This study investigated the effect of the age of the animal, sous vide cooking and ageing on tenderness and water- holding capacity of bovine biceps femoris (BF) and semitendinosus (ST). Samples of each muscle from young (<18 months) and older (30–42 months) animals, at 0 and 13 days ageing, were cooked at 55 ◦C, 65 ◦C, and 75 ◦C for 1 h, 8 h and 18 h and tested for Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF), cooking loss, total water content and collagen solubility. WBSF reduced with ageing (P <0.05) and sous vide cooking (P <0.001) in both muscles. Our results demonstrated that meat from older animals required a higher temperature (75 ◦C) and prolonged cooking (18 h) to achieve equal tenderness in both BF and ST relative to young animals. Cooking time, temperature and their interaction altered cooking loss (P <0.001) for both muscles. The higher cooking temperature increased collagen solubility (P <0.001) in both muscles and solubilisation of collagen may have contributed to improved tenderness of BF and ST in sous vide cooking.