Make sure you’re choosing the right beef cuts for a delicious winter stew or casserole.

Nothing welcomes the colder months more than a hearty stew or a delicious casserole, but before you rush out to buy your beef cuts, you might want to consider the following points.

  1.  Don’t assume if you use more expensive cuts of beef in place of stewing steak, it will taste any better.
  2.  Different cuts of meat have different muscle structures and are suited to different cooking methods
  3. To buy the best cut for your casserole/stew you need to first decide how long you want to cook it for and also consider your budget.

Different types of steaks to consider:

Chuck or Blade Steak
This is leaner cut of meat that comes from the shoulder area. It’s inexpensive, but you will need to cook it for about 2 1/2-3 hours to properly tenderise. While it’s not ideal if you’re time poor, you can expect melt-in-your-mouth flavour that’s guaranteed to impress!

Oyster Blade Steak
Some people believe this is the best cut to use in a stew or casserole. In fact most people prefer to use this cut above the rest, but the downside is the cost! Oyster Blade steak has a lot of flavour that comes from the breakdown of connective tissue that you can see when looking at it. Whatever you do, don’t trim that away! It’s there for a reason and you’ll know exactly why when you take your first bite!

Gravy Beef (and stewing steak)
Gravy beef comes from the shin area. It is a cheaper cut that will cook well in a shorter period of time (1.5 hours). When the bone is left in, Gravy beef is called Osso Bucco, which you might have seen in some Italian dishes.

Skirt Steak
Have you ever had a stew where the meat chunks stay together and the meat has a coarse grain through it? Skirt steak can be quite delicious and is known for this stringy delicious texture. It’s very tender but again, must be cooked for about 3 hours, so if you’ve got the time this one is definitely worth a go!

Did you know: The difference between a stew and a casserole is just how it’s cooked. Stews are cooked on the cook top with the heat underneath and casseroles are cooked in the oven with the heat all around!

Photo Credit: Mustard Faith

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