Saturday, January 02, 2010

How to cook pot roast in 42 short hours!

I did my osso bucco experiment this past Thursday. After I pulled that out, in went a 6 pound chuck roast. I put some salt and pepper on it, and thinly sliced a stalk of celery to go with it. I read online that said a beef roast should be cooked at 58C to 64C for four to 18 hours. I set the temperature at 58C, put in the chuck roast at 6PM on Thursday, and checked on it around midnight. It was still tough so I left it until noon on Friday. That was 18 hours, and it was still tough.

Frustrated I turned to the Internet to find out the why piece of the failure puzzle. I finally came up with what seemed like reliable sources that said you had to cook tough cuts between 64C and 68C for 12 to 18 hours. I set my cooker to 68C at about noon on Friday, and left it alone until noon on Saturday. Here are the results.

This was after cooking for 18 hours. The pot roast is in a regular non-vacuum-sealed Zip-Lock bag. I squeezed as much air out as possible, then inserted a straw to suck the rest out. It's kind of gross and I probably won't be using that technique again. We use the double-layer bags to prevent freezer burn and the two layers have air between them, so it kept floating. I weighed it down with some small plates to keep it submerged.

The final product after a total of 42 hours cook time.

Breaking it down for plating. You can see that there is still a bit of fat marbled in the roast, but it wasn't cooked at such a high temperature that it all melted out. It created a succulent and delicious flavor.

The definition of fork tender.

The final plate. Corn bread, hoppin john, whipped sweet potatoes, and pot roast with brown gravy.

The score is now tied 1 to 1. :-) Next up: poached pears.

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