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Oct 9, 2013 09:20 PM

Tenderer Lamb Vindaloo

I have been making a lamb vindaloo that is tastes great, but the lamb is not very tender. The procedure is:
1. Make a masala using onions, vinegar, chicken stick, spices, ect
2. Debone a leg of lamb, trim much of the fat and cube it into 2” pieces
3. Add leg of lamb to the masala and simmer for 30 minutes.

I took the end temperature of the meat and it was 192F, which is barbecue level. Most lamb vindaloo recipes say simmer until tender, so I am thinking I need to simmer longer.

Here is the recipe, I just substitute leg of lamb for the beef (it is the only cut I have found locally).

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    1. re: boogiebaby


      Pressure cookers are used all over the planet, but we in North America seem to have a 1960-phobia to them. "I'm worried it'll explode... I don't know what to make with it... how much time can it possibly save???".

      Ridiculous. Being able to cook something that would ordinarily take 3-4 hours in 45 minutes is a godsend to ordinary home cooks who just want to get something tasty on the weeknight table.

      I'd also add something passionate about being able to ultra-fast marinade cubes of lamb in a whipping siphon, but it's too early to blow anyone's mind.

      1. re: biggreenmatt

        Yes, I was going to get some sous vide equipment. I am now leaning towards a pressure cooker. What do you think? Nerd? =)

        1. re: Matt_in_the_OC

          Just simmer it for 90 minutes, which will be fine for shoulder or leg. Only the very toughest cuts of stewing lamb requires longer than this. Stir every now and then. No further equipment needed.

          BTW I reckon that the timing for the beef in that recipe is way too short. "Beef top sirloin" is not a name used for any cut here in the UK. Maybe it does stew to tender in 40 minutes, but I'd use shin, or perhaps skirt, and gently simmer it for two and a half hours.

          1. re: Matt_in_the_OC

            Heh. I bought myself a copy of MCaH last year, and since then, I've really taken to modernist ways of thinking about food. Both my sv unit and my pressure cooker get regular use in my kitchen, but of the two, the pressure cooker's the more versatile and more practical.

            Pressure cooker as "modernist" implement. Pfft. Try telling that to the rest of the world and they'll laugh their asses off.

            1. re: biggreenmatt

              wouldn't they, though?

              Quite a surprise to leave the US for a few years and find out that the rest of the world never stopped cooking with pressure cookers...and that they are definitely on to something.

              1. re: biggreenmatt

                How much quality (flavor or texture) is lost in the pressure cooker verse a traditional braze, stew, or slow cook?

                1. re: Matt_in_the_OC

                  None. That's the beauty of it.

                  (sorry, but my Grammar-OCD self is rebelling at "tenderer" - it might be in the dictionary, but I was told it's tender - more tender - tenderest. Whew. Please resume your normal programming)

                    1. re: JMF

                      so glad to know I'm not the only one who was struggling to control the twitch!

            2. re: biggreenmatt

              Totally agree on the speed and convenience of having a pressure cooker.

              When we were living abroad, *everyone* had a pressure cooker, so I decided to try it.

              I'm hooked. I don't use it every day, but it's an awesome way to have slow food fast.

          2. Recently I learned a great tenderizing tip from America's Test Kitchen. They were using it on bite-sized pieces of either pork or chicken, which were then stir-fried. It might not be as effective on 2" lamb cubes, but worth a try.

            Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in 4oz of water, and stir in the cubed meat. Let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse several times, pat dry, and proceed with recipe. The baking soda inactivates an enzyme that causes protein strands to shrink when heated. Since the strands no longer contract, they do not force out the liquid they contain, so the meat is both more tender and more moist. I have not done this with lamb but it works for me with chicken, pork, and beef.

            If you don't want to try baking soda, marinate your cubes in soy sauce for a day before cooking. The salt in the soy will in effect "brine" the lamb, making it less prone to drying out
            in high heat.

            1. Agreed. You simply need to simmer longer. It's going to need around an hour.

              1. Simmer longer and don't totally trim the fat. The fat will prevent the lamb from drying out and give body to the sauce.

                1. I would try lamb shoulder and simmer longer until tender. I've had it take anywhere from 45 min to 3 hours. Keep the simmer low to break down the connective tissue, don't simmer hard or it will dry out before getting tender.