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Stew Meat, what do you use?

Do you buy those wrapped packages of pre-cut meat that are the odds and ends of various cuts or do you buy one piece and cut it up yourself? If so what cut do you use? I will be cooking it the day before and letting it simmer overnight in the crock pot on low/warm (half the vegetables added initially, the other half put in with just enough time to soften.)

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  1. Bone-in short rib if it is on sale. Trim off fat and sear one side.

    Goes into crock pot with veggies and other seasonings and liquid on High until hot (anywhere past 150 degrees) and then switch to Warm, leave overnight.

    In the morning put it in the fridge. Once cooled, remove solidified fat.

    If the meat was cut into cubes, usually done at this point. If they were larger pieces of bone in short-rib, or meat is not yet tender, repeat the High until hot, then Warm overnight. Veggies never get mushy because of the low temp.

    1 Reply
    1. Are you talking beef or pork or lamb?

      2 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        most often beef, but open to your suggestions c.o.

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          Hey K! I use pork so much more than beef. For pork I use shoulder and for beef I use chuck. For lamb I use whatever I can get my hands on that has some decent amount of fat. And I've never bought those little "packs" cause they seem so expensive. BFN, C

      2. Brisket or shank (depending on whether I'm in a "tendon mood")

        Whole piece.

        Cut up myself.

        1. Pre-cut and I almost always buy veal. Ain't cheap, but that's what I like.
          Plus, I don't need to cook it too long because it's tender to begin with.

          1. I buy beef shanks for stew - it takes a long time to cook, but is tasty, cheap, and has a gorgeous texture when done. It's ideally suited to the crock pot, as it takes 2 hours on the stove to cook.

            For pork I tend to use pork shoulder, with the fat well trimmed off, as it also goes well with long cooking.

            1. For my slow cooked pasta sauces I'll use pre cut lamb necks or shoulder, pork necks or shoulder, beef round or chuck and cheap veal cuts which include bone.

              1. If beef, I buy a piece of chuck and cut it up myself. If I can get short rib flanken at a good price I'll use that. I'd never use any other beef cuts for stew as these are the tastiest, ang stew up lusciously tender.

                For pork (which I highly prefer over beef) I'll buy Boston butt and cut it myself. For goat I'll use whatever I can get.

                1. Thank you all for your input. I doubt I'll be using goat, I don't dislike it (and have had it in various ways from celophane wrapped pieces to uncle went into the back yard and killed it.) But it's not my favorite meat. I've also had pork stewed in various ways, mostly 'ethnic' dishes, but still essentially a stew. I never thought much about making grandma's 'goulash' with pork, although her mother probably used it frequently in 'the old country.' I've made lamb stew a few times, usually around the 17th of March, so thats a definite possibility. And the suggestions of various beef cuts has opened up my mind, especially the idea of using bone-in meat, something I enjoy for braises or as steaks/chops, but also never considered for stew. Tendon probably not, i like it just fine in pho, but not for me for beef stew.

                  I feel much better prepared to head to the market next week and see what's on sale and for sale. Thanks again!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    Beef shin/shank is great and the marrow from the bone adds a lovely unctuous texture to the stew

                  2. Chuck roast, cup up myself, overwhelmingly.

                    Occasionally, if I'm making a huge pot or have other uses for the rest of it, brisket.

                    Also occasionally, pork butt or whatever goat is available. Don't think I've ever made a lamb stew, not that it doesn't sound great.

                    1. I never buy 'chunks' of stew meat. You never know where they came from. When I make 'stew' it's always 'BB' and after trying many cuts of meat I have settled on chuck/shoulder. The 'fatty' end of the cut. My butcher always has it available. It's not too fatty and it has a lot of delicious collagen and it's tender. It just has 'that taste and texture'. I too cut the meat myself. I like larger rather than smaller pieces.

                      1. Beef....Chuck
                        Chicken...Dark meat mostly
                        (Sometimes all three..)
                        Game... Either Venison, Rabbit, Squirrel, etc.

                        1. I always cut up the meat myself and it is usually a mixture of Pork and Venison, rarely Beef added. I use whatever cut of meat looks suitable - in the store and and my freezer.

                          1. Always chuck. I either cut it myself, or cut it in a few large pieces, put the stew in the crock pot, and shred the meat at the end of its cooking. So yummy.

                            1. For long stewing,I prefer 7 Bone and then chuck. For a shorter time period I prefer tritip.

                              My butcher carries frozen sliced lamby mutton for $3.99 a pound. From any part of the carcass. It has provided consistently fine to excellant results in stews and curries.

                              1. I buy chuck or round, whatever looks the best and/or is the cheapest. I won't pay a butcher a buck a pound for cutting up his off cuts.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Bigjim68

                                  Do you find that round has enough fat for slow cooking?

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    When I use an extra lean piece of meat, I will augment the fat with a fatty product, either beef stock, bacon, or the like.

                                    Lean meat will break down. One of the leanest is shank, be it veal, beef, lamb,or pork. Osso Bucco is very tender, and it is very lean. When I use top round, I do not trim too close.

                                2. Bonless chuck, I cut it into cubes. works great in a braise (stew).

                                  1. Chuck roast that I cut up myself. Usually a good bit cheaper than pre-cut "stewing beef".

                                    1. Precut cubes of beautifully trimmed chuck, from my butcher. At 4.99/lb it's not significantly more expensive than buying a chuck steak and trimming it myself, once you subtract the cost of the waste from the whole chuck steak.

                                      1. I like to cut it up myself. Our local store always has nice looking chuck steaks that are very quick and easy to cut into stew size hunks.

                                        1. The kind of cut choices that y'all have in the west are not the same as what we get in Asia.

                                          I buy my meat at Mustafas in Singapore mostly - they're Halal. We generally buy cubed meat, mostly deer and goat, although we could buy beef (cuts of beef are more identified than other animals), leg of lamb, and probably a few other things as well. But what part of the animal it comes from we don't always know.

                                          Most of that meat ends up in a curry, so it doesn't matter so much - I cook low and slow so it's all tender by the time I'm done with it.

                                          1. they really have deer? would you happen to know where its from? I have been trying to export deer to Singapore for years.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: excelemp

                                              I gather you're responding to me?

                                              Yes, Mustafas in Singapore really does sell deer meat. I believe it's from Australia. We don't shop there anymore since we are no longer in Singapore.