Since cut-up beef is particularly vulnerable to bacteria, it should always be cooked to an
internal temperature of 160°F (70°C).
To create stir-fry pieces yourself, cut beef in thin slices against the grain. Thin slicing
is easier if you first put the meat in the freezer for ten minutes so it is partly solidified.
For the stir-fry process, heat a small amount of oil in a wok or skillet over medium or
medium-high heat and cook the meat in batches, stirring and tossing until the beef is no
There are two methods for making stew. Brown stew calls for meat pieces that are first
browned in oil. In “white stew” or blanquette, the pieces are cooked in liquid
without the initial browning. Browning the meat caramelizes its outside surfaces, and is
thought to give the stew a richer taste.
To brown-stew, heat a heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add oil. Working in
batches, brown all sides of pre-cut beef cubes. Add cooking liquid and seasonings and simmer
until beef is fork-tender, 1 to 2 hours. To white-stew, simply skip the browning and cook the
meat in liquid and seasonings until tender.
Cut beef into uniform cubes or strips. If using cuts from the round, marinate the cubes for
several hours or overnight. Marinades are seasoned liquids containing tenderizing ingredients,
either acidic foods such as lemon juice, wine,
vinegar, and tomato juice, or natural tenderizers such as pineapple, papaya, or ginger. Place the kabob beef in an acid-resistant
container and add marinade, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup (59.1–118.2ml) for each 1 to 2 pounds
(0.45–0.90 kg) of meat. Turn to make sure marinade touches all the meat surfaces, cover,
and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Marinades can be used in
making sauce that will be broiled, but never consume marinades that have come in contact with
raw meat unless they have been thoroughly cooked.
Thread kabob meat on skewers and place directly over the heat source. Grill 8 to 18
minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat.
Buying and storing tips
Look for stir-fry, kabob, or stew meat that has a clear, red color. Beef is normally a
purplish-red color, but when exposed to oxygen it takes on a cherry-red hue known as the
“bloom.” While the exterior is bright red, the interior of the meat retains this
darker color. Vacuum-packed beef also shows this purplish color.
Packaged meat should be cold and the packaging free of punctures or tears; vacuum-packed
meat should have its seal intact. Check the label for the “sell-by” date and make
sure to buy it on or before that date.
Store stir-fry, kabob, or stew meat in its original packaging in the coldest part of the
refrigerator, where it will keep for 2 to 3 days. It may be frozen in this packaging for up to
two weeks. For longer storage, wrap the meat in heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer paper, or
freezer bags. This beef will keep 3 to 4 months in the freezer. Defrost meat in the
refrigerator, allowing 12 to 24 hours, depending on the amount. Cook as soon as possible after
The best stir-fry beef comes from tender cuts such as sirloin tip, eye of round, strip
loin, T-bone, or rib-eye steaks.
The best stewing beef comes from well-marbled meat that is tough and full of connective
tissue, which will deliver a richer taste when broken down by long cooking. Good stew meat
come from the chuck and the round.
Kabobs turn out best when made with moderately tender beef such as sirloin tip round
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good
source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes
only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult
your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any
supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications.