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Best Way to Make Beef Stew

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
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?
post #2 of 13

For stew I cut it into pieces first, then dust with flour and brown. If you leave it whole you're making pot roast :)

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post #3 of 13

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

post #4 of 13


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

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 13

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

post #6 of 13

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.

post #7 of 13

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

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

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

 

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.

post #9 of 13

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

post #10 of 13


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

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 13

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

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike9 View Post
 

 

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.

 

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.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #13 of 13
Deglaze between batches as necessary. It's really that simple.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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