I've seen this, but it does not answer my question.

This is with regard to the Kerala beef fry or even Kerala beef curry; not the western way of cooking steak.

The steak pieces: 1kg bought from a local beef shop where they just take a random piece of meat, chop it into little pieces of around 2 or 3 cm in size and give it to you.
What I did: Kept it in freezer for two days, took it out today and put it in water and heated the water a little. Pulled apart frozen pieces slowly in a span of an hour and allowed it to reach room temperature.
Recipe: Added spices as per this recipe and left for marination for an hour.
Pressure cooker: Put beef in cooker and heated on slow fire for 35min until there were 4 whistles/steam-let-outs that happened in a span of 2 minutes. Allowed pressure to go down and after around 20 min, opened the cooker to find the meat very rubbery. Appeared slightly cooked on the outer layer for 1 or 2 mm, but the meat inside seemed raw and when I try to tear it, it feels tough and rubbery and extends a little like when you start pulling chewing gum apart with both hands.

Beef meat ends up like this every single time I try to cook it in a pressure cooker. I'm sure I didn't overheat it and it certainly wasn't cooked for too long. Or is it wrong to cook it in a pressure cooker and instead boil it in an open top container? I hadn't added vinegar or wine or lemon juice during marination. Could they have made a difference?

ps: I continued heating the beef with its gravy for another 20 min on low flame, but it didn't seem to make the meat any better. So I separated the gravy and roasted it as in this recipe. The taste turned out excellent but the meat was still rubbery. So it would be much appreciated if you could help with info on ensuring that the meat is tender and well cooked when we start cooking it itself.

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    @Robert Stews are often cooked in a pressure cooker to speed things up-- instead of cooking all day, you can develop a similar complex flavor and tender meat by pressure cooking for a short time. I believe its also popular with large pieces that contain a lot of connective tissue that needs broken down. If nothing else, they do it on Iron Chef America all the time to cook things that would otherwise be impossible in an hour.
    – senschen
    Mar 13, 2017 at 16:14
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    "Random piece of meat"? Is at least a "random piece of the <XYZ> part of the animal"? "Random piece of meat" doesn't happen where I live. Mar 13, 2017 at 18:33
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    "Random pieces of meat" isn't steak. Mar 13, 2017 at 22:55
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    Looked up "steak" and realized that the butchers here cut perpendicular to the direction steak is usually cut in. He slices off a large sliver of meat from whatever piece of the animal he currently has hanging in front of him and proceeds to chop those into little pieces. If I could give him any instructions on which parts of the animal to cut, and how to cut it, I'm open to suggestions. These guys are not educated much, and it's unlikely anyone taught them the intricacies of meat cutting.
    – Nav
    Mar 14, 2017 at 8:33
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    @Nav: Where is "here"? Mar 14, 2017 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


Starting with a "random piece of meat" may be part of the problem. Some cuts are more suitable for this than others.

If the meat seems "raw", then something is very wrong here. An hour at pressure-cooker temperatures is more than enough to over-cook it. There's no way it could be raw.

I suspect that over-cooking is the problem, and that will depend on the cut you're using. I suspect you've got a piece with little fat or connective tissue, and that's not going to soften in a pressure cooker. It shouldn't seem "raw", though; it should seem over-cooked.

In the future, I'd suggest looking for a chuck roast or other fatty piece. If you do end up with a cut like bottom round, it may help to cut it into thinner pieces, across the grain. That mechanically tenderizes the meat by snipping the chewy fibers.

Either that, or something is desperately, weirdly wrong with your pressure cooker.

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    I was just told that I'm supposed to wait for steam to come out of the vent pipe and only then place the weight over it. The "whistles" were not the full whistles that usually last for 3 to 4 seconds. These whistles were just 1 second long. I believe the meat was undercooked. Today morning my mom took the roasted beef pieces and cooked it in the cooker again. Now it seems slightly better cooked, but hasn't lost the rubbery feeling entirely. Taste also declined.
    – Nav
    Mar 14, 2017 at 8:38
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    That sounds odd; that's not the way pressure cookers are ordinarily used. Still, having fully cooked it, it sounds like you got a cheap cut that should be sliced thinner to make it less rubbery. My guess is that it's bottom round, a cut that is not very flavorful in the first place. Fully cooking it will make it even more tasteless, though the flavor it loses will end up in the sauce. Mar 15, 2017 at 15:43

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