Can I Use New York Strip Steak for Stew?
New York strip steak usually is not the choice for stew meat because it tastes great grilled rare or medium rare. That being said, there is no reason why you could not use a New York strip steak for stew, but it really is a waste of a good piece of tender meat. In fact, some cooks report that using a tender piece of meat like New York strip gives you a tough result. With the prices of prime steak cuts like this, why would you want to put it in stew?
The whole point of stew is to slow cook some of those tougher cuts into a meal that tastes great. The long, slow cooking process dissolves the tough connective tissue, leaving that less than desirable piece of beef far more palatable and tender. Connective tissue is far more prevalent in muscles that get used a lot.
This means that cuts from the shoulder and hip will be tougher than cuts from the middle of the cow. Spending a long time on a low heat will slowly melt the collagen fibers and connective tissue. This makes the meat tender and gives the stew’s gravy a fabulous flavor.
Chuck steak is a great cut for stew meat. It has just enough collagen and connective tissue to make that slow cooking time well worth it. You will be rewarded with a flavorful, melt in your mouth stew. Stew meat at the store can technically be made from trimmings of any cut, so you may get a great stew one time and a tough one the next. They do not have to list what cuts these trimmings came from, so it really is a crap shoot. You are better off if you purchase a chuck steak and cut it up yourself.
Other flavorful cuts to use instead of a New York strip include skirt steak, London broil cuts, and round steak. If you must use a more expensive cut, you may find that while it does not always turn tough, it can turn to mush instead. Really, do not waste your money by using expensive cuts for stew. Keep it simple. Save those expensive cuts for a nice broiled or grilled steak dinner. Your taste buds will thank you when they experience that juicy, tender slice.
If you are really wanting stew and all you have is New York strip, consider cooking everything else and adding the beef towards the end. Put in lots of onions to add flavor. Root vegetables also make a great contribution. Homemade beef stock is ideal, but if you do not have homemade, you can make do with several items you can find at the grocery store.
Cut up your steak and brown the pieces. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the steak. This will let the steak cook enough to add flavor, but remain tender when you bite into it. Serve it up with your favorite bread and a green salad.
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