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My problem with 'braising steak'

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  • BenL1 Oct 23, 2012 05:34 AM
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Hi guys.

I don't know about other countries, but most meat billed as 'braising steak' available in the UK is lean, free of tough sinew and lacking in gelatine. That is to say, lacking the qualities needed for slow cooking and therefore TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE FOR BRAISING.

The only beef cuts that are good for slow cooking are shin, cheek, oxtail, SOME parts of the rib and MAYBE the fattier parts of chuck.

Silverside (may be called something else in the US) is always billed as being good for braising but it is quite clearly terrible for it.

Anyone agree?

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  1. Nope. I find British braising steak perfectly fine for braising. It usually has good marbling as well as a layer of fat - just what you need for long cooking. If you're not finding that with the meat from your current butcher, suggest you change butchers.

    When you've got a better source, you might like to try this recipe which is a riff on "steak au poivre" - http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cu...

    7 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      That recipe sounds delicious. I love steak au poivre and its just not seen very much here any more.

      1. re: twyst

        I'm of the Delia age - she was retro when it wasnt retro :-)

        1. re: Harters

          Oh, I'm so glad I tripped over this thread. On this side of the pond we don't have such a thing as "braising steak" - that is, there's nothing called that, but of course we're offered plenty of beef that will qualify. My mom made a "Swiss steak" that was much more like Delia's recipe than the usual American version: no tomato anywhere, but flour and dry mustard pounded in, the meat browned in fat with some onion and then simmered slowly under cover - she used just water, but it made a delicious gravy. I believe round steak was the default "steak" in our very humble hovel, though chuck (from the shoulder) would probably be my choice, as today's round is much too lean.

          Thank you for introducing me to Delia, Harters. If that photo is at all recent, I and my childhood memories are considerably older than she is, but her tastes are very much the same!

          1. re: Will Owen

            The exact cut is called a 7 bone here I think, but any part of the chuck should work! Im trying this recipe soon.

            1. re: Will Owen

              Will

              I've said it before on threads but it'll stand saying again.........it is impossible to overestimate the contribution of Delia Smith to British home cooking in the last 30+ years. Of course, she's now been "overtaken" by the cult of the celebrity chef but hers are still the books many folk return to time after time.

              1. re: Harters

                Like "Mapie" in France? Whose book I have, along with "La Cuisine Gran'mere" by an admirer of hers. Okay, I need some Delia. Recommendations? Any more fundamental than the rest? La Cuisine Bourgeois, American Midwestern style, was my culinary foundation, and I'm constantly delighted to see how the equivalents in other cultures differ and don't.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  Will

                  Her "Complete Cookery Course" would be the absolute choice. It's the one that really made her name. It was republished a few years back with some updates and the occasional new recipe but I'd suggest you look out for the original "Classic Edition" - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Delias-Comple...

      2. 7 bone chuck is a fine cut for braising, which is what you are talking about (at least translated for us Yanks) .

        You are overlooking brisket, which is also a great cut to braise, and short ribs as well

        1. I use 'shoulder chuck' in beef bourguignon. Not too fatty, lots of connective tissue, great flavor, great texture. There's two shoulder cut ends. Choose the one with the most fatty look. You probably won't get to see the difference unless you can find a traditional butcher shop.