After 18 years in France we still have trouble buying meat for casseroles. Our local butcher has bourguignon and pot au feu mixes but it’s so fatty and tough, although his roasting joints and mince are fine. We found something in Auchan which is quite good but not always…what does everyone else buy?
Thank-you so much everyone for all your wise words, I’ll let you know how I get on. It does seem mad thinking about stews in this sort of weather!
Aha! So how many of your computer related posts does she write?
OOPS! The above is a reply from Helen, but she was logged on as me!
Hi there Wendy - I wouldn’t trim off the fat personally - it is there to help the muscle (meat) to cook.
They sell it in huge chunks, so don’t cut it up either.
I fry a few pieces at a time in a HOT pan with oil and put them to one side until they are all done.
Then de-glaze the frying pan with whatever liquid you are using - sotck, wine, sherry, beer - just add a bit and bubble it away until all the bits are scraped off the pan - Add you meat back in (plus any veg) and gently cook on a low oven until done - it can take a long time, but it will be tender.
Another thing: I tend to cook mine the day before and drain off the meat and keep the stock in a jug.
When you are ready to finish the dish, reduce the stock by at least a half before adding the meat and veg back in - I don’t add too much salt at the initial cooking, as the reduction will concentrate the salt flavour, which can then be adjusted to your personal taste.
Here is a link to a braised beef dish I have written
By the way, the meat was from Le Clerc!
I do cheap cuts in the slow setting of the slowcooker too. They always come out fine. I buy all my meat in the supermarket (Carrouf or Auchan).
I think using tomatoes is supposed to help to tenderise meat.
I just buy a pack of beef bourguignon, chop off any excess fat and then cook it with stock, onions/veg, red wine etc… (even cranberry sauce works really well) for at least 8 hours on ‘low’ in the slowcooker and it comes out amazingly tender! Im sure it must be the same in the oven
Don’t forget that meat in France is not hung for as long as it is in UK, so it may not be the cut, but the time it has had to mature.
Agree with James frankly, never had anything from our butcher that didn’t get tender. I wouldn’t like to comment on your butcher having not been there, but would trying a different one be an option?
Got an oven thermometer, ours is also inaccurate…
Perhaps reduce the temperature? I know my oven temperature gauge is very inaccurate.
Tried that James, tried cooking it one day and again the next still not nice…
Slow cooking is the key, 110 degrees for 6 hours will make the toughest cuts tender. I learnt that from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s excellent book ‘Meat’!