Beef is tough after 24hrs ?

I cooked a silverside of beef last weekend. 55.5degc , 131.9degf for 24 hours. Seared on completion and finished in oven. It was nicely pink but, frankly, it was still tough. How long do I need to do this? Will it ever tender up? If it’s just a matter of timing ok , but I was very disappointed. Help

Not sure how to explain that but could you clarify what you mean by “finished in oven”. If you cooked it for 24 hours, that should have “finished” the meat leaving you with just the need to sear it. What needed finishing after the sear?

Silverside is usually made from a hard working muscle, either brisket or something from the leg. With it corned, there is little benefit using medium rare temps.

I usually go for 60C/140F for 48 hrs.

To make meat tender you need to convert the collagen in the muscle to gelatin. This happens very slowly at medium rare temperatures, but happens faster as the temperature is increased. Your 131F silverside probably needs around 60 - 72 hours to get the tenderness you’re after.

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I popped it in the oven with the roasting veg for 20 mins. I hear what you’re saying about no need though after the sear.

Thanks for that detailed answer. I hadn’t realised it would take that long.
Perhaps heading towards the 60deg end of the scale will be my next attempt. Does it not lose a lot of juice for those extended cooking times ?

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It’s a balancing act. Higher temperatures will also loose you more moisture, but you’ll get the tenderness in a shorter time. You lose moisture in all cooking methods (even wet ones) but with sous vie you can collect them and make use of them.

I soak my corned beef in fresh water for 4-6 hours to remove some of the salt before bagging it up. The juice that is cast from the cook I clarify (simmer and strain) and use for making mustard sauce to serve with it.

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That 20 minutes could have made the difference in terms of drying it out. I assume it was high heat if your objective was to roast the veggies. Just my theory.

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Slightly off-topic, but I did beef short rib for 34h at 55C and it was good, but not as good as it could be; next time I’ll be doing the full 48h.

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Jeremy, when i’m testing recipes and get disappointing tenderness results similar to yours i subsequently double the time. I’m usually reluctant to change both time and temperature in a retest, although it might be useful to split a roast into 2 packages next time to discover which temperature you like best in 2 cooks.

Yes, there’s not a lot more lost juices in extended cooks. At temperatures below 60C, which is as high as i ever cook beef, i haven’t found much increase in fluids after about 16 hours. In roasts SV cooked over 65C there is a considerable increase in fluid loss and decreased tenderness.

Did you record the roast’s internal temperature after the 20-minute roast? If the roast was relatively thin it might easily have been pushed up into the tougher temperature zone. Meat colour usually isn’t a reliable determination of doneness.

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Double the time sounds good. I really don’t think the oven overdid the meat, it was a chunk about 5inches thick and remained pink & relatively moist beyond the outer crust. I also had it on a trivet so the pan would not overheat the bottom, but it was just tough … A longer time next go, but I will also just stick with the sear rather than oven as well. Thanks
PS I did not think to record internal temperature, but it’s a good idea.

Apologies, I may have misinterpreted your silverside as corned beef. The two are synonymous here. (Australia) Very rare to buy a silverside that is not corned. So rare in fact the any cut of beef that has been corned tends to be called silverside.

The reason I suggested that there was no point in going below 60C/140F for the cook was that I had assumed corned. Commercially corned beef will always be pink so there is no visual benefit to the medium rare. And having been cured, it is naturally firmer in texture, so no textural benefit either.

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That’s ok. What you call corned beef is not readily available in uk. For us corned beef is a processed and preserved meat available in tins…
ISilverside is a term used in the UK,& Ireland,for a cut of beef from the hindquarter of cattle, just above the leg cut. It gets its name because of the “silverwall” on the side of the .cut. So , a fresh uncured piece of meat.
Thanks any way, your corned beef sounds delicious

Yeah, it’s the same muscle that we usually get salted/corned hence the naming.

Life gets a little confusing when talking across country borders, because most of our naming is of English origin but there’s a smattering of names that we share with America, like the ‘corned beef’ which is originally German, I think.

Being a heavily worked muscle, silverside is definitely going to need at least 48 hours at the medium rare temperature to get the collagen to gelatin conversion that you want for tenderness.

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@Jeremy_Williams I experimented with short ribs (on the bone) and for me 48 hours was my favorite. I went up to 72 hours on the last batch but found that it was too tender although it had good flavor. You will find a time that fits you.

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The cut of meat you are working with is tough to begin with, and remember, temp = doneness, time = tenderness!! More time, more tender! Crank up that time and trust in the method!!

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Thank you Mike, I will remember that :+1:

Hi Jeremy. The time will depend on a number of factors, was the meat a “rolled” joint or flat, thickness is all important. As you say in the UK Silverside is from the Hindquarter. Looking at my records I have used 55.5c for 24 hours with perfect results, but also 56 for 30 hrs,just depends on the thickness and make up of the joint. If you are lucky and get the majority of one muscle then there is less collagen to break down and the grain of the meat will be in one direction. One point to mention is remember even with SV you still need to carve the meat across/against the grain, unless of course you have SV for so long its turned into pate. Interestingly only last week I SV a piece of rolled Silverside I had dry aged for 20days on top of the butchers 21days wet aged and 55.5c for 24 hours was too long, next time I have noted to reduce the time to 20 hours

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