Also known as chuck steak, the arm steak is an economical cut of meat from the shoulder area of the beef. Because the area is well exercised and heavily muscled, the steak is tasty but too tough and sinewy for dry cooking methods such as broiling or grilling. Slow, moist cooking brings out the flavor as it slowly tenderizes the tough fibers. A cooking pot with a tight lid prevents savory liquid from evaporating during the cooking process.
Things You'll Need
- Heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven with tight lid
- Cooking oil
- Salt and pepper
- Water or broth
- Apple cider, whiskey, tomato sauce, beer or wine
- Herbs and spices
- Garlic (optional)
- Onion (optional)
- Meat thermometer
Cover the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven with the cooking oil of your choice. Heat the oil over medium heat until it is hot but not smoking.
Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, then brown both sides of the steak in the hot oil.
Transfer the steak to a plate. Pour a small amount of water or broth into the pan, then scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to loosen the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Leave the bits in the pan because they add rich flavor to the steak.
Return the steak to the pan. Pour in additional liquid such as water, broth, apple cider, whiskey, tomato sauce, beer or wine, to bring the depth of about one-third to one-half the height of the steak. You can also use a combination of liquids.
Season the steak with additional salt and pepper, if desired, along with herbs and spices such as thyme, bay leaves or parsley. You can also add minced garlic or coarsely chopped onions.
Place the lid securely on the pan and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. Alternatively, braise the steak in an oven preheated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also braise the steak in a slow cooker on low heat for approximately 8 to 10 hours.
Simmer the steak slowly until it is fork tender and a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the steak registers 160 F.
Tips & Warnings
- Check the steak occasionally and add more liquid if the juices have evaporated. This is generally not necessary if you use a pot with a tight lid.
- Texas Beef Council: Beef Chuck Arm Steak
- The Kitchn: CrockPot Meals: How to Braise in a Slow Cooker
- Texas Beef Council: Braising
- The Cook's Thesaurus: Beef Chuck
- FoodSafety.gov: Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
- New Grass Farm LLC: Secrets to Better Braising
- The Science of Cooking: Braising Makes a Tough Cut Tender