Whenever I try cooking chopped beef for stews or curries, I can't seem to get it right: It always comes out too tough and tastes like dog food.
I usually get beef labeled "for stir fry" or "for stew". It comes pre-sliced, and it seems like it's pretty good quality.
I pat it with paper towels to get excess liquid off, season with salt and pepper (like one would with a steak), put it in a pan over medium high heat with oil until it turns brown. At the end of this, I try tasting and it comes out inedible.
Is there some trick to cooking beef like this - is the important thing here how long it's cooked, or the seasoning, or how lean the beef is? Or is it a combination these?
In response to comments: I live in the southern US. I buy meat from the supermarket; the quality has been very good for steaks and burger patties, but with stew beef I am somehow having this issue. I haven't tried just buying a good steak and chopping it up myself, I'm asking here about beef that is already chopped in the package.