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How to Sear Roasts and Stew Meat

Is pan searing meat really worth it? You bet cha! Pan searing is vital when cooking roasts or making beef stews. First the high heat creates a wonderful caramelized brown crust that gives the meat a nice texture. Second the left over burnt bits in the pan are scraped up using juice, broth or wine and then added to the roasting pan with the roast, soup pot or crock pot to increase the flavor.

You can sear just about any type of beef, poultry, pork or seafood. Searing is not meant to fully cook the meat. When searing beef and seafood steaks in addition to chicken breast and pork chops, it is important to note that you will need to finish cooking the item at a lower heat. You can sear steaks on a grill by creating a higher temperature on one side of the grill and a lower temperature on the opposite side. When the steak is caramelized move it to the other side to continue to slowly cook. This method for cooking beef steaks can be done on the stove by covering the pan with tinfoil or a lid and turning off the heat. For items such as chicken, pork or tuna steaks ideally you can turn the heat down or place the pan in a 350 degree heated oven for 5-8 minutes or until no longer pink. When using the stove to oven method make sure the pan you intend to use is oven proof. My favorite pan to use when grilling or searing is a cast iron skillet. Cast Iron skillets hold the heat in better and distribute it more evenly. Non-stick pans are not recommended as they are not meant to with stand the high heat required for searing.

This tutorial will guide you through the basics of pan searing a roast and stew meat.

— Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

— Heat a skillet over high heat.

— Season the meat with salt and pepper or any desired seasoning. (For stew meat dredge seasoned meat in flour coating well.)

— Add enough butter or vegetable oil to lightly coat the bottom of the skillet. (Avoid olive oil because it smokes to much at high temperatures.) When the oil ripples and runs like water when the pan is tiled the pan is hot enough to add the meat.

— Let the meat sit in the pan for a few minutes to allow the meat to caramelize. When the meat is initially placed in the pan it will have a fast high pitched sizzle. Check the meat when you start to hear the sizzle slow down. If it looks caramelized, nice and browned, then it is time to turn it. Use tongs to turn the meat browning all the sides. (Sear stew meat in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan.)

— After the meat is removed turn the heat off. Carefully pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup liquid in pan. Deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the burnt bits off. Use the broth to flavor the roast or stew or as a sauce.