I'm making a beef stew using chuck. I've simmered it very slowly for at least 1.5 hours, but the meat isn't tender. Help!

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18 Comments

Pittsburgher March 6, 2014
Sorry! I meant the Dijon-cognac stew.
 
Sheilad2000 March 6, 2014
Yes, the Smitten recipe...which was barely adapted from a Regina Schrambling NYTimes recipe. Do let me know what you think.
 
Pittsburgher March 6, 2014
Was this the beef burgundy recipe from Smitten Kitchen? It's on my cook-soon list.
 
Sheilad2000 March 6, 2014
Thanks so much, everyone, for your comments. (I love this community.) It's possible, I guess, that the package was mislabeled. It was a "chuck pot roast" from Safeway that I cut into cubes. Never happened before. I will try the recipe again -- as I said, the mustard/cognac combo was yummy -- but might use short ribs, make a day ahead AND braise in the oven. In any case, judging from the comments above, I'd better buy Molly Stevens' book!
 
Bevi March 5, 2014
Molly Stevens makes a great pot roast that is seared 5 minutes on each side, then braised in about an inch of liquid in the oven at 300 degrees for 3.5 hours.
 
Nancy March 6, 2014
Does Molly use a chuck roast?
 
JohnL March 5, 2014
It should not take THAT long for cubed chuck to get tender. Wonder if the package was mis-labeled. The cadillac cut for stews and braises I like to go with choice or prime boneless top blade steaks. They always cook up meltingly tender with no hint of the dry stringiness you sometimes get with some other cuts of chuck. I learned about this cut in Molly Stevens book All About Braising.
 
ChefJune March 5, 2014
One and a half hours is just for starters. Beef can take the really long braise. [Don't try that with chicken, though. It will get stringy and tough]
 
Eliz. March 5, 2014
Stews tend to be more flavorful the next day, anyway, so good idea! Glad everything worked out and thank you so much for reporting back. You might want to tackle brisket some time in the future. My favorite recipe calls for braising a large, browned beef brisket with masses of caramelized onions for more than 3 hours on Day 1, refrigerating the cooled dish overnight and then returning the sliced beef to the oven the next day covered with onion sauce.
 
Sheilad2000 March 1, 2014
My final report: put the stew in a 250 oven and braised it. FINALLY, after nearly more than 6 HOURS, the meat was tender. I must say it was wonderful -- with the addition of mustard(s) and cognac -- but next time, I'll make it the day before. Thanks to everyone who sent their advice. (BTW, it was a chuck roast that I cut into cubes.)
 
kimhw February 28, 2014
I always make sure to have good cuts. Pound a bit to tenderize and brown before braising.
 
Sheilad2000 February 28, 2014
My thanks to all....it's STILL a little tough at 4 hours. I'm keeping at a bare simmer and crossing my fingers that we'll have dinner sometime tonight!
 
dymnyno February 28, 2014
My favorite braises are multiple hours and low heat in the oven.
 
Sheilad2000 February 28, 2014
Thanks, dynmyno. I've moved the beast into a 250 oven.
 
amysarah February 28, 2014
I sometimes simmer a stew/braise for even 3+ hours (just add liquid if it starts looking dry.) Also, depends on size of chuck pieces. Long braise = tender beef + lots of flavor.
 
Charles C. February 28, 2014
Did you add a acid? Say Tomato or wine? That might help.
 
Sheilad2000 February 28, 2014
Thanks, Monita. I'll keep going. The recipe sounds awesome... I'll report back.
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/02/dijon-and-cognac-beef-stew/
 

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Monita February 28, 2014
I'd keep going. Some times stew meat needs 2.5 hours
 
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