Don't buy already cut-up stew meat, it's usually more expensive per pound, and it's easy to cut up your meat. You will need a sharp knife and a cutting board.
- Start by trimming off any excess fat or sinew from the meat. This will help to prevent the stew from becoming greasy or tough.
- Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, about 1-2 inches in size. Make sure the pieces are evenly sized to cook evenly in the stew.
- Once you have cut the meat into the desired size and shape, it is ready to be added to your stew. Using a slow or pressure cooker, you can add the meat to the pot along with the other ingredients. If you use a stovetop method, you may want to sear the meat in a hot pan with oil before adding it to the stew. This will help to lock in the juices and give the meat a nice sear on the outside.
Curious about what beef is for stew? Check out my post on the best meat for beef stew.
It is generally recommended to cut stew meat against the grain. Cutting against the grain means slicing the meat perpendicular to the lines of muscle fibers rather than parallel to them. This can help to make the meat more tender and easier to chew.
When meat is cooked, the muscle fibers contract and become more compact; if the meat is cut with the grain, the fibers will be longer, and the meat may be chewy. On the other hand, if the meat is cut against the grain, the fibers will be shorter, and the meat will be more tender.
That being said, cutting stew meat against the grain is not always necessary. Some cuts of beef, such as chuck roast, are naturally tender and can be left in larger chunks without the need to slice them against the grain. Ultimately, the decision to cut the meat against the grain will depend on the specific cut and the desired tenderness level.
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