Stew meat refers to beef cuts that are commonly used for making stews and braises. These cuts come from the chuck, round, and sirloin areas of the cow. Stew meat is usually sold pre-cut into 1-inch cubes to make it easier to cook in moist heat cooking methods like braising and stewing. When looking to buy stew meat, most recipes will call for around 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of meat which translates to 16-24 ounces. If a recipe calls for 4 ounces of stew meat, this would be equivalent to around 1 cup of 1-inch cubed pieces. Knowing how much 4 ounces of stew meat is can ensure you purchase and prepare the right quantity for your recipe.
How Many Pieces in 4 Ounces of Stew Meat?
Since stew meat is sold pre-cut into 1-inch cubes, the number of pieces in 4 ounces will depend on the weight of each cube. Generally, 1-inch stew meat cubes weigh around 1 ounce each. This means that 4 ounces of stew meat would contain approximately 4 cubes. However, there can be some variability in the exact weight of each piece based on the fat content, density of the meat, and precision of the butchering. A rough estimate would be 3-5 cubes to make up 4 ounces.
Volume and Dimensions of 4 Ounces of Stew Meat
In addition to the number of pieces, the volume and dimensions of 4 ounces of stew meat can also be useful measurements to understand.
– 4 ounces of stew meat is equivalent to roughly 1 cup in volume. Since the pieces are 1-inch cubes, they take up this cup measurement when packed together.
– Each 1-inch stew meat cube would measure approximately 1 inch wide, 1 inch long, and 1 inch deep.
– For 4 cubes this would mean the dimensions would roughly be:
– Width: 1 inch
– Length: 4 inches (the length of 4 cubes)
– Height: 1 inch
So 4 ounces of stew meat would take up about 1 cup in volume and have dimensions of a 4x1x1 inch rectangular shape.
Weight and Size Comparisons
Lighter Objects Weighing 4 Ounces
To give a sense of scale, here are some examples of other common lightweight kitchen items that also weigh about 4 ounces:
– 1/4 pound of butter (1 stick)
– 4 ounces pasta (dry)
– 4 ounces russet potato (1 small potato)
– 4 ounces chicken breast (1 small boneless breast)
Heavier Objects Weighing 4 Ounces
And some common dense ingredients around the same weight:
– 4 ounces sweet potato (about 1/2 large sweet potato)
– 4 ounces flank steak (a thin 3×3 inch piece)
– 4 ounces salmon fillet (1 inch thick slice)
So 4 ounces of stew meat represents a medium weight amount, falling between lighter ingredients like butter and heavier dense foods like sweet potato.
Price of 4 Ounces of Stew Meat
The price of stew meat can vary greatly depending on the cut, quality, and where it is purchased. Here are some general price estimates:
– Grocery Store: $2 to $4 for 4 ounces of stew meat
– Butcher Shop or Specialty Market: $3 to $6 for 4 ounces of stew meat
– Online or Delivery: $6 to $10 for 4 ounces of stew meat
These are approximate ranges, but generally 4 ounces of stew meat will cost $2 to $10 depending on the source. Sales, discounts, and buying in bulk can affect the pricing as well.
How Many People Will 4 Ounces of Stew Meat Serve?
When determining how many people 4 ounces of stew meat will serve, it depends on a few factors:
– Stew type – Some heartier stews with less liquid call for more meat per serving than brothy stews.
– Serving sizes – Standard servings are around 4-6 ounces of total stew per person.
– Other ingredients – More vegetables, potatoes, etc can supplement a smaller amount of meat.
Here are some estimates based on typical stew recipes:
– Hearty beef stew: 4 ounces meat would serve 1 person
– Brothy beef stew: 4 ounces meat would serve 1-2 people
– Stew with lots of veggies/potatoes: 4 ounces meat would serve 2 people
So in most cases, 4 ounces of stew meat will provide a full serving for 1 person or a light serving for 2 people when supplemented with other ingredients. For a group, 1 pound of stew meat is a safer amount to ensure decently sized servings.
Dishes You Can Make with 4 Ounces of Stew Meat
While stews and braises are the most common uses, you can make other dishes with 4 ounces of stew meat as well. Some ideas include:
– Beef Bourguignon
– Beef Chili
– Beef Carbonnade
– Pot Roast
– Beef and Barley Stew
– Beef and Guinness Stew
– Beef Stir Fry with Vegetables
– Beef and Vegetable Soup
– Vietnamese Beef Pho
– Beef Tacos or Nachos
– Shepherd’s Pie (as part of the filling)
– Beef empanadas
– Beef tamales
– Beef stew meat over rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta
So 4 ounces of stew meat is very versatile beyond just stews – you can make full meals, sides, appetizers, sandwiches, and more. The key is cutting the meat small or thinning it out with other ingredients.
Nutrition Information for 4 Ounces of Stew Meat
The nutrition information for 4 ounces of stew meat will vary slightly depending on the exact cut of beef. However, here are the approximate totals for a 4 ounce serving:
Saturated Fat: 4.5g
Iron: 3mg (15% DV)
Zinc: 5mg (30% DV)
As you can see, 4 ounces of stew meat provides a good amount of protein at 24 grams. It also contains highly bioavailable heme iron, and minerals like zinc. The fat content is moderate at 12 grams – less than other fattier cuts like ribs or brisket. Overall, stew meat offers high quality nutrition in a 4 ounce portion.
How to Cook 4 Ounces of Stew Meat
Cooking 4 ounces of stew meat is easy, just follow these simple steps:
– 4 ounces stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
– 1 tablespoon oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Other seasonings like garlic, thyme, oregano, etc.
1. Pat the stew meat cubes dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Once hot, add the meat cubes in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd. Sear on all sides until well browned, about 2 minutes per side. Work in batches if needed.
3. Transfer the seared meat cubes to a slow cooker or dutch oven. Add your choice of sauce or braising liquid like beef broth, tomatoes, red wine, etc.
4. Cook low and slow either on the stovetop or in the oven at 300°F until meat is fall-apart tender, 2-3 hours.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Then serve and enjoy your perfectly cooked stew meat!
Tips for Buying and Storing Stew Meat
Follow these tips when selecting and storing stew meat:
– Look for meat that is evenly cut into 1 inch cubes. Avoid pieces with lots of large chunks of fat or sinew.
– Choose stew meat with good marbling for more flavor and tenderness. Leaner cuts can become tough.
– For maximum freshness, use stew meat within 4-5 days of purchasing. Freeze for longer storage.
– Place unused stew meat in an airtight container or freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible.
– Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator (bottom shelf) for up to 4 days.
– For freezer storage, wrap well and freeze for 3-4 months. Thaw in the fridge before using.
Following proper storage methods will ensure your stew meat stays fresh and ready to use when needed.
Is stew meat the same as cubed steak?
No, stew meat and cubed steak are different. Stews meat comes from shoulder/chuck cuts while cubed steak is made from round roasts that are tenderized with a mallet. Cubed steak has a flaky texture that wouldn’t hold up well in stews.
Should I flour stew meat before browning?
It’s optional, but flouring stew meat before browning can help create a nice fond on the bottom of the pan for making sauce. Use about 1-2 tablespoons flour per 1 pound of meat. Make sure to shake off any excess before browning.
What’s the leanest cut for stew meat?
Top round and eye of round are the leanest cuts typically used for stew meat. However, due to the lower fat, they can become tough if overcooked. Chuck has more marbling which helps it stay tender.
Can I use stew meat for kebabs or skewers?
Yes, just cube the stew meat into smaller 1/2 inch pieces so it cooks fast and stays tender when grilled. Marinate the meat well and thread onto skewers with veggies for tasty beef and veggie kebabs.
Whether you have a recipe calling for 4 ounces of stew meat or just need to know how much meat to buy at the store, understanding the quantity, serving sizes, cost, and cooking methods for those 4 ounces can be extremely helpful knowledge to have on hand in the kitchen. Now that you know all about how much meat makes up 4 ounces and how far it will go in different dishes, you can purchase and portion stew meat with confidence for all your favorite recipes.