Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 18, 2010 10:15 AM

beef stew with strip steak- is this going to be awful?

i frequently make beef stew in my crockpot, but i always use chuck. this morning i threw in a package of something called 'strip steak' that i had in my freezer- now i'm wondering if it's going to be very tough. should i make alternate dinner plans.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd assume it's gonna turn out pretty tough. A strip usually will be a cut without all of the connective tissue that needs to be slowly cooked to break down, so, the crock is just gonnna be cooking straight muscle through and through and through.

    1. I don't agree; I think the fact that you're cooking it in a crock pot you will yield tender results. If you were cooking it on the stove top, you might get a tough stew because the liquid would be evaporating not going back into the meat as in a crock pot.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        This is kind of confusing.
        A stovetop cook with a lid, and a crock pot cook with a lid should be quite similar if the heat levels are the same. Liquid going back into the meat is not really what makes stewing cuts tender, it is the breakdown of connective tissue through a slow cooking process. Absorption of cooking liquid might make it better, but the meat doesn't get tender until the connective tissue is broken down whether it's cooked in liquid or not.

        1. re: gordeaux

          First, the heat you get from a crock pot is not the same heat you'd get from a pot on a stove with a lid; even if you turn your stove to the lowest setting, it still would not be the same. Crock pot cooking is low & slow which will break down any connective tissue in meat; the pot will act like a steamer as liquid does not evaporate rapidly as in stove top cooking thereby keeping the meat moist & aiding in the breakdown of the meat.

          You can cook on a stove top all day long but if you add a hunk of meat to a pot on a stove with no liquid, you're not going to get tender meat, you're going to get tough or burned meat. Put a piece of meat in a crockpot with no water and you'll still retain moisture from the meat and not dried out.

          1. re: Cherylptw

            You could always get the liquid hot on a stove top and then throw the covered pot in a low oven for the exact same results as a crock pot. I've made good stews all on stovetop, though you're right that it's easier to burn food that way. For low-liquid braising, I prefer just putting the pot in the oven.

            I think gordeaux was mostly speaking about the connective tissue content of strip steak, which is the main factor in how well a meat braises or stews. For example, cooking fillet mignon in a crock pot will not yield results as tender as grilling it medium rare, while the opposite is true for chuck.

            I've never braised strip steak, and I'm not sure offhand if it has enough connective tissue - my inclination would have been to say probably not. But the OP's follow up post with his results lead me to believe it must.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              I definitely agree that a good stew can be made on the stovetop; I do it alot. My comment was really about the stovetop vs. slowcooker and how the latter will break down just about any cut of meat into tenderness.

      2. what's awful is that strip steak is rather expensive, too bad to drown it in stew

        PS: I think it will come out tough, please let us know.

        1. I'd say pressure cook it first if you have one, that always cooks any meat up tender. So maybe the crockpot will do the same.

          1. I think it will depend on how you cut your strip steak.

            If you cubed it as you would chuck in a typical stew prep, you'll be SOL with respect to tenderness.

            If, however, you julienned or sliced it thin across the grain, you should be fine.