Generally, for stews, it is best to use cuts of beef with a fair amount of marbling, with fat and connective tissue. These cuts will become tender and flavorful as they cook and will help to add depth of flavor to the stew.
Suggested Cuts of Beef for Stew Recipes
Chuck roast: Chuck roast is a relatively inexpensive cut of beef that comes from the shoulder area of the cow. It has a good amount of fat and connective tissue, which makes it a good choice for stews. As it cooks, the fat and connective tissue will break down, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.
Brisket: Brisket is another cut of beef that is well-suited for stews. It comes from the chest area of the cow and has a lot of fat and connective tissue. This makes it a good choice for slow-cooking methods, such as stews, as it will become tender and flavorful as it cooks.
Short ribs: Short ribs are another excellent choice for stews. They come from the rib area of the cow and have a lot of fat and connective tissue. They are best cooked slow over low heat, making them well-suited for stews.
Check out my beef short rib stew recipe.
Round roast: Round roast is a leaner cut from the cow's hindquarters. It is best when cooked slowly over low heat, as this will help to tenderize the meat. Although not as tender as some of the other cuts listed above, it can still be used in stews.
What is marbling, and why it's important when cooking stews?
Marbling refers to the distribution of fat within a cut of meat. The tiny flecks or fat streaks are interspersed within the muscle tissue of the meat. Marbling is important in cooking stews because the fat helps to add flavor and moistness to the dish. It also helps to keep the meat tender during the long cooking process.
When choosing a cut of beef for stewing, it is generally best to select one with moderate marbling. This will help to ensure that the meat stays moist and flavorful as it cooks. However, trim any excess fat from the meat before adding it to the stew, as this can help to reduce the overall fat content of the dish.
In general, well-marbled cuts of beef include ribeye, strip steak, and prime rib. These cuts tend to be more expensive, but they are also more flavorful and tender. Less marbled cuts, such as round or chuck, are generally less expensive but may require longer cooking times to become tender.
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