Q: I just bought a side of beef for the first time. I came home and noticed that I have several packages labeled as "boiling beef." Is this the same as stew meat? Or is this something that I should just treat as scraps and use for making stock? Also, I received the soup bones and am looking forward to making my own beef stock for the first time! But I've never done this before — how do you make your own beef stock?
Sent by Christi
Editor: Christi, yes, boiling beef is basically beef for stew. The word "boiling" is deceptive, though, since meat really shouldn't be boiled. (It will get tough.) After browning the meat and adding liquids, bring to a light simmer then reduce the heat so that it is just bubbling every now and then. This will give you the most tender meat; true, hard boiling will make meat stringy and tough. (Too much heat!)
As far as stock is concerned, we don't have a good beef stock recipe here, but consult the chicken stock recipe (very similar) and also we'll ask the readers: what would you do with boiling beef, and what's your method for making beef stock?
(Image: Butchers Hook)