Stew cooked in 2 sessions?

Getting home after work at 7 ish means no week-night beef stews for me, but I reckon I could get prep and an hour of slow oven cooking in on night one, followed by refrigeration and another hour and a half on night two. Am I asking for trouble, bug-wise?

I sometimes just sous vide 8 hours overnight and put in fridge. When I’m home in the evening, I just warm it up and its ready. Sous vide might be relevant here?

as everyone already knows, in beef stroganoff, the beef is cubed and the braise is just 1 hour. The beef is very soft and not tough.

Similarly, in many Chinese braised dishes, the braise is just an hour or 1.5.

I think in both cases, it’s because the tough cut of beef (like chuck/shoulder) is cubed so it cooks and tenderizes faster.

I think either method in the above works. Please let us know how the twice cook beef method worked out for you.

If you refrigerate and finish cooking the next day, I am sure that there will be no spoilage issues. There are recipes that call for raw meat to be marinated overnight, for example, with no ill-effects.

No. I don’t think.
I am in situation much like you. The other option is to use a thermal cooker. In short, it is a pot which can be put inside an insulator to maintain the temperature – to allow continue cooking. I find mine to be very useful.

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observe the ‘no long kept at under 140’F’ - i.e. allow to cool but then into the fridge - and you’ll be okay.

I have multiple from scratch dishes - stews, chili,chicken noodle soup, etc, that I intentionally do a day ahead. the overnight and reheat melds the flavors seriously more better than same day.

Thanks for the input so far my friends.

Equipment based suggestions are welcome and totally valid, but I can’t really use them as I’m in my 4 nights a week work provided rental bug hutch in central Madrid. This is fine, but the little kitchen has only the basics!

Anyway, the dish in question was more of a beef/tomato/wine ragu than a stew. I’ve just eaten it over Gragnano pappardelle, and I’m still alive!

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It’s only 30 minutes since you ate it. Isn’t that a bit early to assess the situation?
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Just kidding (if that wasn’t obvious)! I’m sure you’ll be fine.

I don’t know a stew/curry/chili/whatever-that-simmers-in-a-pot that isn’t better the next day.

As long as you it cool to a reasonable temperature that won’t make your fridge sweat inside, and immediately place into the fridge, you’re good. Reason is, for me at least, you’d be bringing it up to boil to get things going again.

That’s why I love the winter… you can quickly cool stuff off just by placing it outside with a lid (and maybe a brick depending on what animals are nearby!).

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It is not safe to cool large pots of hot food. You must move the food to smaller vessels. It is safe to put small amounts of food in the refrigerator hot.

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/Can-you-put-hot-food-in-the-refrigerator

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As food safety requires that you not cool large amounts of food, it seems like more work to partially cook the stew, divide it into small containers, refrigerate it, move it back to a pot to finish cooking than it would be to fully cook the stew on a day off work then reheat on subsequent days. Also you can cook a big pot of stew and freeze it in single portions.

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/Can-you-put-hot-food-in-the-refrigerator

Good advice, but it was 2 portions, so not a large pot, and I sat it in a sink full of cold water to cool off before refrigerating. My crude mechanical meat thermometer had it down to room temperature in 30 minutes.

My days off work are rarely spent in my work-provided city centre apartment. I leave direct from my office on Friday, head to my family home for the weekend, and return on Monday evening.

:):slight_smile: I actually posted during the second cook. 07.00 here now and still breathing!

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@RobinJoy you might enjoy a pressure cooker for this… I made a lot of stews in an instant pot over the pandemic, and they were excellent.

Cooks in an hour or so, eat when you wish - no second round of cooking required. And an overnight rest fills in the flavor gaps between fast and slow / oven cooking.

(At home I just use a stove-top PC.)

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Even working from home I don’t always get a chance to start braises/soups/stews.

Just last night I had some stew beef but didn’t turn my computer off til 6 pm. The InstantPot to the rescue! Browned off some shallots and the beef, then added some dried shiitake (no fresh in the fridge) a bottle of Guinness, carrots, potatoes, herbs, and a dollop of tomato paste.

40 minutes later (the perfect time for a glass of wine and to talk about the day) a lovely beef stew was tender and tasty.

Leftovers for lunch today!

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am unclear why you don’t cook it all in one session? stews and braises are always better after “curing” a day or 2 in the fridge.

less washing up, etc.

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I don’t get home from work until about 7. Maybe I could have something on the table by 9.30, but that’s just too late for me.

No crock pots in Spain?

Family home yes, weeknight basic apartment, no. Also I’m not chopping onions and browning beef at 07.00!

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Then dont. Prep it the night before, and put it in the fridge.

Dump it in the slow cooker in the morning, hit start, and go about your day.

Instant pot or pressure cooker
Slow cooker.

Cook it thoroughly the night before and refrigerate.

There are .multiple ways to do this without the spectre of contamination.

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I’m not buying a pressure cooker, crock pot, or instant pot to keep in the modestly sized kitchen of the apartment where I feed solo on Tue, Wed, and Thurs evenings. My solution using the basic equipment in the rental works fine, so I was really just seeking views on whether this was dumb.

A change from the style food I prepare in my fairly short evenings (normally a rotation of curry, pasta, salad and grill) is good for the soul!

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