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Old 02-15-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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Beef Stew

I cooked up some Beef Stew in a croc pot for about 5 hours. My problem was that the meat was still wasn't as tender as I had hoped. Does that generally mean I should have let it cook it longer? Also, I seared the meat before putting it in.

Someone suggested I use canola oil versus olive oil (which I used). Stating it would sear the meat better because it can cook at a higher tempature. Does it really make that big a difference?

Thanks in advance

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Old 02-15-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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Depending on how big the chunks were you may simply need to cook it longer. Canola oil and browning aren't the problem. That part was fine.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Five hours in a crock pot is not as long as it seems, considering that many of them take forever to get up to cooking temp (1 1/2 hrs in my experience). I am sure others will disagree, but I have found a way that works better for me. I chunked the crock pot and bought a similar deep fryer. I then sear the meat in it instead of a skillet, then add my other ingredients and bring to cooking temp, and then turn it to Warm. It is both simpler and faster. Using this method I can have things ready in 5 hours that used to take 7 hours or so, and no extra skillet used.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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I'm not a big fan of crock pots. They're certainly useful if you want to have something cook all day (while you're at work, for example), but otherwise I think there are better ways to prepare stews and so forth.

I would have used a Dutch oven and the stew probably would have been done and the meat very tender in about 2 hours.

As for searing the meat, I use olive oil because I prefer the taste. You don't need to crank the heat up to blast-furnace levels to brown meat properly. Medium to medium-high should do the trick if you leave the meat alone long enough before turning it, usually about 3 or 4 minutes per side. It will come loose from the pan quite easily when it's ready to turn.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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I brown the meat in seasoned flour, pressure cook the meat, then put in the veggies and slow cook it til the veggies are done. Yumm. Sounds so good. I've also had better luck staying away from the pre-cut up "stew meat." It seems inconsistent to me in size, cut, and how it cooks up.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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What I have found that often works for me in "Crock Pot-type" recipes is to use the dutch oven and then just put it in the regular oven at about 225* for appx the same amount of time. At 225* an hour more doesnt seem to matter. I use that method in the fall and winter when I dont mind the additional heat. Spring and Summer I use the deep fryer method as it doesnt generate as much heat in the room.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
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I agree about not buying the pre-cut, too. I always buy a roast and cut it like I want.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:17 PM   #8
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Speaking of searing .... do y'all use the 'Flour and Sear' method or sear plain ?? I use the flour method.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownByTheRiverSide View Post
Speaking of searing .... do y'all use the 'Flour and Sear' method or sear plain ?? I use the flour method.
I do both, depending on what I'm making.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:45 AM   #10
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I season and dust with flour and pan sear the meat. I also buy the whole roast and cut it up into uniform chunck. Plus, it's cheaper to buy it that way. They make you pay for the time they spend cutting the meat.

After pan searing, adding stock and vegetables, it shouldn't take more than two hours simmering on a low fire.
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