I never use “packaged stew meat” since you are getting a mixture of all kinds of “Schriem” from the butcher or should I say you really don’t know what you’re getting. Most of the time they cut up tough meat. You must use a marble textured (fatty) meat, such as Flanken or a Marbleized Chuck. That will solve your problem! Let me know the results. Have a good Shabbos and Enjoy
PS – The sauteing of the meat adds a better taste to the cholent.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.