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Mar 30, 2008 11:17 PM

Beef Stew Meat?

What are your favorite recipes using beef stew meat? I have a few pounds in my freezer I need to use over the next few weeks (moving) and while I can make a perfectly good beef stew, I'm curious what other suggestions you have.

I've slow cooked it before with pasta sauce and some onions and peppers, and served it over bulghur and that was pretty good, so I'm sure others have some creative ideas.

Now the ever-so-fun constraints: lower-carb is good (though some carbs are fine) as I am on a medically necessary diet. White flour is absolutely out, but whole grains in moderation are acceptable.

Also, there isn't a grocery store here in the traditional sense, just a small store where I can buy rural Alaskan delights such as powdered milk and spam. I have a very well stocked pantry and freezer, (lots of spices, Asian ingredients, wide variety of grains, etc.)
and I'm pretty good at improvising after three years here, but any recipe calling for lots of fresh veggies is going to be useless to me right now.

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  1. I use beef stew meat, like chuck, cut up a little on the small side to make chili.I fry my ground chilis, onions, garlic, and then brown the stew meat. The meat is more succulent and tender than a ground or minced beef. My preference is for chili with meat and beans, which I learned from growing up in the househild of a diabetic are your less volitile carbs. We put a habanero in our last pot of chili.....

    1 Reply
    1. re: WCchopper

      It's been a while since I've made chili and I do like it with beef chunks instead of ground, I think I'll give this a try.

    2. How about a pot of chili or maybe beef bourguignon. Then there’s the Cuban dish Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes). Beef summa soup, some of this, some of that, whatever beans, legumes and or veggies you on hand. However you decide to use it you’ll probably have to cook it low and slow in order to tenderize it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: TomDel

        Hi Tom! I just bought meat to make beef bourguignon and have leftovers. I'm interested in your suggestion of Ropa Vieja. Doing a quick internet search I found this recipe that calls for "stringy" beef, such as flank steak instead of chuck pieces. Do you somehow prepare the chuck pieces so that it has more of a "stringy" texture"? Also, it calls for the beef to be cooked in a pressure cooker. Do you have a suggestion for that stage of the preparation for those of us without a pressure cooker?

        Many thanks!

        1. re: Tehama

          I have to confess that I haven’t made it myself. I got the idea from a Daisy Martinez episode on TV in which she made it and it looked easy and pretty good. She didn’t use a pressure cooker. She braised it on the stovetop. I don’t think she used a flank steak but I may be wrong. I think she used a chuck roast but I don’t think the cut of meat is very important as long as you cook it low and slow for a few hours in order to tenderize it. When the meat was done, she removed it from the pot and shredded it like you would a pork shoulder or Boston butt to make pulled pork. She then added it back into the pot to finish the cooking process. I suppose you could also make it in a crock pot or slow cooker as long as you browned the meat first. If the meat is already cut in cubes you could still shred it by using two forks to pull each cube apart, tedious but doable.

          1. re: TomDel

            Cool! Thanks! Since last posting I read some more Ropa Vieja recipes from other sites (; and I can't wait to try this. Thanks so much for the suggestions and the advice! I don't think that I have ever had this recipe before (not that Raleigh, NC is a mecca of Cuban-cuisine!), but on a cold, nasty, rainy day like today it sounds perfect.

        2. re: TomDel

          The Ropa Vieja sounds amazing. I love spicy food and it's still snowy and below zero here, so this sounds warm and comforting.

        3. Make a Nicoise braised beef. Similar to Burgundy beef but made with a white wine from Provence, tomato sauce, and nicoise olives instead of pearl onions.

          1. I try to stay low carb, too, so I've got a pretty good repertoire along those lines. In the wintertime, stew meat almost cries out to be made into goulaschsuppe as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps beef stroganoff if I want to be rich. Every now and again I'll make a spicy, garlicky Ibero-Asian stew called caldereta with a rich tomato broth spiked with sambal oelek and fresh vegetables. If I'm in a mood for something spicy, stew meat also goes well in Nihari in which the sauce is thickened with onions and the natural collagen in the meat.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JungMann

              You can't make beef Stroganoff with stew meat - it has to be top-quality sirloin or tenderloin, sliced and quickly seared so it's still pink in the middle. If you did that with stew meat it would be inedibly tough. Proper Stroganoff preparation takes only a few minutes.

              1. re: JungMann

                I've never even heard of goulaschsuppe but I looked up a recipe and it sounds wonderful. I'm loving all the ideas I'm getting!