I am not sure Mother Nature has gotten the memo yet. It’s already March. I should be making spring-type dishes instead of beef stew! But I figured this would be a good a good opportunity to talk about two of my favorite cuts of beef: bottom round and chuck.
The bottom round is just that – from the rump and hind legs. Because that is a muscular area used for movement, it’s super lean, but also less tender. And depending on where you live, it can also be called bottom round oven roast, bottom round pot roast, bottom round rump roast or round roast.
The chuck roast is from the cow’s shoulder, also a muscular part of the animal, which gives it a great beef flavor, but can also be tough if not cooked correctly. The chuck is also awesome to grind for burgers. This call also be labeled as chuck eye roast, chuck pot roast or chuck roll roast.
I have two schools of thought on these cuts – either cook fast and furious over high heat to medium rare or rare, or low and slow. I’ve done chuck roasts steaks on my grill that taste just like ribeye steaks at a fraction of the cost.
I also slice bottom round super thin and add that in the last 60 seconds of making stir fry – super tender!
The Chopping Block has produced a free guide on butchery at home which discusses the different types of cuts in beef, as well as pork, fish and poultry. Download it here.
But this weekend, with temps that feel like it’s the beginning of January instead of March, beef stew will be perfect for Sunday supper and leftovers for lunch during the week. Cook once, eat for days – that’s my motto for not only keeping my weekly grocery budget in check, but also staying on track during the week if life gets busy.
2 pounds of chuck roast or bottom round (or a combo of both like I did), cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon favorite BBQ seasoning
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup of red wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon corn starch
1-pound carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 stalks celery
1-pound baby potatoes, quartered
Heat stock pot with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Cut beef up and put in a big bowl or container, and toss with the salt, pepper, BBQ seasoning and flour, tossing to coat until the flour is absorbed.
In batches, sear the beef over medium low heat. You just want to get some caramelization on the beef, you aren’t cooking it all the way through. Add the second tablespoon of oil as needed. Once you’ve cooked all the beef, set aside.
In the same pan, add the garlic, celery, tomatoes, and wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to get all that goodness. Mix the corn starch with the beef broth and add that to the pot. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the celery is fork tender.
Using a stick blender, blend the broth until smooth. Add the seared beef, the carrots and celery and cook over low heat for an hour.
Serve with crusty bread – you’ll want to soak up this delicious gravy!
If you are dreaming about summer like I am, be sure to sign up for one of the first grilling classes we are hosting at our Lincoln Square location.
And if beef isn’t your deal, check out our Meatless Monday class in our Merchandise Mart Location.
3/18/19 Meatless Monday