Some of the tastiest and most tender beef cuts are the ones that start out the toughest, but are also the least expensive! You normally won’t even find them in the grocery store because they’re often made into ground beef. What a waste! Brisket, pot roast, chuck roast, bottom round roast, and others are economical and delicious when properly cooked.
The key to all of them is the same – braising. Brown them, and then cook them in a covered pan with a small amount of liquid for a number of hours. You can use a dutch oven, a clay cooker, a crockpot, or any covered, oven safe roasting pan.
The tougher meats have a distinctive pattern of fat and connective tissue that runs though them. When cooked in dry heat (roasted), the fat and sinew do not break down thoroughly, even after many hours in the oven. They become hard and dry.
Cooking them in moist heat (braising) promotes a more complete breakdown of the fat and connective tissue, giving you delicious, tender meat you can just about cut with a fork. As a bonus, the liquid in the pan will take on a full and rich beef flavor that will make the entire meal special. And the smells will make it hard to wait…!