What to Do With Stew Meat Besides Stew
So, you have stew meat in the freezer but you are not really in the mood for stew. That is okay. You cannot be in the mood for stew all the time. Luckily, there are lots of other things you can do with stew meat. There are also some things you should not do with it. Stew meat usually has a lot of connective tissue in it that only goes away through a long, slow, moist cooking method. Do not use it for kabobs, no matter how conveniently cubed they are. Do not use it for stir fries. Any cooking method that uses dry heat or cooks quickly will turn your stew meat into chew toys.
Stew-Like Dishes That Aren’t Stew
If you have some noodles and sour cream, you can make a very nice beef stroganoff. Add a splash of red wine to add depth to the beef broth. You could also serve it over white rice or mashed potatoes instead of noodles.
Another one pot meal is chili. Stew meat works wonderfully in chili. Make it with or without beans. Moreover, if you like it hot, lay on the chili peppers. Chili works well with corn bread, tortillas, or thick slabs of Texas Toast.
Try stews from other cuisines for a change of pace. Beef rendang is a delicious dish from Malaysia full of exotic spices. Vindaloo is another stew, this time from India, or you could make a Moroccan tagine full of beef, fruit, and spices. Curry dishes work nicely to create a change of pace from stew.
Changing the Meat
One thing you can do is grind up the meat into hamburger. This is not hard to do if you have a food processor or meat grinder. Once it is ground up, you can use it to make any hamburger recipe you want. Make patties, add it to a casserole, or make a gravy. There are lots of ways to use the stew meat once it is not in large chunks.
You can also give it a coarse chop instead of grinding the meat. This would make the meat suitable for many Mexican dishes from enchiladas to tacos. This would also work well for goulash, which can be served on top of almost anything, including potatoes, noodles, or rice.
Cut the stew meat into smaller pieces and let it simmer in broth to make a soup. Add vegetables and your starch of choice to make a delicious soup. Borscht would be a wonderful ethnic change of pace for soup.
Simple and Comforting
Of course, you can always simply braise the meat and serve it with gravy over potatoes or rice. Remember that stew meat needs a long, slow cooking process to make it tender, so this would work well in the slow cooker. Another good idea would be to make Swiss steak. This is merely beef pieces slowly braised in a tomato based sauce. It is a wonderful way to enjoy some tender beef without making stew.
Round out your choices with some delicious side dishes and you are all set for a great meal. Remember that the crockpot can be your best friend when you are cooking stew meat for a recipe other than stew.
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