Best Way to Make Beef Stew

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by orihara, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. orihara

    orihara

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    One recipe says to stew the beef whole, then cut it into pieces afterwards, and another says to cut it before stewing. Which is best?
     
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

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    For stew I cut it into pieces first, then dust with flour and brown. If you leave it whole you're making pot roast /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  3. mtullius

    mtullius

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    Teamfat beat me to it but I'll post anyway. 

    You get more browning and flavor if you use cut up pieces. If you are doing a big batch, only do as many pieces as will fit in one layer in the pan. If they are crowded they will just steam and not get a nice brown. As each batch is done, take it out and add another. When they are all done, you will have a rich fond to deglaze.

    If you leave it whole and don't brown it, I believe you're making boiled beef.

    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2543/boiled-beef-and-carrots-with-parsley-dumplings
     
  4. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Stews, Ragouts,Goulashes  meat always cut first so it can be seared on all sides

    If left whole its pot roast or beef a la mode, or sauerbraten. seared whole cooked and sliced
     
  5. mike9

    mike9

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    Yup - whole is just pot roast, or boiled beef.  Cubed, dredged browned.
     
  6. thatchairlady

    thatchairlady

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    I agree with other posters... cut/cube, dredge, and brown first.  I like my chunks kinda small-ish... not a BIG bite.  I like to brown, add some liquid/stock, and reduce... almost to dry... then more liquid and repeat the process until meat is almost tender.  I like to add some tomato paste during this browning/reducing.  I'll add carrots, celery and onions and hold potatoes till near the end so they don't go to mush.  If on sale, I'll opt to add a bag (or so) of frozen pearl onions... in addition to other onions added earlier.  Might add a hefty amount of frozen peas or green beans near the end.  I like to serve it over buttered noodles or rice.  Nice crusty, buttered bread wouldn't hurt, either.
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I never dredge.  I might not be skilled enough at browning but the flour always burns. 
     
  8. mike9

    mike9

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    Are you using a heavy enough pot?  Enameled cast iron was made for stew.  I also season my flour before dredging the meat.  That flour is going to make a roux and help thicken the end product.
     
  9. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, you kinda can't do more than one batch at a time.  I dredge and brown in two pans and then combine.
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Put less in the pan and don't cook at so high a flame
     
  11. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah but still you have to do more than one batch and then the leftover flour gets burnt.
     
  12. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I'm using a Le creuset.  I make roux too. First I sear and brown the meat and remove.  Then I add my mirepoix and soften, and add flour to make a roux.  So yea, the roux is still there, I just don't have any worries about little bits of flour burning while I brown the meat.  No reason to risk the bitterness.
     
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Deglaze between batches as necessary. It's really that simple.