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Nov 30, 2006 09:51 PM

Good cut of meat for Crock-pot?

Since Safeway has a big beef sale on, I'd like to dust off the crockpot and make some spoonably tender beef. However, I have very little experience in this arena. Can someone suggest a lean cut of meat that fares well in a slow-cooker? Ideas (and recipes!) are greatly appreciated!

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  1. My grocery store always sells something labeled "stew meat" that's really cheap cubes of beef. Dunno where it comes from, and it doesn't really matter in the slow cooker. You're cooking everything for so long that I'd just go with whatever's cheapest.

    1 Reply
    1. re: scoobyhed

      Scoobyhed, The meat that is sold as "stew meat" is usually a form of a chuck/shoulder roast. You can save almost a $1.00 a lb if you buy a roast and do the cutting yourself. 5 minutes of easy work with a chefs knife will easy break down that roast into stew meat.

    2. Also, if they happen to have oxtails (OK, it's cow), get a couple and make a barley soup with it - it's so wonderful and easy in a crockpot.

      1. I have found that lean cuts of meat don't turn out so well when cooked in the crock pot. For beef cuts, chuck roast, either a 7-bone or blade cut, seem to turn out the most flavorful when slow cooked. A shoulder clod is also okay but not the best. Once it is finished cooking after about 6 hours on low heat, I separate the lean meat and discard the remaining fat, gristle and bones. You will also have plenty of liquid left in the crock pot to make gravy.

        A bone-in pork shoulder also works out very well in the crock pot. I trim away the outer layer of fat before starting. A 7 lb. shoulder takes about 10-11 hours on the low heat setting.

        My standard way of slow cooking is to first brown the meat on all sides in a skillet over high heat before placing it in the crock pot. If it is a beef roast, I brush its outer surface with either Kitchen Bouquet Gravy Master before browning it. After it is browned, I then deglaze the skillet with a little bit of flour and some wine. Then add some fresh sliced garlic and a bullion cube before pouring that liquid from the skillet into the crock pot with the meat. You can also further enhance the flavor by adding a few parsley sprigs and a carrot, onion and celery stalk, cut into 1" pieces. When it’s done you’ll probably want to strain the liquid before using it.

        1. I've made some tasty crock pot stuff using a brisket. I'd say it works quite well in the slow cooker.