How to: Easily Thaw Beef

Making Italian Stew

February 4, 2016

If you are one of the many consumers who still fear the idea of buying and using frozen meat, you are not alone. With so many versions and methods for defrosting, the idea of using frozen meat can be a bit intimidating. The good news? It’s actually extremely simple and, when done properly, will not in any way take away from the delicious flavour of VG Meats. Want proof? Try this recipe for Italian beef stew with stewing beef, formerly known as “frozen”.

The advantages of buying frozen are many. At VG Meats, not only do we take the time and care to properly freeze our products, we additionally use our frozen packages and weekly deals as a way to offer great savings to our customers. We flash freeze and portion package to make meal planning easy & delicious.


To thaw meat, the best and safest way to do so (and easiest) is to simply take it out the night before, place frozen packaged meat on a plate, then store it on the lowest shelf in the fridge. This will prevent any drippings or cross-contamination with other foods and ensure your meat is ready for use the next day. Yes, it does involve a bit of planning, but it is the safest and easiest way to get fresh, safe and delicious meat.


The recipe: Using my defrosted stewing beef, I made what might be one of the tastiest beef stews I have ever tasted. Simple, yet flavourful, this beef is full of tender beef and delicious, warming flavours like sage and rosemary.


First things first: I gathered by ingredients and began to prep. I took my defrosted beef from the fridge, patted it dry with a paper towel and coated it in some flour. This step ensures that the beef get a nice browning in the pot as well as helps to thicken the stew as it, well, stews. Once you are all set, get a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat and coat with a bit of oil, then add your beef, working in batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd your meat. You want to brown all sides of your stewing beef pieces and then put them aside in a bowl.


Once your beef has browned and is out of the pot, throw in your diced pancetta, onions, carrots and celery. Stir them well and help them mix into the delicious beefy oil in the bottom of your pot. Add your minced garlic and a dash of pepper. Keep stirring frequently until your veg and pancetta have begun to soften and smell fragrant.


Now you want to add in your vino; a good cup of your favourite drinking wine will do. The wine will add flavour as it evaporates, as well as help you remove the delicious flavour bits on the bottom of your pot (be sure to use a wooden spoon to help the process). Stir that in and let it simmer out a bit. If you don’t want to use wine, feel free to substitute with more broth.


Add in your rosemary, sage, tomatoes and broth to the pot, as well as return your meat. The liquid should just cover the contents of your stew and your house will officially smell incredible. Bring your stew to a boil then place the lid and turn down to a simmer. You want this to gently bubble away for a good hour and a half, stirring intermittently to make sure nothing is sticking the bottom.


Now that you are starving and going crazy to eat this stew, you have one more step to go but trust me, it’s worth it. Take the lid off your pot, and let the stew simmer a way 45 minutes longer. As it near its cooking time, throw in your parsley and capers and then you are done.

A hearty stew, full of tender, delicious beef and no one will ever know it used to be frozen.

Happy MEATing!