How to Keep Stew Meat Tender in the Crock-Pot

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Just because you're cooking stew meat in a Crock-Pot doesn't mean that you can't keep that meat tender. Find out how to keep stew meat tender in the Crock-Pot with help from a chef instructor and executive pastry chef in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Preparing Stews: Tips & Tricks
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Video Transcript

Good morning. I'm Tony Hedger from Le'Ecole Culinare in St. Louis, Missouri. We're going to talk about how to keep meat tender in a slow cooker. First of all, you have to start out with a decent cut of meat. We have the chuck roast here that comes from the front shoulder of the cow. In a lot of portions of the side cut muscles you'll see that you'll have one, two, three, four different muscles that are contained within that group. Some of these muscles may be a little bit on the tender side, the other ones will not. OK. So they will be rather tough. This is what you'll find in the supermarket as stew meat. Stew meat can come from anywhere on the animal. Generally what stew meat is, it either generally comes from the round or it's just scrap meat that came from somewhere on the cow. OK. So this is your better cut of meat as far as keeping meat tender, choosing a good cut of meat. The other thing that you can do is not cooking this thing too fast. You want to make sure that your beef stew cooks nice and slow. OK. You want to make sure that the liquid is covering the meat but you also want to make sure that you keep tabs on it, just because this is a slow cooker and you're going to be out for ten hours, doesn't mean that that meat is going to stay tender that whole time. What happens is while you're cooking, the moisture in the broth breaks down the connective tissue of the beef. During that time, once it kind of dries out and the level of the water goes down or the stock goes down, the meat will tend to dry out and re-toughen. OK. So you want to make sure that you keep a good eye on this. So, basically the good advice of this is to make sure that you start out with a good cut of meat and be very vigil on your slow cooker. Just don't let it go. I know that we're very busy, put everything in there and we go off to work. Don't do that every time, especially with a beef stew. It dries out very very quickly. And then we have people that don't like beef stew. I'm chef Tony Hedger and that is how keep meat tender in a slow cooker. Thank you.

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