A good braise or stew of beef or pork always starts the same way: by browning the meat. This isn’t just to give the meat a jump-start on cooking (although surely it helps) — it also adds that intense seared flavor that is so important to a delicious stew.
The only problem is the mess. Your cast iron pan is overcrowded with hunks of beef and a flurry of fat is spattering the stovetop as you try to monitor both the beef and the vegetables you’re sautéing at the same time.
But there’s a really easy way to brown your meat without making such a mess on your stovetop: roast it.