Beef Stew Meat question ...

shaunJanuary 3, 2008

What cut of beef is best to make beef stew with?

I bought a bunch of stew meat (already cut into cubes) from Costco. I divided it into 3 zip lock bags for 3 separate meals.

But I'm finding that I don't like the consistency of the meat after it's cooked.

I've tried putting it in the cooker and letting it go for a while......I've tried browning them first and then cooking on the stovetop, for a couple of hours, and no matter what I do, it's tender but hard to swallow. I can't really explain it but the consistency is almost stringy. Am I doing something wrong??

What other cut of beef is best to make stews or beef tips over noodles, something like that?

Thanks friends~

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terri_pacnw

Hmm....did Costco label what it was?

I like to use top round usually. I will by a "roast" or london broil cut and cube half and slice the other half then toss in the freezer.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 7:42PM
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craftyrn

I use chuck-- buy a small chuck roast & cut it into "cubes"-- way cheaper for a few passes with a good knife.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 7:48PM
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lindac

Very lean meat cooked too long will be "hard to swallow". I usually buy round steak and cube it myself. I have also used chuck, if the price is right.
I really don't like the texture of stews cooked in a slow cooker...I brown it a little at a time in a Dutch oven and add liquid of choice ( usually wine and beef stock), veggies, spices and simmer for about 2 1/2 or 3 hours.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 7:49PM
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gardenguru1950

In doing some research, I found out that "beef stew meat" has no legal definition and can be cut, literally, from any part of the carcass including "waste" pieces.

The best is usually cut from the chuck or round (except top round) and that's what I use when making beef stew.

I remove any bone and trim a lot of the fat, especially the sinewy stuff, but leave a good "padding" of white fat on most pieces. I cut the pieces approximately 1 to 1-1/2 inches, cubed. Smaller pieces dry up and become stringy.

I always sear/brown the meat in bacon fat and I leave some of the bacon in while cooking. I'll cook for at least two hours, usually three.

Just before serving, I'll remove any dangling GLOBS of fat (although I know some people actually love that stuff).

It may be the cut, it may be a lack of enough fat, but I do know that pre-cut stew meat sometimes does that on me, too.

Joe

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 7:56PM
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anney

Shaun,

I know what you mean by beef being tender but stringy. It's hard to chew the strings into pieces though they separate easily from the chunk. I'm sure it's the cut of beef, and others are suggesting the best cuts to use for stew meat. Since you have more of it, if you have the time when you cook the rest, I'd cut it again into smaller pieces AGAINST the grain so those "strings" will be short and easily swallowable. It sounds like you followed all the rules about cooking less tender meat, but still had a problem. Of course you could also grind it into hamburger and be done with it!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:05PM
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lakeguy35

Another one who cuts up a chuck roast and cooks it like lindac.

David

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:11PM
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shaun

Terri the label said Beef for Stew or something like that.
Linda, me too - I dont' care for the consistency of beef cooked in the slow cooker either so that's why I tried it on the stove. But it still came out lousy. I used beef stock and some red wine. the broth is very tasty but the meat consistency is yuck.

Anney! Great idea to grind it into ground beef! That would make good hamburgers! *High Five*

Ok then, from now on I will buy a chuck roast and cut it up for my stews. IN the meantime, this next bag is getting ground up.

I knew I could count on you all~ Thanks very much.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 9:21PM
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chef91

I have made beef tips even with the poorest quality meat. I use a recipe that I found online and it has worked everytime. The recipe with my modifications is as follows. It works best in a Dutch oven or a large skillet. Chop an onion and 2 cloves of garlic and saut� in pot. After cooking the onion on a medium high heat add the beef. Brown the beef on all sides. Next add 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of worcestershire sauce and 1/4 cup of soy sauce (I use lite because I prefer lower sodium). Cook this on a medium heat for at least 2 hours. Add garlic powder, pepper, salt, and even a little sugar if desired. After the meat is seasoned well and cooked for at least the 2 hours add one packet of instant beef gravy. It is best served over rice or mashed potatoes.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 8:07PM
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