What to Make With Stew Meat Besides Stew

It’s inexpensive and surprisingly versatile.



Food Stylist: Susan Spungen Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Anna Williams

Anna Williams

By Heath Goldman for Food Network Kitchen

So you picked up a package or (three) of inexpensive stew meat from the grocery store. Maybe you stashed some in the freezer for later. Whatever the case, there’s more to stew meat than, well, stew. To understand what else you can make, first let’s learn a little more about stew meat.

What Cut of Beef Is Stew Meat?

Stew meat is made from cuts of beef with lots of tough connective tissue, namely chuck and/or round. When you simmer it in a liquid, the connective tissue breaks down and becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. That’s why it’s traditionally braised in stock and turned into beef stew.

What Else Can I Make With Stew Meat?

As a rule of thumb, you can use stew meat in any recipe that calls for chopping up and braising chuck or round. Instead of the chuck or round, simply swap in an equal weight of stew meat. Here are some dishes you can make, plus recipes to get that beef cooking.

Beef Chili

Yep, beef chili can be made with ground meat. But when beef is the star ingredient, it makes sense to upgrade it to beef round (aka stew meat). Slowly simmer it with spices and beans and after a couple of hours it'll be succulent and tender. Check out Food Network Kitchen's recipe for beef chili if you're looking for inspiration.



Photo by: Armando Rafael Moutela ©FOOD NETWORK: 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Armando Rafael Moutela, FOOD NETWORK: 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Beef Bourguignon

This classic French dish may have a fancy moniker, but guess what? It's as easy as making — er — beef stew. Only instead of stock, you simmer that beef in red wine and add bacon for extra flavor. For a recipe, we turn to queen Ina Garten.

Co-host Geoffrey Zakarian's dish Beef Stroganoff, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 16.

Photo by: Anders Krusberg

Anders Krusberg

Beef Stroganoff

Look closely and you'll realize that beef stroganoff starts off similarly to beef stew. You brown some stew meat and simmer it with classic aromatics like onions and carrots. The twist comes at the end when you stir in sour cream and cream cheese, then serve everything over buttery noddles. Y-U-M. We have Geoffrey Zakarian to thank for an easy recipe.



Food Stylist: Susan Spungen Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Anna Williams

Anna Williams

Beef Potpie

Move over, chicken. Stew meat makes fantastic potpie. Toss those cubes of meat in a little flour before browning them, and when you add braising liquid and aromatics, the mixture will thicken into silky potpie filling.

6523 F

6523 F

A plate of holla beef enchiladas made with shredded beef and cheeses and smothered with a homemade three chili enchilada sauce.

Beef Enchiladas

You know when you braise a big piece of meat for several hours and it practically falls apart when you stick a fork in it? Well, you can cook stew meat with some tangy vinegar so it does the same thing, then shred it into enchiladas that are going straight into the oven.

Beef Paprikash

Although the Hungarian dish is traditionally made with chicken, other types of meat can be used instead, including lamb, veal, pork and (yep) beef. The dish leans heavily on paprika; try to use a jar you've recently bought for the brightest flavor. Food Network Kitchen's recipe cooks all day long in your slow-cooker.



Photo by: Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

Beef Curry

There's no reason not to toss that stew beef with some curry powder, fresh ginger and garlic and slow-cook it with potatoes, then top it off with naan and quick homemade cilantro sauce. Mosey on over to Food Network Kitchen's recipe if this sounds good to you.

Host Molly Yeh's Goulash with Bread Dumplings , as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 2.

Photo by: Chantell Quernemoen

Chantell Quernemoen


Meet another classic Hungarian dish that relies on stew meat for its rich flavor. Braise that stew meat with tomato paste, chopped canned tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce for wonderful umami flavor. Then do as Molly Yeh does and top off your creation with fluffy homemade dumplings. Get her recipe below.

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