Stew meat is a generic name for a combination of different cuts that are often left over from butchering a side of beef. It usually has lots of fat and connective tissue. Slow and low (crockpot or smoker) will give the connective tissue a chance to melt and turn into a juicy liquid that is reabsorbed by the meat. This transforms chewy and tough into juicy and tender.
For stews, if you want a really tender meat, get a chuck roast and cut it down yourself, then brown and cook (btw pressure cooked stew is my favorite).
Another technique is a dutch oven. Basically a cast iron pot with a lid, or cast iron covered with ceramic. $60 bucks at target for a 5 qt CastLogic beaut.
Marinate meat if desired. Then sear in the dutch oven in some kind of grease until browned but not cooked. Add seasonings and a cup or so of stock or water. Put the pot in the oven on 150 degrees and leave for 8-10 hours.
I love that dutch oven. Very low temperature is the secret here. 150 is perfect if your oven will obey it's dial!
Robin in Colorado
On topic: as agreed by the thread, slowcooked meat is the BEST way to cook meat. If it's too tough, cook it for longer (we usually do it for 6-10 hours on low). And it's called stewing steak because of the cut of the animal it comes from. Basically it's the lowest grade cheapest and toughest meat.
Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.
Griff's cholesterol primer
5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
bloodorchid is always right
i love that dutch oven
I've NEVER had any piece of meat not *fall apart* once Crocked! Plus, with a crock, it is REALLY HARD to overcook anything. As long as there is liquid in the pot, it tenderizes (OK 48 hours I've never had happen however, a 6 hour roast ended up going for 12 and turned out terrific!)
As all of us have different *STAGES* in our daily lives, here is MY suggestion:
If you have time the night before or the morning of before work: Build and use a crockpot.
If you get home and forgot to defrost or build your dinner: Pressure Cooker
If you get home and have TONS of time to cook: Fuck you I hate you! (smiles)
Last edited by DeilaMiah; 06-18-2012 at 03:22 PM.
I have used, or been in the household of, a crockpot for well over 30 years. There's been NO CUT of meat that didn't get tender while being crocked.
Seriously. The only way to Frig it up is to forget you have a crockpot going for a couple days.
Perhaps loneviking should attempt a few more recipes.
I cooked a small grass fed chuck in my crock yesterday for 9 hours and it was a little tougher than usual. I browned it first of course. I did it on low and it should have been melt in the mouth. Can't figure out if it needed less or more time. I'm usually thrilled with the crocked meat, though...