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How do I cook topside of beef tender?


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Old 20-02-2010, 21:03
The Wizard
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Help. I'm really struggling here. It should be so simple but every time I cook a joint or medalions of beef they turn out tough.

I've tried following a Jamie Oliver recipie using olive oil, garlic and rosemary. The flavour is spot on but if I cook it on 200 the outside ends up brown and the middle is too rare so tonight I tried cooking it on 150 for longer but always the meat turns out tough and a bit dry. I've made sure there's plenty of juices and covered it in oil. Tonight I cooked it for just over an hour and it came out med to well but zip very tough. What am I doing wrong? How do I get a good medium joint that's not tough? I want it to fall apart and melt in the mouth but instead it's chewy and dry. By the way the meat is lean and I've only used topside. It's the same when I try to do stews when I use diced stewing steak. I've recently bought a slow cooker and did diced beef in it and slow cooked it in a stock with veg for 4 hours and it was the same, chewy and tough. I've followed the recipie to the letter and don't know what i'm doing wrong.

My cooker is an electric fan oven so not sure if it's that that's causing it to dry out or something i'm failing to do.
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Old 20-02-2010, 21:13
cream cookie
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I know most recipes will tell you to roast a topside joint, or slow-cook it, but my Mum always puts it in the oven covered with foil - she likes hers well done too, not a trace of pink. I'm not sure what temperature she cooks it at, but imagine it to be around 170 or so and I reckon for a couple of hours (but it does depend on the size of joint).

Her roast beef is always meltingly tender and soft.

I reckon you've not cooked your stewing steak for long enough in the slow cooker... What setting did you have it on; low, medium or high? I would give a stew at least 8 hours on low if in the slow cooker...
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Old 20-02-2010, 21:30
burton07
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I agree. Stewing steak needs either 2 -3 hours simmering on the hob or 6 - 8 hours in the slow cooker. Topside of beef should be either pot-roasted - that's a cross between roasting and braising - or roasted slowly either in a covered pan with a little water in or wrapped in foil to prevent drying out. A fan-oven will cook things more quickly so try turning the heat down 20 degrees - say 160 instead of 180.
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Old 20-02-2010, 21:47
Miriams Sister
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I cook a piece of topside that cost around £13 in a covered pyrex in a fan oven on 190 degrees for 2 hours.
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Old 20-02-2010, 22:16
The Wizard
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Some people say cover with a lid or cover in foil. But I like the outside crispy or well done but the middle pink but not bloody.

But that doesn't really work if you want the juices of the meat to infuse into the veg. The potatoes are spot on. The veg is ok if slightly shrivled but nice and sweet and soft. Don't do crunchy veg. The meat is the only problem.

I remember when my mum used to do a Sunday roast she'd cook it all afternoon for 3 or 4 hours and was pretty much an all afternoon job so maybe I need to reduce the temperature and cook it longer but the problem with that is I only have one oven and in order to make nice crispy roast potatoes it needs to be hot so it's the whole juggling time and temperature thing that i'm struggling with.

I've tried cooking a joint covered in foil but I find it's very soggy and not browned on the outside.

Why is this so difficult? Mum's have been doing this off patt for years. I wouldn't have thought it would be SO difficult. I always thought a roast dinner was the most basic of things to cook. I feel so stupid that I can't do a straight forward Sunday roast dinner that people have been cooking since time began. It should be so straight forward.
I always thought the rule was 20 mins per lb plus 20 mins for rare, 30 mins for medium and 40 mins for well. Is that not right? But for some reason if I try do cook it medium the outside is always overcooked. Either that or the outside is perfect and the middle is running with blood. If I leave it in longer then it comes out tough and dry.

Is this a sign that i'm trying to cook it too quickly on a too high heat?
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Old 20-02-2010, 22:56
TopNotch
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Try thoroughly sealing the meat in the roasting tray first (or a frying pan). This helps with flavour and keeping juices inside whilst it begins cooking.

Keep the heat low-moderate whilst cooking, but feel free to whack the heat up for the last 10-20 mins to thoroughly colour the outside.

Lastly, it's very important to leave the joint to rest for at least 10 mins, in a warm place (like the grill above the oven if you have one) this allows it to 'relax' and you'll notice the difference.


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Old 20-02-2010, 23:08
anfortis
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Keep the heat low-moderate whilst cooking, but feel free to whack the heat up for the last 10-20 mins to thoroughly colour the outside.
I normally do it the other way - start the meat in a very hot pre-heated oven (Gas 8/230C) for 20-30 mins and then drop the temperature to Gas 2-3/150-160C to continue cooking. OP, you might also want to seriously consider getting a meat thermometer - they give you much better control when cooking joints of meat.
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Old 21-02-2010, 03:39
Binky Winky
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Try wacking it repeatedly with a rolling pin before cooking it!
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Old 21-02-2010, 09:28
whoever,hey
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Try wacking it repeatedly with a rolling pin before cooking it!
I hope thats a joke.
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Old 21-02-2010, 09:46
~Twinkle~
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When you carve the meat make sure that you carve against the grain or it'll be tough.
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Old 21-02-2010, 09:59
catloverrjules
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I always wrap mine in foil , just lightly oil foil first so it doesnt stick
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Old 21-02-2010, 10:00
burton07
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Some people say cover with a lid or cover in foil. But I like the outside crispy or well done but the middle pink but not bloody.

But that doesn't really work if you want the juices of the meat to infuse into the veg. The potatoes are spot on. The veg is ok if slightly shrivled but nice and sweet and soft. Don't do crunchy veg. The meat is the only problem.

I remember when my mum used to do a Sunday roast she'd cook it all afternoon for 3 or 4 hours and was pretty much an all afternoon job so maybe I need to reduce the temperature and cook it longer but the problem with that is I only have one oven and in order to make nice crispy roast potatoes it needs to be hot so it's the whole juggling time and temperature thing that i'm struggling with.

I've tried cooking a joint covered in foil but I find it's very soggy and not browned on the outside.

Why is this so difficult? Mum's have been doing this off patt for years. I wouldn't have thought it would be SO difficult. I always thought a roast dinner was the most basic of things to cook. I feel so stupid that I can't do a straight forward Sunday roast dinner that people have been cooking since time began. It should be so straight forward.
I always thought the rule was 20 mins per lb plus 20 mins for rare, 30 mins for medium and 40 mins for well. Is that not right? But for some reason if I try do cook it medium the outside is always overcooked. Either that or the outside is perfect and the middle is running with blood. If I leave it in longer then it comes out tough and dry.

Is this a sign that i'm trying to cook it too quickly on a too high heat?
Put the roast potatoes in for the last half hour and then after you take the meat out leave it to rest, and wack the heat up to 200 to brown the spuds.
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Old 21-02-2010, 15:48
HolidayBob
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Help. I'm really struggling here. It should be so simple but every time I cook a joint or medalions of beef they turn out tough.

I've tried following a Jamie Oliver recipie using olive oil, garlic and rosemary. The flavour is spot on but if I cook it on 200 the outside ends up brown and the middle is too rare so tonight I tried cooking it on 150 for longer but always the meat turns out tough and a bit dry. I've made sure there's plenty of juices and covered it in oil. Tonight I cooked it for just over an hour and it came out med to well but zip very tough. What am I doing wrong? How do I get a good medium joint that's not tough? I want it to fall apart and melt in the mouth but instead it's chewy and dry. By the way the meat is lean and I've only used topside. It's the same when I try to do stews when I use diced stewing steak. I've recently bought a slow cooker and did diced beef in it and slow cooked it in a stock with veg for 4 hours and it was the same, chewy and tough. I've followed the recipie to the letter and don't know what i'm doing wrong.

My cooker is an electric fan oven so not sure if it's that that's causing it to dry out or something i'm failing to do.
Hi,

I assume you are buying it from the supermarket? If so, that is one of your problems. The meat is too young and has not been hung long enough and there's probably not enough fat around the outside. If you want to roast topside, buy it from a good butchers. The fat around the meat should be a nice creamy colour, this will keep the meat moist while you cook it. Cook till the internal temperature (use a probe) is 65°C. Remove from the oven and cover with tin foil. Make sure none of the steam can get out, leave for 30 minutes at least. You would be better off using Sirloin, it makes a better roast.

HolidayBob.
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Old 21-02-2010, 16:01
The Wizard
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I've been buying from the supermarket but last time I got some topside from the local abatoir and it was much better but I have been trying to avoid getting any with fat on cos my wife likes it lean and complains about fat or gristle running through the meat but maybe this is where i'm going wrong. I will admit that when I've bought steak from the butchers it's alot better and more tender than the stuff you buy in Tescos. It's just easier and cheaper but in future i'll invest in a good piece from a butcher. So would you say that topside or sirloin is the best for roasting or doesn't it matter?
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Old 21-02-2010, 16:29
HolidayBob
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I've been buying from the supermarket but last time I got some topside from the local abatoir and it was much better but I have been trying to avoid getting any with fat on cos my wife likes it lean and complains about fat or gristle running through the meat but maybe this is where i'm going wrong. I will admit that when I've bought steak from the butchers it's alot better and more tender than the stuff you buy in Tescos. It's just easier and cheaper but in future i'll invest in a good piece from a butcher. So would you say that topside or sirloin is the best for roasting or doesn't it matter?
Hi Wizard,

Do not worry about the fat around the edge of the meat, you can always cut it off. My wife also does not like fat, gristle etc and I have to cut it off the meat slices. My wife then gets out her microscope and takes off a millionth of a millimeter just in case!

Sirloin is far better for roasting as it has very fine flecks of fat running through the meat, don't worry about this as your wife will not notice it when the meat is warm. As long as you don't overcook it, follow my information in the previous message "it will not be tough." Let me know how you go on.

I noticed you bought from an abattoir, it is worth buying according to how much beef you eat, either a half or full sirloin. This is what I do and then cut it into joints and steaks. This way I can have my steaks as big as I like. One thing to remember with the joints, don't make them too small as the bigger the piece the better it cooks.

If I am having a steak or joint for Sunday, I would remove it from the freezer and leave it in the fridge and then cook it on the Sunday. If it was a steak I wrap it in kitchen towel, change this two or three times to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

I also put all my beef, pork in bags that are vacuum sealed, the meat keeps better,

Regards,
HolidayBob.
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Old 21-02-2010, 17:12
Binky Winky
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I hope thats a joke.
No not a joke at all

Whacking beef to tenderise it works a treat and is a traditional practise.

Of course you don't have to use a rolling pin, you can use the proper tool.....

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA280_.jpg


it's best to put some cling film over the beef or put it inside a plastic bag before wacking it to avoid a mess.

I also whack chicken fillets when making Cordon-Bleu
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:11
fainéant
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As said by above, buy a decent size from a good butcher or farmer's market making sure it has been hung for at least 21 days or more. Seal it well in a frying pan or roasting tin then put in in the oven at a very high temperature for the first 20 minutes or so to ensure the juices are locked in then reduce the heat. Do not season with salt as this encourages the juices to flow out. Allow time for resting in a warm place before serving (more than 10 mins preferred.)

For stews and casseroles the same good quality should be bought and try using a can of Guinness or Ale for some of the liquid as this helps tenderise.
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