did not appear to have much fat. I even tried the plastic on top method you suggest. However, the sauce did seem greasy ultimately. I am not that clear about the slurry. I mixed corn starch with cold water. Wasn't sure of the amounts. Added slowly while gravy simmering. Did not seem to work so well. Sauce didn't thicken to my liking. Next time I might try adding the mirepoix instead.
The long-cooking process is required to break down the tissue of the meat and tenderize it. If the meat was fork tender as shown in the lesson, you didn't overcook it. If there was very little fat, it sounds like the cut itself didn't have a lot of fat (and perhaps little connective tissue). Make sure to take the lesson on the Combination Cooking Fundamentals to make sure you are choosing the ideal meat. In terms of flavor, you may also need to add a more flavorful liquid/mirepoix/bouquet garni next time.
Regarding the greasy sauce, next time, you might want to try and cool the dish and store it in the refrigerator overnight so the fat floats to the surface and hardens. This way, you can scrape off any from the surface. It also lets the flavors really absorb into one another and the dish is even tastier.
The amount of slurry will depend. You just need to keep adding (maybe a teaspoon at a time) and letting the sauce come to a boil each time so you can see how much it thickens. Practice will make perfect. Cheers!
Hello! I had a pair of beautiful beef shanks that I'd been looking forward to braising as practice for the Rouxbe lesson. I browned them and used a French oniony soup braising liquid (3 types of onions, carrots, celery, red wine, beef stock). I had two problems:
1) When I browned the meat, it seemed like a ring of connective tissue tightened up around both that made the meat buckle in a funny way (rather than lying flat). I hadn't noticed this as "silver skin" before - but is this something I should have cut off beforehand?
2) I braised these two shanks for 4 hours at 200F. However, even after all this time, they were still tough and the connective tissue had not broken down. Unfortunately i didn't have time to leave them in for any longer because it was already 10PM and we were hungry! It was very disappointing.... When I looked online for beef shank recipes, most were either for the slow cooker (6-8 hours) or braising at 300-350F for a couple of hours. In future, if using the 200F temp braising method, should I plan for times that are more like slow cookers? Or did something else go wrong (browned too long, heated liquid too quickly on stovetop, ????)?
Thanks for your help!
Nice work on putting the lesson to use! RE: 1) Yes, silver skin is very tough and inedible and leaving it on will cause the meat to buckle during searing/browning. It needs to be removed from all types of meat prior to cooking.
2) Cooking Time. Meat takes a long time to slowly cook at 200F. You can increase the heat, but the increased heat will have an impact on the meat/sauce (although it will cook faster). It's not bad but slower and lower is always better, providing you have the time. Slow and low cooking will require plenty of planning ahead (it is just like a slow cooker but it is in the oven). You didn't do anything wrong...the meat just takes plenty of time in order to break down the connective tissue and tenderize at these low temperatures...but the long cooking process allows for a wonderful exchange between the meat and the sauce and not only develops flavor, but as shown in the lessons on Combination Cooking, the nice red myoglobin pigment is maintained. Next time, if you choose to cook slow and low, take the amount of time into account and if you are short on time, turn the heat up to 300-350. Hope this helps. Cheers!
Tracy, I take notes on each lesson as I watch it. First I watch the lesson all the way thru, just as if I was in a class watching the demo. Then, and this is an advantage the student in the class doesn't have, I watch it again and take notes (pausing it as needed to type them in). I end up with a good summary of the lesson, and I think this has helped me get good scores on the Rouxbe test as well as improve my cooking since I really try to jot down all the details.
Then, when I'm cooking something using a technique that I haven't done lately, I read thru my notes to quickly refresh myself on what the lesson covered without needing to watch the whole thing again.
Hi. I made a coq au vin by first marinating the chicken in wine and vegetables for one and a half day and then I braised it. I chilled both the marinade and the braise in plenty ice bath in less than one hour before putting in the refrigerator. Can I still wait for three days to serve it? How long does it keep in the fridge? Does coq au vin freeze well? Thanks in advance.
It is best to follow government guidelines when it comes to food safety. A cooked stew or braised dish, if properly chilled and stored in a refrigerator that is below 40F can keep for 3 to 4 days. If it smells off at all, it is better to toss it. If you know that you won't be able to consume leftovers within 3-4 days, it is better to freeze the dish as soon as possible. Cheers!
I've never had to freeze it. Most stews and braised dishes freeze fairly well though depending on the ingredients. The best way to know is to try it out and see if you like the results. That way you'll know how big of a dish to make next time. Cheers!
Recently, i first fried the beef shanks & then added them to the pressure cooker along with the mire poix for about an hour. The end result was the same without having to transfer the content to the oven (More so i do not own an oven). The meat was fork tender and the works. My question, is this method an alternative or should i follow the process of braising as shown on the tutorials?
Hi. I made this wonderful recipe - http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipe/867/Braised_beef_ribs_with_sweet_fish_sauce/search/true - which does not require the use of the braising liquid after the ribs are ready. So, how many times can I reuse the same braising liquid for future preparations if I chill it quickly and then freeze it and then thaw it again for the next time?
If the meat was tender and flavorful as you describe, it looks like you answered your own question :-) Tough cuts can definitely be cooked in a pressure cooker. We have not tackled this subject yet in the Cooking School but we will eventually. Cheers!