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Nov 9, 2013 09:08 AM

Stew Meat Recipes, please advise!

The obvious choice would be beef stew, but I wanted to see if there were other recipes I can do with that type of beef. I have a crock-pot and a dutch oven. My preference would be to use the crock pot, the recipe calls for it. Oh and if you guys know anything about beef and cuts, is there another word for stew meat? I'm assuming they call it stew meat when it's already cut in cubes.

Most grateful for any suggestions!

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  1. I use chuck to make chili, not ground beef. I just let it cook down to pieces.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Ya beat me to it, Candy. I totally agree with your assessment. I stopped using ground beef about 40 years ago. For a long time I would cube chuck roast or rump roast. Recently my 26 year-old grandson taught me a new way.

      I now braise a beef roast in beer at a low temperature the night before making the chili, and shred and chop the meat the next morning. The braising liquid is reserved, and is used in brewing the chili after the excess fat is removed after being chilled in the fridge over night.

      This process may sound tedious, but I'm a chilihead, retired and there is joy in making the stuff. Also, chili is an all year round dish, not just for cold weather and football bowl games.

      1. re: Candy

        Just made crock pot chili today, and I always use beef cubes. I much prefer its texture to ground beef in chili--feels heartier, somehow.

      2. Stew meat is a very general term. In most places they refer to chuck. However I prefer beef short ribs, shanks, cheeks(my favourite)and blade steak for my braises/stews. It is always best to buy a big piece of meat and cut it yourself. It is the best way of guaranteeing you get what you want.
        Here is a good recipe that is easy and a perfect place to start.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DowntownJosie

          Yes, stew meat is general, but in most supermarkets it does NOT mean chuck. It's more likely odds and ends of the round, with a little chuck thrown in if you're lucky. It's cut into cubes because that disguises the fact that it started out as random bits and pieces. Round is very lean so it's easy to end up with tough meat, and it can have a livery flavor.

          Sear the pieces on all sides, then braise very gently. Eventually it will be shreddable.

          Another approach is to slice the cubes even smaller, not larger than a half-inch. Soak in a mixture of a teaspoon baking soda to a half-cup water, for 15 min. Then rinse several times, and pat dry. This denatures the enzyme which
          shrinks muscle fibers during cooking, so they no longer force out moisture. This retained moisture keeps the meat from being too chewy. Diced this small, you can use the meat in chili, stirfries, or soup.

          1. re: greygarious

            Thank you! I've not bought stew meat for a very long time because I always thought that it tasted off. Now I know why! Will definitely try your baking soda trick. I remember reading about it awhile back for chicken and it has been in the back of my head since.

        2. There are an infinite number of flavor profiles. I like taginesvwith beef or lamb and Moroccan spices. To-
          Night we are having one with shallots and dates and ginger .

          1. Oxtail, cheeks and beef shanks are good for stewing if you want to use more "unusual" cuts

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