Substitute ground beef for stew beef?
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  1. #1
    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    Default Substitute ground beef for stew beef?

    I sort of made up my crock pot stew recipe. I use canned tomatoes, beef, carrots, onions, baby potatoes (red and purple), red wine, garlic, bay leaves, pepper and worchestershire. During the last hour I usually throw in some fresh herbs. I don't brown the meat but add some flour at the end to thicken it up.

    I have some ground beef that I'd like to substitute for the meet. It's on the lean side so I thought I'd throw it in without browning it first. I do cook the stew for 10 hours on low. Think that'll work? It's kind of hard to ruin anything in the crockpot but I plan on giving some to my brother and freezing the rest for him.

    I also remember a recipe for ground beef, creamed corn, potatoes, butter, and onions. You layer it and bake it covered. Has anyone made this?
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

  2. #2
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Your stew recipe sounds good to me. The big difference with ground vs stew chunks is the texture. What if you made small meatballs? An egg would keep them from falling apart during the long cook. Either way, I would brown it first, as that is going to produce a lot of flavor.

    I don't think you need to cook it for 10 hours. Most of that time is to tenderize the stew beef. If you are using ground meat you only need a couple hours to develop flavor.

    I see various recipes for a casserole with those ingredients. It's not something I've tried. I have done cottage pie with ground beef (meatloaf) topped with corn or peas and mashed potatoes.
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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I use ground meats in soups all the time. It should work fine. Raw should work okay too. I usually brown ground beef but not stew meat and either way cooks okay in the Crock Pot.

    I also brown ground beef five or six pounds at a time and then freeze it in the right amounts to make a meal. It's one of the handiest ingredients to have ready and waiting. Nuke it in the micro for a minute and then use it in the recipe.

    I've made similar hotdishes, but layered in a different order starting with potatoes on the bottom, then beef, onions, and creamed corn. I generally skip the butter even though I love butter, but if I did use it, I'd add that last. I use baking nails in the center of the dish, too, with more nails around the center one. If you don't have them, you can stick an all-metal fork in the middle of the baking dish. That conducts heat into the center of the food and helps it cook more evenly so the outside edges aren't mush while the center isn't done.

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I do a skillet dish that's something like that, but without the potatoes. I use gound beef (I usually have it pre-browned), a can of creamed corn, a can of whole corn, and canned stewed tomatoes. Sometimes I add shredded carrots to it, and sometimes melt cheese into it after it's cooked. I used the stewed tomatoes because they're easy and already have onion and bell pepper in them.

    My mother used to make it layered and baked with fresh tomatoes, but I'm lazier and just throw it all in the skillet and do it on the stove top.

    I agree with browning the ground beef before you use it in the crockpot. I don't like the texture at all when it's just done in the crock, though if I have a thawed chub that has to be cooked and no time to deal with the mess of browning, I'll throw it in the crock, but it's definitely not my method of choice. To me it gets mushy and tasteless.

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    Like ContraryHousewife, I also usually brown my ground beef while I rarely brown stew meat. However, I have flipped those options on several occasions with no ill effects. The raw ground beef will impart more fats into the stew, if that's something you are concerned about.

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    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    The beef was lean free range so I decided to go without browning. It was delicious. I don't use recipes so every time it is different. I'm getting ready to order my pork, beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, and Alaskan Cod so this was the last of the frozen protein in my refrigerator besides two wild salmon filets......and my brother, who arrived today, doesn't like salmon. He has enough stew for tomorrow so I guess I'll make maple glazed salmon for myself!

    Thanks for all your suggestions and input.
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

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