I'm making beef stew in a cast iron dutch oven for the first time. I have some stewing meat, and have oiled the bottom of the dutch oven.
The problem is my cast iron dutch oven is a small size, so that the meat was a bit crowded. Still I made sure that all the sides looked brown.
My question is when people "brown" beef stew or cubed beef for stews. Is this actually really cooking it, or is it more for a searing flavor?
Taste aside, will my beef be safe to eat if I leave it on low simmering for 2 hours (is "simmer" even enough to cook it?). I'm using 2 hours because that's what the stew seasoning told me to do.