It is what it sounds like - meat for making stew. But, not to be deceptive, you can also use this for stir fry meat. Stay tuned. On the stewing end, get your stockpot rocking with your base liquids and vegetables of choice. While that gets up to a boil, sear your beef to lock in all the juicy goods. Submerge the beef in your liquids and let it simmer until the beef is breaking apart. If you want something quick, cut the cubes into small slices against the grain (if you look closely at the meat you'll see bands, or grains, of meat running one way or the other) and viola, you've got stir fry meat. Marinate, stir fry, and enjoy. If you're looking for a classic beef stew, our go-to recipe is below.
Happy Valley Classic Beef Stew
Total Time: 3 Hours
|All-purpose flour (or w/e flour you have on hand)
|Stalks of celery, thinly sliced
|Carrots, peeled and cut into round pieces
Braising liquid (vegetable broth, chicken stock, bone broth,
apple juice, plain old water, w/e you like)
|Yukon gold potatoes (peeled and halved or quartered)
|Salt + Pepper to taste
Step 1: Combine your flour and pepper in a bowl or, if you’re like my mom, pour the two into a plastic bag. Add the beef, seal the bag shut, and then start shaking it like crazy until your beef is fully coated in flour.
Step 2: Heat your stockpot over medium-high heat on the stove and add some vegetable oil. Once your pan is hot, sear your floured beef on all sides until the cubes develop a nice caramelized deep brown crisp all over. Take your time with this step, it’s worth it. Don’t bunch the beef cubes altogether. Crowding your meat results in excess water being released and you’ll end up with grey boiled meat -- sounds delicious, doesn’t it? -- instead of crispy brown. It will take about 4-6 minutes per batch and, depending on the size of your pot, will require one to two batches. Once your beef is nicely browned, remove it from the pot and set it aside.
Step 3: If you browse recipes you’ll see that not everyone does this next step, but we think it’s essential. It’s our not-so-secret weapon. Toss your diced onion, chopped carrots, and celery into your stockpot -- add more oil if necessary. Saute them for about 5 - 10 minutes. Once your onions are nice and translucent, pour in the cup of red wine and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is called the deglaze. Now add your beef back to the pot, pour in your stock/liquid of choice. If you have bay leaves, now is the time to add ‘em. Bring your broth to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid, and leave it. Check on it every now and then to make sure it’s still simmering lightly.
Step 4: After about 1.5 hours, add the remaining carrots, potatoes, and any other veggies you’d like to make use of. Put the lid back on, add any extra liquid if you feel like your broth level is too low, cover and continue to gently simmer for another hour...and that’s it. If you’re like me, you can quadruple the ingredients (except the wine, 1 cup will do) and eat nothing but beef stew for the next 9 days. Enjoy!