Hot answers tagged beef
Your best choices would be top sirloin (#1 choice), tenderloin, or one of the other (less expensive) sirloin cuts. Those cuts will be tender, flavorful, and without pockets of fat or gristle to mar the appearance of your dish. I don't recommend round because I simply don't like its flavor. Using round in this application might be one of the best ...
Tough beef becomes tender because the connective tissue breaks down into gelatine in the presence of heat and moisture. This can be sped up considerably using a pressure cooker, so that's your solution. There are considerations to this: a pressure cooker that could take 15 lbs of skirt steak all at once would be very large, hard to handle, and possibly ...
Try cooking on low instead of warm (or at a higher temperature, maybe 185-195F, with your fancy crock pot), and make sure you really got good stew meat. I would expect the beef to have been reasonably tender after that long if it were the right kind of cut - certainly not inedibly tough, even if it weren't all the way done due to the lower temperature. But ...
I will shamelessly steal @Jolenealaska's thunder and recommend velveting your meat as a means to protect against overcooking. This is a great method to bring meats just up to temperature, and is a very traditional preparation for stir-frys. Should work nicely with your Hunan Beef.
Marinading should help a great deal, especially a good long marinade. The only other thing you can do is make sure not to overcook the beef. Cutting against the grain doesn't guarantee tenderness any more than any other method will, it just helps, so don't worry too much.
Lamb meat is tougher and more fatty than your typical beef roast. 2 cups of red wine is a lot of acidic liquid and that can eat away at the meat as to tenderize it. Your mother may be right, some beef stock to thin out the alcohol may in fact do the trick. Also, rotating the roast would be a good idea as well since a beef roast will dry out at the top ...
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