Make Your Beef Stew More Succulent by Shortening the Cooking Time

It takes a while to cook a good beef stew, but longer cooking does not necessarily improve the flavor and texture of your beef. In fact, shortening the recommended cooking times for most recipes will make the beef stew more juicy and less pulpy.

The longer you cook the beef, the more it breaks down, becomes less chewy and easier to eat. However, according to Serious Eats’ J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, taking too long to cook changes texture, so the meat becomes softer but feels too dry:

Think of it as the difference between a mesh full of water balloons and a mesh full of sponges. Both can have the same amount of moisture, but when pressed on the sponges, the liquid pours out immediately, leaving behind a dry shell. On the other hand, water balloons take a little more effort to break, releasing their juices in discrete portions – just as juicy meat must constantly juice when chewed, rather than releasing all the moisture at once.

Lopez Alt suggests that most beef stew recipes take too long to cook and create the sponge effect he describes. So what do you do instead? Lopez Alt explains:

Use the time in any stew recipe as a guide. Start checking your meat when you reach about 80% of the total recommended cooking time and stop cooking as soon as it reaches the stage where the meat is tender but not falling apart – so if the recipe says the stew should be cooked for 2 1/2 hours, start checking around the 2 o’clock mark.

This way, your stew will have plenty of time to simmer and combine all the flavors together, but your beef will remain very juicy and tender. You can learn more about how to make a good beef stew by following the link below.

The Science of Braising: Why You Shouldn’t Cook Beef All Day | Serious food


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