How To Make Beef Stew Meat Tender

How Long Does it Take Stew Meat to Get Tender on the Stove?

Although traditional beef stew is braised in the oven, we prefer to be able to stir, watch, and manage the beef stew on the stovetop. I stick my tongue in my cheek and say “fuss” because beef stew is one of the least fussy foods there is.

Pouring a few glasses of wine and spending a lazy Sunday in the kitchen while stirring a pot of stew is just plain enjoyable.

With the lid on, we simmer the stew for two hours on the stovetop, stirring now and then. After that, we remove the lid and continue to simmer for an additional one and a half hours, or until the beef is very tender and the gravy has thickened nicely.

Maintaining a low simmer throughout is crucial for creating a tender beef stew because it allows the connective tissues in the meat to break down and become softer.

I always have the other ingredients for Stove Top Beef Stew on hand, save for the stew meat. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dried herbs: Before sautéing the veggies inside, a drizzle of oil is infused with dried thyme and rosemary.
  • Vegetables: celery, onion, or shallot, finely chopped, almost completely melt into the sauce
  • Mushrooms: button mushrooms are thinly sliced rather than left in larger pieces, giving them a nod to the quartered mushrooms that many traditional beef stew recipes call for.
  • Garlic: minced garlic brings lots of cozy flavor.
  • Butter: A combination of flour and softened butter gives the stovetop beef stew a luxuriously thick consistency. Feel free to use vegan butter for dairy allergies/intolerances.
  • Flour: If you don’t need to follow a gluten-free diet, you can use all-purpose flour instead of the blend we use to thicken the stew.
  • Stew meat is a cheap cut of beef from the chuck roast or shoulder.
  • Beef broth: if you’d rather, you can use beef stock.
  • Bay leaves: give the stew that is simmering slowly another layer of flavor. Remove before serving.
  • Add the frozen peas at the very end, right before serving, to warm them through.
  • Mashed potatoes that have been prepared: we enjoy ladling the Stove Top Beef Stew over a dish of creamy mashed potatoes. Though homemade is fantastic, for a quick and convenient alternative, we adore Simply Potatoes brand mashed potatoes!

Marinate for Flavor and Tenderness

A flavorful marinade does wonders for both taste and tenderness. Do the extra step of marinating your stew meat before you begin cooking. This helps to tenderize the meat while also adding more flavors to it. Red wine, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or a mixture of flavorful herbs and spices are some great marinade choices.

To marinate your stew meat:

  • Place the meat in a shallow dish or resealable bag.
  • Make sure the meat is completely submerged in the marinade before adding more.
  • Refrigerate the dish or bag for at least an hour, or overnight for optimal effects, after covering or sealing it.

Tenderize Beef Naturally By Dry-Aging

By using a technique called dry-aging, meat can gradually alter in flavor and texture. Meat can become soft and juicy instead of tough and chewy by allowing its natural enzymes to start working when it is exposed to air. Additionally, proteins and carbohydrates are broken down into the amino acid glutamate, a natural MSG, by exposure to cold air. In addition, this process can be costly. Here are the pros and cons of dry-aging stew meat. A skilled butcher will hang beef slices over a wire rack using a meat hook to let air flow through them. To construct your own beef rack, either arrange the beef on a wire rack or take out and replace a solid refrigerator shelf with a wire rack. Prior to placing the meat on the rack, make sure to drain and rinse it. Wrap the beef in cheesecloth or another thin piece of cloth once it has dried. Dry-aging meat needs a constant flow of air. Without it, the beef will become unsafely dry too quickly and may even grow mold colonies. Installing a small fan at the bottom of your refrigerator and leaving it running the entire time is one option. To let air flow through the door, you can also chop a hole in the rubber gasket. Maintaining the same temperature is crucial during the aging process because changes in air temperature will cause trimming losses.

How To Make Beef Stew Meat Tender

Dry-aging meat not only inhibits the growth of dangerous bacteria but also promotes the growth of advantageous mold. The best kind of mold is called thamnidium, and it shows up on meat as light gray patches. It generates the enzymes that degrade the muscle and connective tissues in the meat. These enzymes create collagen, which results in beef that is more flavorful and tender.