Boiled beef is a classic English dish. Making boiled beef is not hard, but there are a few steps to take to make sure it turns out perfect every time!
Beef can sometimes be hard to tenderize. A long, hot boil can help break down the fibers in the meat, making it more tender. Some people add carrots to the water to add more flavor and color. This is optional.
Once you have your beef cooked, you can serve it with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes, and then gravy over the top. Some people like to have pickle slices or salad on the side for extra flavors as well.
If you are having a crowd over, this is a good make-ahead meal. Cook the beef ahead of time and let it cool before putting it in the fridge.
Roasting vs. boiling beef
When cooking beef, you have two main methods: roasting and boiling. Which one you use depends on how cooked you want the beef and what flavor you want added to it.
Roasting is used for cooking beef well done and for adding flavor via seasoning or a sauce. The meat is cooked in the dry heat of the oven, which means no liquid is used. This can make it quite dry, so either serve with a sauce or add it to a recipe like pasta!
Boiling uses water to cook the meat, making it more moist. This is good if you like very soft meat that resembles almost raw meat. The downside is that the meat may taste slightly of chlorine from the water!
Either way, both are good ways to cook beef so do not worry about getting this wrong.
Cooking the beef
Once the beef is washed and dried, you are ready to cook it. How you cook the beef depends on what cut you buy.
If you buy a roast that is already trimmed and ready to go, then all you need to do is season it and cook it! The best temperature to cook roast is medium high heat for about half an hour per pound. Make sure to turn the meat over so both sides are seasoned and browned.
If you buy a round or brisket that needs to be trimmed, then you will need to spend some time carving out the fat before cooking. The best way to do this is ask at the grocery store or butcher shop how to do it! They will tell you the best ways to trim it down for cooking.
If you buy ground beef, there is no need to cook it any longer than indicated on the package.
Skim the fat
Once the beef is cooked, you will need to skim off the fat. You can do this with a ladle or a gravy filter. Either way, be careful not to burn yourself!
Once the liquid is cooled down, you can slice up the beef and place it in plates or bowls.
Salt the water
When boiling beef, salt the water you will use to cook the meat in. This helps to season the meat and keep it juicy and flavorful.
You want to use about 1 tablespoon of salt per 5 cups of water. This may sound like a lot, but it will draw out the moisture in the meat and make it taste better.
Be careful not to oversalt the meat, though! Just season with more salt if needed after cooking.
Browning the meat before boiling it in this salty water will also add a richer flavor. If you do not have time to do this, do not worry! Simply adding the salt to the water will still produce a nice taste in the end.
The main reason people recommend adding salt to the water is to prevent bland meat. So this tip is more for aesthetic reasons than nutrition ones.
Use the correct pot
When choosing a pot to cook your beef in, make sure it is not thin or fragile. A sturdy, thick pot will ensure that the meat does not burn and that the meat cooks thoroughly.
A slow cooker is a great option for cooking beef because it uses its own juices to slowly cook the meat. Just make sure to add enough liquid for the meat to cook!
A rice cooker can also be used to cook beef. Just set it for the time recommended for cooked beef and let it do its thing!
Using a thin or fragile pot or vessel can lead to burning and undercooked meat. The meat may look done on the outside, but there may still be raw muscle tissue inside.
Know your meat
When boiling beef, it is important to know what cut of beef you are cooking. The best cuts for boiling include roasts, rump roast, brisket, and pot roast.
These cuts of meat are thicker and contain more fat than leaner cuts like sirloin or steak. This extra fat helps the meat keep its moisture as it cooks, so it does not become dry.
The thicker texture also helps it cook through in the time allotted. Thin cuts of beef may need to cook longer to fully cook the middle, which would result in dried out meat.
To have the best tasting results, make sure your beef is at room temperature before cooking it. This way, it will take less time to cook through and will not sweat too much moisture out.
Keep it covered
When boiling beef, make sure to keep it covered in liquid at all times. If there is not enough liquid, the beef will turn out tough and dry. You want to make sure there is enough liquid so the meat cooks in its own juices.
Uncovered beef will also result in a brownish color to the meat rather than the desired reddish color. The caramelization of the meat due to lack of liquid and time will cause this.
When cooking rump roast, it is recommended to cook it for six hours in a slow cooker with some kind of juice, like tomato juice. This gives you very tender, juicy roast beef!
Another tip for cooking roast beef is to let it rest for ten to fifteen minutes before slicing or serving it. This allows for all of the juices in the meat to be pulled back in after being cooked, making the meat look more moist.
Know your stove
When boiling beef, how long it takes depends on what kind of stove you have and what temperature you cook at.
If you have a gas stove, the temperature is regulated by your landlord. You cannot control this setting! If you are lucky enough to regulate the temperature yourself, just make sure it is high enough to boil water.
If you have an electric stove, the heat is controlled by you. Just make sure to set the heat high enough to boil water! An easy way to check if your stove is set high enough is to put a pot of water on the burner and see if it starts to bubble.
Sometimes your oven may not reach certain temperatures due to older parts in the machine. It is best to check your oven settings with an accurate thermometer to ensure the highest possible cooking temperature.