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Beef for stew from Costco

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[OP]
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May 11, 2003
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Beef for stew from Costco

So I've been looking for a good beef to use when I make stew.

Every American cooking show/website says that you should use a chuck roast for stew. In Canada, my understanding is that a blade or shoulder roast is the equivalent. America's Test Kitchen recommends that the roast be well marbled, so that the fat can render and yield a softer beef stew. But I've noticed that the ones that I had been purchasing were very tough, as in almost no marbling. They seem to work and, after cooking (about 2-3 hours), the beef is soft, but definitely not melt-in-your-mouth soft.

I went to Costco to see what they have. They have a bottom blade pot roast (see picture), but the marbling seems to be better. The price is a bit higher at about $6.80/lb, but I've paid more (and less) at stores with decent in-house butchers.

Has anyone tried this for a beef stew?

BTW, numerous websites suggest that short ribs are a very good choice, but they aren't cheap and I really want to understand how to make a solid beef stew.
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May 28, 2012
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Saskatoon
I think that Costco beef roast will be more tender regardless of the marbling since they blade-tenderize it. Plus it's AAA beef. You really can't go wrong with the beef at Costco, give it a shot. Imo, marbling is more important when you are grilling steak.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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+1 short ribs. or Oxtail.
Neither are cheap any more because people have realized they're damn delicious.

Bottom blade pot roast will work in a pinch but it won't be nearly as ridiculously good as the above.
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May 2, 2009
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e-man wrote: I went to Costco to see what they have. They have a bottom blade pot roast (see picture), but the marbling seems to be better. The price is a bit higher at about $6.80/lb, but I've paid more (and less) at stores with decent in-house butchers.

Has anyone tried this for a beef stew?
Yes, I have done this many times. I buy a blade roast from Costco and cut it into stewing cubes.

I'm not sure what cut they use for their pre-cut stewing beef but I find it on the lean side for my taste. So now I cut up a roast myself and have been very happy with the results.

Was at Costco today and was disappointed there was no Prime beef to be found. But did get two very nice pieces of fresh yellowfin tuna. Nicoise salad tomorrow!! With fresh peas instead of green beans.
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Oct 26, 2002
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They have stewing beef already cut up, its ends off everything they cut... so basically its all good, and large pieces. Just reading now what bonterra has said about it... I like it and use it all the time.
That's my 2cents worth
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Aug 22, 2006
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bonterra wrote: I'm not sure what cut they use for their pre-cut stewing beef but I find it on the lean side for my taste.
I can't speak for Costco but most times for everyone else it's just round which is awful for stews.
For me I'd take the 5 minutes it takes to cube beef and use chuck/blade/shoulder/etc.
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death_hawk wrote: I can't speak for Costco but most times for everyone else it's just round which is awful for stews.
For me I'd take the 5 minutes it takes to cube beef and use chuck/blade/shoulder/etc.
Costco uses cut off/end pieces of all the meat they cut.. I know someone who works in the meat department. You get a nice variety I find.
That's my 2cents worth
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Aug 22, 2006
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Keelie wrote: Costco uses cut off/end pieces of all the meat they cut.. I know someone who works in the meat department. You get a nice variety I find.
Even that isn't really acceptable for me for a stew. Different (or should I say random) cuts are a bad thing when it comes to braises. You need something that's fairly fatty and has a lot of connective tissue.
If anything I'd take it and grind it. You'd get good flavor out of it due to the various cuts. You'd probably have to add some fat in though...
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death_hawk wrote: Even that isn't really acceptable for me for a stew. Different (or should I say random) cuts are a bad thing when it comes to braises. You need something that's fairly fatty and has a lot of connective tissue.
If anything I'd take it and grind it. You'd get good flavor out of it due to the various cuts. You'd probably have to add some fat in though...
Yup, definitely confirms that buying a piece of blade and cutting it up yourself is the way to go.

Sirloin trimmings wouldn't be my choice for stew.
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I think its great, always buy it... to each their own I guess
That's my 2cents worth
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Jul 6, 2015
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OP....Stew beef is always on sale at Walmart and No Frills weekly. If you go tonight, you can pick up for reduced rate. I cook with a lot of Beef (kabobs, stew) and also use chicken breast, which was also on sale today for $2.88/lb

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The price of beef has me looking at pork and occasionally veal or lamb for stews, curries, pot au feu etc. I look for shoulder chops, remove meat from bones (going into stock) and substitute for beef.
I am also adding more fibre to stews and curry: prunes, apricots, raisins, canned beans, mushrooms might make an appearance, while I cut back on the beef.
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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tatiyana wrote: OP....Stew beef is always on sale at Walmart and No Frills weekly.
The problem is that stew beef is usually made from round which is AWFUL for stew.
I've never met a stew beef that I would actually use for stew.

EDIT: I should quit telling people this because stuff like short ribs and oxtails are already damn near more than steak.
I don't want my chuck going up too.
Sr. Member
Nov 4, 2006
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Based on what's regularly available in the counter at Costco, I think Brisket would be your best choice for making beef stew. Otherwise, as others have mentioned, short ribs, oxtail, blade roast, etc from other butchers is the best.
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shutterbug wrote: Get yourself a pressure cooker. You'll get super tender beef from the cheapest cuts.
A pressure cooker can't fix marbling though.
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May 19, 2003
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Marbling only does 2 things. Tenderness and flavour. Pressure cooker takes care of the tenderness. Flavour isn't going to make much difference in a stew
where your taste is predominantly from wine, herbs, stock, etc. This isn't a steak where you can taste the fat melting in your mouth.
death_hawk wrote: A pressure cooker can't fix marbling though.
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Aug 22, 2006
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shutterbug wrote: Marbling only does 2 things. Tenderness and flavour. Pressure cooker takes care of the tenderness. Flavour isn't going to make much difference in a stew
where your taste is predominantly from wine, herbs, stock, etc. This isn't a steak where you can taste the fat melting in your mouth.
Marbling does affect texture though. Otherwise I'd be using round in a stew over short ribs.
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death_hawk wrote: Marbling does affect texture though. Otherwise I'd be using round in a stew over short ribs.
Non marbled beef killed in a pressure cooker comes out dry like a stringy mop.

Marbling FTW
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AudiDude wrote: Non marbled beef killed in a pressure cooker anything comes out dry like a stringy mop.
This is basically the reason I don't buy stew meat since most places it's round.
With a chuck I can control the marbling for each piece.

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