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Picture yourself a flank veal-cut. The grease and silver tissue are off. I open the flank with a knife to extend it. It's filled with ground meat, apple and raisins. It's rolled and bound and goes into the oven at 50ºC to get the enzymes working full speed. It stays at 50ºC with high humidity for an hour.

Then, the dial goes to 180ºC until the center of the flank reaches 65ºC.

Result: the outside is overdone and tough to eat.

I'm guessing I could get better results taking the meat to 65ªC slowly, then let it cool before giving it a blast of heat to get a crust on the outside.

Normally, this kind of meat is seared first, and then stays in liquid on a slow fire for some time (braising). I wanted to obtain the same or better result the other way around.

Does anybody have any additional idea? Should I stick with braising, if so, for how long?

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"The other way round" certainly works. Only not with a blast of hot air.

You can happily get the meat cooked to your 65°C first, then take care of the crust. But convection heat isn't enough to give you a crust. You need either conduction, or radiation.

For conduction, you need contact with a hot material which gives off lots of heat at once, commonly known as "searing". I know that searing after the roasting is unusual in the kitchen, but this is only one of those things which is done because it has always been done this way, or maybe because great men like Leibnitz posed the untested hypothesis that searing "seals the juices in", and the world hasn't caught on that it has been disproved. Disregard, and plop the cooked meat on a hot griddle brushed with a thin layer of oil. BTW, the food lab swears on exactly that technique.

A more common approach is to use radiation heat, and lots of it. This is why most ovens have a thing called grill/broiler. Put the roasted meat close to it, use it until there is a crust, turn it to another side, continue. Here, you have to pay a bit more attention. The heat is enough to warm the inside too, so stop the first cooking stage at less than 60°C. I can't tell you how much less, but would probably try it with 60°C the first time. If you brush the meat with some fat first (really thin, use a pastry brush), you will get a crispier crust. You can also look into "advanced" techniques like putting something on the meat, usually dusting it with flour, but sometimes batter is also used.

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I'll give that a try real soon and report back here. –  BaffledCook Jul 19 '11 at 14:13
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There is also method three to searing meat: propane torch. –  derobert Jul 19 '11 at 15:29

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