What cut of beef should I use for a beef stew? I heard that you want a little bit of fat in the meat, but what part the animal is best to use?
Assuming a long, cooked stew. I cut up a well marbled chuck steak usually and chuck is what I'd recommend. You want enough fat that as the stew cooks long, the fat will render and leave nice, tender meat. Too lean and you're left with boiled shoe leather.
If you want a quicker stew, use a leaner cut of meat like sirloin. It will have a lot of flavor but you shouldn't cook it long at all. A fatty cut in a short stew will end up very fatty and often tough (with a cheaper cut like chuck).
Stew is a dish which is actually well suited for inferior cuts of beef. The 'quality' of superior cut is easily lost in a stew. The typical butcher's case will offer a collection of "stew meat" which is the fattier trimmings from various cuts. Marinade it in beer and then slow cook it and the meat will deliver great flavor for you.