It's a fair bet that your favorite butcher is trying to tempt you with the meat cubes he regularly packages for your convenience. If you're ready to take the bait but are uncertain how to prepare these nuggets, know that the meat is most likely stew meat or round steak. Such cuts benefit greatly from slow and easy cooking in a slow cooker, perhaps enhanced by onions, mushrooms and a light sauce.
1 Brown the meat cubes before placing them in the slow cooker, if you prefer. Pull out your skillet, heat some vegetable oil and brown the cubes on both sides. For even tastier meat, dredge the meat cubes in a little flour seasoned with salt and pepper before browning them.
2 Set your slow cooker on the desired temperature. Most slow cookers are equipped with two settings -- “low” and “high.” As a general rule of thumb, the “high” setting will cut in half a “low” cooking time. So while it may take about eight hours to tenderize the meat cubes on a “low” setting, the slow cooker will do the same job in about four hours on the “high” setting. Don’t forget to stir the cubes every 90 minutes or so to ensure that they cook evenly.
3 Pour a little beef broth inside the slow cooker, then set the meat cubes inside. Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper and maybe some onion powder. To enhance the flavor of the meat, you may add a small, chopped onion and minced garlic. To round out the meal, add a heaping handful or two of other vegetables, such as green beans, carrots or mushrooms. Stir all of the ingredients together.
4 Make a sauce for your slow-cooked meat cubes for a strong finish. Thicken 1 cup of beef broth with a little flour on the stove or use a brown gravy mix. Either way, add the hot sauce to the meat cubes during the last 30 minutes of slow cooking. Whip in a little sour cream if you want a rich and creamy sauce. To make it look like you fussed over a hot stove all day, sprinkle the meat cubes with parsley and serve atop a pile of creamy egg noodles.
Items you will need
- Meat cubes, such as stew meat or round steak cubes
- Vegetable oil
- Flour, optional
- Beef broth
- Onion powder
- Chopped onion and minced garlic, optional
- Chopped vegetables, such as green beans, carrots or mushrooms
- Brown gravy mix, optional
- Sour cream, optional
- Egg noodles
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