Stew meat different than other cuts?Cooking red meat issues... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-16-2007, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am really new to NT/TF cooking, especially cooking with beef! I am trying to make the bef stew recipe from NT. I couldn't find any specific beef yesterday that was for stew meat, but the man at the counter at my HFS yesterday told me they had some London Broil on sale and to use that.
So I brought it home cut it up and marinated it in red wine last night. It has been cooking all day today in a medium heat crock pot. I just pulled a piece out to taste and it tastes really dry, I mean really dry. What did I do wrong? Was it the cut of beef I used? I followed the recipe...
I want to get good at this meat cooking gig, but boy has it been tough. I either over cook it and fill my house with smoke, or it comes out positively rare ( alright for me but not DH). Tips on cooking red meat would be greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU!

Kathleen

Crazed life-learning Mom to DS 1 Augustus (02/00) and DS 2 Ben (08/05). Love my DH Tony . Full house 5 11 found our "purrfect". Lovin' life!!!!
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#2 of 5 Old 01-16-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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How big are your chunks? When I make beef stew I just buy the cheapest beef they have and cut it into about 1-inch chunks. If they are much larger than that, the cooking liquid might not penetrate all the way through. Here is my method for stew making and the beef always comes out tender (it works with lamb too):
  1. salt your meat, heat some oil in your soup pot, and brown the meat in medium high heat, then remove from pot
  2. add a chopped up onion and a few cloves of minced garlic to the pot and cook about 3 min
  3. add your liquid (water, broth, wine, or any combination - I'd say 3-4 cups total with no more than 1 cup of wine) plus a dash of worcestershire sauce
  4. add the meat, heat to boiling, then cover and turn the heat down to low and let it cook for like 2.5 hours - you can get away with 2 hours if you are in a hurry

At that point you can add in whatever veggies you like and then cook for 20-30 more minutes. If you use frozen peas, add those in the last 5 min. If you have any fresh parsley you can sprinkle some on top when you serve. If you want the soup thicker you can add cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

I used to be in the same boat as you (couldn't cook meat to save myself), but now I am a pretty good cook! All it takes is practice. Some of your stuff will turn out inedible in the beginning, but just think of it as a lesson learned for next time.

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#3 of 5 Old 01-16-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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I always sear my meat first before putting it in a crockpot. It really seals in the juices.
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#4 of 5 Old 01-17-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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Cooked long enough, any cut of beef can come out fork tender in the crockpot. Also as pp mentioned, searing the meat first can help. Fatty cuts of meat tend to come out more moist. IMO, london broil is a bit too lean. My favorite stew meat is chuck roast. Bone in cuts also tend to be really flavorful, like oxtail or for lambs, lamb shank. If cooking lean meats like london broil in the crockpot, some homemade broth or added fat may help.
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#5 of 5 Old 01-17-2007, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the replies!

My DH liked the stew. I found some "fattier" pieces that tasted better. I am wondering though, when I finally buy the larger quantities of grass fed beef from a ranch, will any of that be good for stew? I say that because I know that grass fed beef is very lean and dosn't need to be cooked for long.....

In NT the recipe to the left of the one I used said to sear the meat, I thought that was a good idea but I didn't. I should always go with my gut feeling.

Thank you!

Crazed life-learning Mom to DS 1 Augustus (02/00) and DS 2 Ben (08/05). Love my DH Tony . Full house 5 11 found our "purrfect". Lovin' life!!!!
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