When a recipe says to brown meat (e.g., beef cubes as the first step to making a stew), exactly how brown do they mean? That has always confused me.
I know you're not supposed to crowd the pan, because then the meat steams instead of browns. And I know that the brown stuff that sticks to the pan (incorporated when deglazing the pan) is what ultimately contributes a lot to the flavor.
What I don't know is should the meat be browned just enough until the red disappears on all sides, or should I be browning to get a crust on all sides, or something in between?