How to resurrect dry beef leftovers?
February 24, 2008 6:14 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to fix up overcooked/dry beef leftovers?

My mom came down to baby me when I got my wisdom teeth out. She made a roast for me and my boyfriend. I got the mushy potatoes and he got the beef.

The beef is quite dry and there is a reasonable amount (for two people) leftover. Several (five) "deck of cards" sized pieces to be precise.

I am looking for some ideas to give it some moisture and palatableness. I am not super handy in the kitchen but I do like cooking (so please, nothing too complicated).

googling so far has gotten me how to make dried beef and how to stop overcooking beef, neither of which I am interested in.

p.s. Ideas that would incorporate the extra prune juice I also have could potentially earn bonus points.
posted by silkygreenbelly to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Don't know about the prune juice, but a beef gravy should help things out a bit.
posted by jerseygirl at 6:19 PM on February 24, 2008

Use it in soup.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:22 PM on February 24, 2008

Whenever I am saddled with dry beef, I make beef stroganoff. You essentially carmelize some onions in butter, maybe with some mushrooms thrown in towards the end, then sprinkle flour over it. You cook this mixture until the flour gets some color to it, then add some chicken or beef broth. Throw in the beef, simmer for a bit, then add a bunch of sour cream to thicken. Serve over noodles. With all that yummy milk fat, you won't notice the dry meat.
posted by Foam Pants at 6:24 PM on February 24, 2008

When I'm in that spot, I slice the leftovers as thinly as possible (easier to do with cold meat, btw) and simmer them in a 1/2 cup of beef broth for a few minutes on the stove. You might add a little heavy cream to the slices and broth to make a sauce, then season it to taste. Makes a nice sandwich or pasta topping.
posted by maryh at 6:29 PM on February 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

cook it up with some BBQ sauce. Mmmmmm . . .
posted by Sassyfras at 6:44 PM on February 24, 2008

Add diced potatoes and you have hash. Serve with an appropriate amount of ketchup and hot sauce.
posted by milkrate at 6:46 PM on February 24, 2008

use a food processor to chop it up (very coarsely) and mix in some bbq sauce, then heat up for bbq sandwiches.

Or go a little further with this idea and make a sandwich spread (some people think I'm weird for doing this): food process it into a more of a paste (add whatever seasoning you want, mayo, mustard, steak sauce, bbq sauce etc) and spread it on a sandwich.
posted by jockc at 8:04 PM on February 24, 2008

When I make stroganoff (which I love, but can't make here in Korea due to the unavailability of sour cream, at least where I live), I always add some sage. Mmm, sage. Also, I like it best over egg noodles (which I also can't get here *sigh*).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:29 PM on February 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Dice a small onion, and saute in a little olive oil. While that's working, chop up the beef roast, and add to the onion. Add a small amount of liquid (I would use beef broth), add cumin, oregano, and paprika, and you've got a pretty good taco filling.

Oh, Stavros: whole-milk yogurt can be substituted for sour cream in a pinch. I don't think I would try it with the lowfat versions, though. Also, egg noodles (or some variant thereof, like perhaps Spaetzle) are not difficult to make yourself, depending on the amount of effort you're willing to put in.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:09 PM on February 24, 2008

Oh, Stavros: whole-milk yogurt can be substituted for sour cream in a pinch.

No unsweetened yogurt available here either. Sorry for the derail, poor-me whining isn't answering the OP's question, I know...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:18 PM on February 24, 2008

You can make your own sour cream. You can take two cups of heavy cream and two tablespoons of buttermilk and keep it in a warm place for 24 hours. You can even substitute the buttermilk for lemon juice, although I have never done the lemon juice thing myself. Sage would be tasty. I usually have a bay leaf and tarragon.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:44 PM on February 24, 2008

Heavy cream: unavailable in Korea (or at least where I live).
Buttermilk: unavailable in Korea (anywhere I've ever seen).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:01 PM on February 24, 2008

Given that the beef is so terribly dry, and that you're looking for something uncomplicated, I suggest exploring chipped beef on toast. Stroganoff is also delicious, particularly with paprika and dill, say I.
posted by mumkin at 10:09 PM on February 24, 2008

You need surface area and some kind of liquid/sauce. If you can possibly grind it, grind it. Then you could do a meat salad type thing and mix in mayo and whatever else for flavor (mustard, or pickle relish, or celery, or...) and have sandwiches, or you could make or buy a sauce for hot/BBQ-y sandwiches (aka sloppy joes), etc.

If you have no way to grind it, slice it as thinly as possible against the grain and again go for some kind of liquid/sauce that you like.
posted by madmethods at 10:14 PM on February 24, 2008

That's it. I am never moving to Korea. How am I to keep up my huge butt without milkfat? I'll come back to the states and everybody will want me to model their designer clothing and that would be an awful blow to my self-esteem.

You could make a faker beef green curry. A green curry paste, some brown sugar, some extra garlic, some fish sauce, and some coconut milk. Make the curry according to direction, through in the cubed beef, bring it up to simmer. Again, the high fat content would help mask the dry meat.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:24 PM on February 24, 2008

When I have meat like this, I often cut it up, put it in some water in a pan with some stock and mushrooms so that it's covered, simmer it for an hour or so and then serve it over pasta, rice or quinoa. Yum!
posted by tomble at 12:19 AM on February 25, 2008

You can even substitute the buttermilk for lemon juice, although I have never done the lemon juice thing myself.

This works absolutely fine in stroganoff.
posted by bifter at 2:32 AM on February 25, 2008

You could make some crispy chilli beef and avoid the 'will it or won't it' question of whether it'll get moist again.

Make a light batter and get some oil ready to heat up. Slice the beef into really thin slices (eighth of an inch), and get the oil hot and ready for deep frying. Lightly coat each piece in batter and fry until crispy. Serve with plenty of hot, sweet chilli dipping sauce, stir-fry vegetables and rice or noodles.

The meat's intentionally almost dry, and it's got a crispy/chewy texture that goes well with the chili heat and sweetness of the sauce.

At least in the UK, I think it was thought up by Chinese takeaways as a way to use beef that was otherwise destined for the bin, but it's great!
posted by dowcrag at 3:49 AM on February 25, 2008

Soak your beef in prune juice overnight. Wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil, heat for about 40 minutes in a pre-heated 225 degree oven. Plastic won't melt under 250. We use this at our restaurant to cook short ribs (5+ hours) in brown sauce. Awesome!
posted by JABof72 at 4:44 AM on February 25, 2008

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