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I have a process that calls for a 6-8 hour slow cooker braising of inside skirt steak. The skirt steak becomes incredibly soft and the connective tissue adds a lovely gelatinous luxurious mouthfeel when large chunks of the skirt steak are served from it.

I want to replicate this in half the time. I tried with cooking approximately 15lbs of peeled inside skirt steak for 4 hours in a covered hotel pan with some water in the pan but while the steak was delicious it was not "fall off the bone" soft.

What are commercial ways of cooking large volumes of skirt steak quickly retaining maximum texture and flavor?

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    I hate to say it, but great restaurants that want that luxurious mouthfeel also braise for 6-8 hours. You will likely get very good answers to this qustion that will get you close - but not Michelin Star close. – Jolenealaska Oct 7 '14 at 1:45
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    I'm not sure if commercial ways are what you're looking for. I'd guess restaurants are more likely to cook long and slow way ahead. They have to start ahead of time anyway (not like they can wait til someone orders it). And likely they're doing the same thing every day, and would rather start it earlier than make more work for someone to do. Maybe just "Is there any way to do this?" – Cascabel Oct 7 '14 at 2:29
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Tough beef becomes tender because the connective tissue breaks down into gelatine in the presence of heat and moisture. This can be sped up considerably using a pressure cooker, so that's your solution.

There are considerations to this: a pressure cooker that could take 15 lbs of skirt steak all at once would be very large, hard to handle, and possibly expensive. You would likely want to do it in smaller batches in a smaller cooker to make it manageable, but then you are creating a load of work for yourself. Whether the time saved versus the extra effort is worth it is something you'd have to think about.

  • This is exactly the confirmation I was looking for. Will it be soft and "fall off the bones"? Will the flavor distribute well? – jc303 Oct 8 '14 at 15:16
  • It should be fall off the bone, as for the flavor it should be similar. Personally I prefer the low and slow method to the pressure-cooker method as to me it gives better flavor. There's something about rushing it that isn't quite as good although that's subjective. – GdD Oct 8 '14 at 15:51

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