How To Tenderize Beef Stew Meat Quickly? (Fully Explained)

Are you tired of tough and chewy beef stew meat?

Do you want to know how to tenderize it quickly without sacrificing flavor?

Look no further!

In this article, we will explore various methods to tenderize beef stew meat quickly and easily.

From using a meat mallet to marinating with fruit enzymes, we’ve got you covered.

Say goodbye to tough meat and hello to melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Let’s get started!

How To Tenderize Beef Stew Meat Quickly?

There are several ways to tenderize beef stew meat quickly. One of the easiest and most effective methods is to use a meat mallet. Simply pound the beef chunks evenly on both sides with the mallet to break up tough muscle fibers and create small dimples on the surface. These dimples allow juices to penetrate deeper into the meat, which tenderizes it even more.

Another quick and easy method is to cook the meat in liquid on a stovetop or in a slow cooker. This will make the meat moist and easy to cut with nothing but a fork. If you need to cook stew meat faster, cut the portions down into smaller pieces to cook quicker yet still yield tender beef chunks.

If you want to add some flavor while tenderizing your beef stew meat, marinating is a great option. Marinating covers the dual purpose of tenderizing and flavoring the meat. You can marinate in appropriate ingredients for at least two hours, but where possible let the meat rest in the marinade overnight. Drain off all the liquid before commencing searing.

One effective ingredient for marinating is fruit enzymes. Kiwi fruit is the most effective of all, containing actinidin, an enzyme that’s gentle but flavorless. Soaking an upper shoulder cut in a kiwi fruit marinade for 12 hours is all you need. Another fruit you can find just about anywhere is pineapple. Masked within the sweet juice, is the enzyme bromelain. If not careful with a pineapple marinade, you could have the most fibrous cuts reduced to mush.

Papaya contains the enzyme papain. Just like most enzymes above, papain acts on the proteins that build up the collagen fibers. The connective tissue structure is usually decimated within a few hours. Some other fruits you can use include fig, Asian pear, and mango.

Baking soda is another option for tenderizing beef stew meat quickly. It’s alkaline in nature and would thus alkalize the meat surface where it’s applied on. This process hampers the protein bonds, allowing for tenderness to set in. To tenderize your stew beef this way, you are supposed to coat the meat surface with a tablespoonful of baking soda or soak the meat in a water-baking soda solution. Leave the meat for around 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

Salt is also an unlikely but effective meat tenderizer in disguise. Rubbing a roast in salt and refrigerating for 24 hours prior to cooking is all you need to forget about meat tenderizers.

Why Is Beef Stew Meat Tough?

Beef stew meat can be tough because of the connective tissue and collagen present in the meat. The more collagen a piece of meat has, the tougher it is to cut and chew. Collagen is soluble in water, and when it is cooked slowly with moist heat, it becomes gelatin. This gelatin is what makes the beef tender and juicy in stews. However, if the beef stew meat is not cooked slowly enough or with enough liquid, the collagen will not break down properly, resulting in tough and chewy meat. This is why it’s important to use tougher cuts of beef, such as chuck roast or round roast, for stews because they have a lot of collagen-rich connective tissue that will break down over the low and slow cooking period. Additionally, cutting the beef into smaller pieces can make it easier to break apart the fibers and tenderize the meat. So, if you want tender beef stew meat quickly, make sure to use methods like marinating or pounding with a meat mallet to break down the tough fibers and add flavor.

Using A Meat Mallet To Tenderize Stew Meat

Using a meat mallet is a quick and easy way to tenderize stew meat. To start, lightly wrap the meat in waxed paper or plastic and place it on a cutting board. Using a spiked meat mallet, hit the stew meat hard enough to leave dimples on both sides of the meat. Make sure to pound both sides of the meat evenly to ensure even tenderizing. Once the meat has been tenderized, remove it from the wrap and cut it into cubes against the grain.

It’s important to use the right pressure as you pound the meat with the mallet. You don’t want to hammer too hard and end up crushing not just the connective fibers but also the softer meat tissue, resulting in mush. Firmly pound the meat so that you get the print of the spikes on the surface of the meat, indicating that you have penetrated and broken down those tough fibers.

When using a meat mallet to tenderize stew meat, it’s essential to choose a good cutting board that can be well-sanitized or use wax paper or plastic wrap around the meat to avoid contamination of surfaces. If you don’t have a mallet, you can use the bottom of a glass or a rolling pin instead. Just go easy and make sure to get even pressure on both sides of the meat.

Marinating With Fruit Enzymes For Quick Tenderization

Marinating with fruit enzymes is an excellent way to quickly tenderize beef stew meat while also adding some delicious flavor. The enzymes found in fruits like kiwi, pineapple, papaya, Asian pear, and mango are known to break down the proteins in meat, making it more tender.

Kiwi fruit contains actinidin, a gentle and flavorless enzyme that is highly effective in tenderizing meat. To marinate with kiwi fruit, simply soak the beef chunks in a kiwi fruit marinade for 12 hours or more. Another popular option is pineapple, which contains the enzyme bromelain. However, be careful not to over-marinate with pineapple as it can turn the meat to mush.

Papaya contains papain, which acts on the proteins that make up the collagen fibers in meat. Soaking stew meat in a papaya marinade for a few hours will break down the connective tissue structure and make it more tender.

When marinating with fruit enzymes, it’s important to use fresh fruit and apply them at around 55°C (131°F) to °60C (140°F). Canned fruits or juices are not recommended as they may have lost their enzyme activity during canning.

To marinate with fruit enzymes, simply blend the fruit into a paste with a little water and add your favorite seasonings. Let the meat rest in the marinade for at least two hours, but overnight is preferable for maximum tenderness.

Pressure Cooking For Fast And Tender Results

Pressure cooking is another great option for tenderizing beef stew meat quickly. Pressure cookers work by trapping steam inside, which increases the boiling temperature of water and cooks food faster than conventional methods. This process also allows steam to penetrate the meat easily, softening connective tissues in cubes of beef for soups or stews in as little as 15 minutes.

However, it’s important to follow instructions carefully when using a pressure cooker. It’s easy to overcook things in mere minutes, and flavors may not be as fully developed as when tough meat simmers in a slow braise. To get the most flavor out of your pressure cooked meat, it’s recommended to brown or broil it before starting a braise. This will add a beautiful finish and enhance the flavor of the meat.

It’s also important to use just enough liquid for the cooker to reach pressure, as too much liquid can dilute the flavor of the meat. Fresh herbs should be added whole, stems and all, before closing the lid to infuse their fresh oils and water into the recipe.

When cooking with a pressure cooker, it’s best to use natural release for most meat-centered recipes. This will slowly bring the temperature of the super-heated meat down and prevent all of the high-temperature-juice inside from evaporating away and leaving behind a nearly inedible hunk of fibers that used to be meat.

Simmering Slowly For Tender Stew Meat

When it comes to cooking beef stew, simmering the meat slowly is key to achieving tender, juicy chunks of beef. Rushing the cooking process can result in tough, chewy meat that is unpleasant to eat. To avoid this, it’s important to cook the stew low and slow for at least two hours.

To begin, coat the beef stew meat in flour by placing it in a resealable plastic bag and shaking it until evenly coated. In a large pot over high heat, melt butter with olive oil and add the beef, seasoning it with seasoned salt. Cook and stir the beef until seared on all sides for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion to the pot and cook until browned for about 5 minutes more.

Pour enough beef broth into the pot to cover the bottom and bring it to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the remainder of the beef broth and bring it to a simmer before adding carrots, potatoes, celery, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, basil, paprika, and garlic powder. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook stew at a simmer until the meat and vegetables are very tender for 3 to 4 hours.

For even more tender meat, consider using chuck meat instead of leaner cuts like sirloin. Chuck meat breaks down wonderfully as it cooks and rewards you with tender, delicious bites. It’s also budget-friendly.

Another tip for achieving tender beef stew meat is to simmer it with the lid on for a few hours before removing the lid and continuing to simmer with it off. This allows the connective tissues in the beef to break down slowly while also thickening the broth.

Other Tips And Tricks For Tenderizing Beef Stew Meat

In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are some other tips and tricks you can use to tenderize beef stew meat quickly. One of these is to cut the meat against the grain. This makes the meat softer and easier to chew, as it cuts through the tough muscle fibers. When cutting the stew meat, make sure to cut across the grain and not along it.

Another trick is to use a heavy skillet when searing the meat. This allows for even heat distribution, ensuring that the meat is cooked evenly and doesn’t become stewed instead of seared. When searing, make sure not to overcrowd the pan with too much meat. Stick to a single layer of meat and sear in small batches to ensure that each piece of meat gets evenly browned.

Finally, when cooking stew meat, it’s important to use a low heat setting and cook it slowly. This allows for the connective tissue in the meat to break down and become tender over time. Using a slow cooker or Dutch oven on a low simmer after searing is a great way to achieve this. The longer you slow cook the beef, the more tender it will become.

By following these tips and tricks, you can quickly and easily tenderize beef stew meat for a delicious and satisfying meal.