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Chuck roast.... at all possible to treat like sirloin? As in roasting it?

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OK, the sirloin roasts I saw at Wegmans today were huge, so I bought a smaller, organic grass-fed chuck roast instead.

This was perhaps not the smartest idea, as most results I am getting for chuck call for braising... ugh. NOT AT ALL what I had in mind. I wanted ROAST beef.

So my question is, can I roast it, and it will just be chewier -- or do I need to run out and get a decent piece of meat? Feeling stupid.

TIA, as always.

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  1. You can, but it needs low and slow cooking to break down the fibers, it's much tougher than the sirloin.

    Fine Cooking had an article about grill-roasting a chuck roast. I tried it - it's a couple step method of searing first, braising then finishing off on the grill (can use oven instead). It was decent, but not a sirloin roast. Different flavor.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Phurstluv

      Hmm. Generally, we brown/pan-sear the sirloin roast in the pan first before we put it in the oven, and then it's usually high and fast -- 15 min. / lb.

      The chuck roast is exactly 2 lbs. ... any suggestion on the temp & possible time it would take for the roast to be medium-rare? Or is that another stupid idea that won't work with this cut?

      >facepalm<

      1. re: linguafood

        I guess I would keep it at about 350, and keep the 15 mins per lb. timing. You can slice it as thin as you can against the grain.

        Below, PBSF has some good info on the cut. Good luck! Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right??

        1. re: Phurstluv

          Cooks Illustrated did a piece a while back about doing I think an eye of round roast in a very low oven for a long time - to make that relatively boring roast more flavorful and tender. I would guess you could try that with chuck - something like 250-275 for several hours. But I don't think you can get a chuck to be tender AND medium-rare at the same time. Collagen won't melt below around 190 (if I recall correctly), so definitely well done meat by then.

          1. re: sbp

            Good point, true.

        2. re: linguafood

          Is it shaped like a roast or a steak? We grill chuck steaks regularly and love them. We marinate for however long suits us and then cook til rare or medium rare. I don't think that would work for a roast.

      2. The whole chuck is large and some parts are more tender than others, depending where your piece is from. The most tender part is about 2 inches cross section before the rib; it has three muscles separated by a layer of fat and some bones. One of the muscle is actually a ribeye. What I do which with this part of the chuck is treat it it like a thick steak by searing it then finishing it in the oven. The ribeye of course will be tender. The other two muscle is not tough if you cook it medium rare and slice it against the grain. Other parts of the chuck is be too tough and should be braised.

        8 Replies
        1. re: PBSF

          This is fascinating to me, as someone for whom chuck has long been a go-to cut for anything cooked low and moist. So, if I'm at the market eyeballing the packages, how can tell what part of the chuck I'm looking at? Thanks!

          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

            If you pick a piece that looks like either of these.....you will get some flavorful tender beef.

            http://www.freefreezers.com/zencart/i...

            http://whitefootfarm.com/yahoo_site_a...

            I don't like to purchase for roasting when the chuck roast look like these:

            http://images.google.com/imgres?imgur...

            1. re: fourunder

              The 2nd one you linked to on your buy list is a 7 bone chuck. In the 1st picture the muscle at the bottom with the line of connective tissue running through it is the top shoulder or flat iron

              The one you don't like is the most common boneless chuck found in my market.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                Around my parts, flat iron is more commonly known as Top Blade Steak......I'm lucky enough to be able to purchase it anytime for under $2.49/lb wholesale.......usually four pieces, 6-7 pounds average in cryovac packages. Lately, it's been under $2.00/lb. Outside of Prime Grade Rib Eye, it's a contender for my second favorite meat cut.......the others being Hanger and Skirt.

                1. re: fourunder

                  And I can cook this flat iron (which I now realize I have enjoyed once or twice as steak-and-eggs at a higher-end brunch joint) or top blade steak of which you speak just as I would my beloved rib-eye---almost charred on the outside, very rare on the inside?

                  1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                    To answer your question.....yes, but I prefer my meat cooked to medium-rare doneness/temperature.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      Sweet. Thanks a bunch for all the replies, folks. I was going to have leftovers, but am now off in search of new cuts of meat to enjoy.

                      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                        The photos on the above links are what one should be looking for. I've often bought pieces that are even closer to the rib section which nobody wants because it has about a quarter inch of fat between the muscles. This piece has the largest ribeye because the next piece trimmed will be sold as rib roast or rib steak. Just an additional comment, don't expect some of the muscles to be tender like a filet or rib eye, but it has excellent flavor and frequently on sale. Just remember to cook it medium rare (at most medium) and slice it thinly against the grain.

        2. Sure, you can roast it. It will end up REALLY chewy, and barely edible! Chuck is loaded with tough connective tissue that "melts" with long, slow, cooking.

          That being said, I used to hang out with a bunch of Argentines who would grill short ribs (thick flanken cuts-- like 1.5 inches thick) to rare/medium rare and they were fantastic. Chewy, but super beefy and good. Most folks will tell you that short ribs have to be cooked low and slow too!

          I think you should hack a big chunk off the chuck roast and sear it on your stove to the doneness of your liking (wouldn't go past medium) and see how you like it. Will only take a few minutes and would help you to decide.

          1. I think it will be way too tough to enjoy as a roast, especially since you purchased grass-fed beef which has a lower fat content. I braised a grass-fed chuck roast a few weeks ago and tried a bit after searing it (part I ate was cooked rare). Eventually I was able to get it down but can't really picture myself eating an entire serving. I also tasted the braised beef at various stages. I really think your cut will be probably better suited for braising or boiling.

            1. You most certainly can roast low and slow and to medium-rare temperature and it will be tender and flavorful. I have be doing it regularly for years....slow roasted @225* every time it goes on sale at my local supermarket for about $2 per pound. You can season simply with salt and pepper, or something like soy sauce or worchestershire sauce.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/686839

              1. OK, so it wasn't half as bad as I had feared. Took it out at 118˚F internal temp and let it rest about 7 minutes. Yes, in parts it was chewier than sirloin -- particularly the rarer parts, but others were tender (perhaps the rib-eye part?) and flavorful. I had sautéed some shrooms, and added a splash of Balsamic & some crème fraîche for a sauce in case the meat would be really bad.... which, in the end, it wasn't. Though the man used some A1. sigh.

                6 Replies
                1. re: linguafood

                  Sigh indeed ) But glad it turned out.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Don't underestimate slow and low.
                    One of the best things I've made this year is a lamb shoulder roasted for 4 hours. I'm actually torn between that and the 1/2 leg of lamb cooked normally at twice the price.

                    1. re: Soop

                      Thing was, I just didn't have the time to do low and slow.... unless I wanted to have dinner at 10 pm, and I'm just not French enough for that '-)

                      1. re: linguafood

                        Ah, I see. Worth a go some time though :)

                    2. re: linguafood

                      A chuck roast contains several different muscles. Some are more tender than others. Like the Infraspinatus muscle or flat iron as paulj mentioned below and the supraspinatus muscle found in the mock tender chuck steak. These will be some what tender where others will be tough as nails eaten med rare.

                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        Scuba, if I buy a load of chuck... I'm thinking like 3kg here - theoretically, if I knew what I was doing, I could cut a couple of steaks off of it, and then use the rest for chili?

                        I wonder if the butcher would charge me accordingly for getting it cut a certain way to get the best parts?

                        I suppose it will be worth a try...

                    3. The Flat Iron Steak is one of those tender portions of the chuck.