Beef Stew -- can I braise longer?
I tried to cook a beef stew in my slow cooker last night. Recipe call for 8 hours on low, but the beef is still not tender. I think my slow cooker doesn't work well on low. I had to go to work, so I took the stew out and put it in the fridge. Question: If I braise it longer tonight, is it likely to become tender and edible? It is cooked through, but just too tough to enjoy at present, so my other option is to throw it out.
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I'd want to know what temperature that liquid was at for 8+ hours before eating it. Simmering would be a good sign but since it never did, there is the possibility it didn't make it to the Pasteurization point. I would set the unit back on low, let it warm up for a couple of hours and then check with a digital thermometer. If it's > 140, blame the meat.
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I agree with everyone above. Pierino put his finger on the usual suspect, the cut of meat chosen for the task. You may have deduced another possible culprit yourself, temperature. The liquid must rise > 140F to break down the connective tissue to make a tough cut tender. Was the cooking liquid simmering when you got home?