Prime grade beef is the absolute highest quality beef available, graded by the USDA. This is a very rare, and thus very expensive, only averaging about 3% of all carcasses. The beef has very minor, but a good amount of fat running through the meat, resulting in an amazingly juicy and tender cooked piece of meat.
Beef for stew may be cut from chuck, brisket, rib, or plate. It usually consists of meaty pieces, cut into one-inch or two-inch squares and containing various amounts of fat. Beef for stew is usually prepared by braising or by cooking in liquid.