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Dried out braised beef!?

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Hi all, just a quick question.

I had half a leftover sirloin tip roast, so i decided to braise it by trying out my slow cooker, which i hadnt used for braising before. I usually just braise in a stockpot, but i liked the idea of being able to leave the house and not worry about a pot drying out by accident.

I seared the beef, removed it, made my braising sauce, and then dumped the contents all into the slow cooker. On low, the mixture stopped simmering. So i had to put the contents back into the pan, brought it up to a boil, and put it into the slow cooker on high. This kept it simmering (actually, probably boiling for 20 minutes or so, until i readjusted the heat to low which then worked fine). There was plenty of liquid, so that wasnt an issue.

The problem is, after braising over night, the beef is bone dry. Whoops :) I think it might be the fat content of the sirloin tip itself, but having never braised in a slow cooker, does anyone else have any ideas about what this tasty sauce has crappy beef in it?!

Thanks for your advice.

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  1. The biggest problem was that you cooked it for too long. Any meat will dry out if it's overcooked, even if it's cooked in liquid. Meat gives up its own liquid to the cooking liquid.

    Also, the roast was better suited to dry heat, you are right.

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

      Thanks. So for using a slow cooker, im better off sticking to the same traditional braising times (3-4 hours)? I couldnt find anything about cooking times with a slow cooker, so i figured i'd try it over night.

      As for being suited for dry heat, i figured it wouldn't be nearly as succulent as other fatty cuts (like short ribs, brisket, etc..), but would still be somewhat tender. I guess next time i have another leftover piece, i'll try it for the appropriate cooking time, and see what happens.

    2. Too much heat, too much liquid. You basically boiled the beef, a good recipe for making broth but a lousy one for making edible meat. Having ruined more than my share of pot roasts (even using chuck!) in my time I know whereof I speak. You can get away with cooking it in a lot of liquid as long as you AVOID simmering, though I get better results if the liquid comes no more than halfway up the meat, and a third works better. And of course sirloin tip isn't the best choice for pot roasting, though you could always lard it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        Will Owen's one of the most erudite, accomplished, and always spot-on 'Hounders, so pay attention.

      2. Sirloin tip roast is too lean to braise in my opinion, but in addition to the cut of beef, it was also boiled for a bit and then cooked for a very long time.

        Using a slow cooker is a bit of an art as you figure out cuts/times/settings. Start with a recipe & cut from the recipe book it comes with and go from there. Keep in mind that modern slow cookers cook at a higher heat level then older cookers because of safety issues. So if you are using an older recipe, you need to shorten the cooking time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JudiAU

          Unfortunately, i inherited this slow cooker years and years ago, and there is no recipe book. I checked for slow-cooker recipes on braising, but couldnt find any, so i figured i'd gamble.

          Anyway, thanks for the advice. I'll be sure to turn out something more edible next time!

        2. yen-
          i think you hit the nail on the head all by yourself...the low fat content...use a fattier, tougher cut of beef (chuck, for example) or try a whole pork shoulder and slow cook on low for 10-12 hours...don't give up on the slow cooker, i love mine and experiment with it all the time...they are also energy efficient!