So I've been working hard on my chili, but I'm having a big problem with the cut of beef. It's not tender enough, for different reasons!
I'm now using two cuts: chuck, and shank. I'm cubing the meat against the grain in pieces about 10mm thick, lightly salting it about 15 mins before giving it a quick sear, adding the stock, and letting it simmer for about 2.5 hrs, covered on low. The chuck is drying out--all the fat and connective tissue seems to melt out, leaving it sort of tender, but it it crumbles when eaten, resulting in a rather dry and mealy mouth feel. On the other hand, the meat from the shank cut is too rubbery. The shank has a lot of connective tissue; if I leave it in, I end up with a mouthful of rubber gristle. Do I need to add the cuts at different times? Am I doing something wrong?
Every once in a while, when I'm out at a restaurant, I get a bowl of chili that has this really succulent beef: it's got tender, marbled fat running through each piece, and it's just delicious. How do I get this? They won't tell me!
I used short rib in one batch, and that was pretty good, but it's very expensive and a lot of work.
Thanks for your help.