Slow-cooked stew helps warm up a cold night

Published 10:33 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon

 

Something’s comforting about an easy to prepare stew that simmers stovetop during the day but is then ready at suppertime on a cold winter night. There’s nothing more satisfying than a slow-cooked combination of meats and vegetables simmering for hours in a richly seasoned, flavorful sauce. This one-pan meal known as the stew is a classic and straightforward dish but earns a high rating for heartiness and gastronomical satisfaction.

Best of all – you don’t have to be a culinary chef to make a good stew.

A stew is defined by the process – one of low heated simmering over a long period in a covered pot. The slow simmer is key to transforming the stew meat into meat that will fall apart with your fork.

To make your stew even better, brown your meat first, which will add depth of flavor to your stew. Do this in a hot skillet, and when finished, add ½ cup of wine, meat broth, or vegetable stock, and scrape away the tiny bits of meat from the pan, a process called deglazing. You will want to add every drop of this to your stew for its added flavor.  Don’t forget to add a bone or a few pieces of pork rind for even more flavor.

Any stew is delicious served over noodles or served alongside steamed white rice that has soaked up the meat juice. To go along with your stew, bake up some hot and spicy, buttered cornbread in a cast iron skillet which will round out the meal to a satisfyingly warm and hearty supper.

SLOW OVEN BEEF STEW

1 ½ pounds chuck roast, cubed

1 cup chopped celery

4 chopped carrots

3 chopped potatoes

1 diced onion

½ cup fresh bread crumbs

20 oz. can whole tomatoes

1 Tbsp. salt

2 Tbsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. minute Tapioca

3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp. Oregano

Mix all ingredients in a baking dish. Cover very tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 250-degree oven for 5-6 hours. The slow oven is the key to this stew’s good taste so don’t hurry the stew.

QUICK ‘N EASY STEW

2 pounds stew beef

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 pkg. dry onion soup mix

1 10 ½ oz. can condensed mushroom soup

2 cups of water

4 peeled, quartered potatoes

8 sliced carrots

1 10 oz. pkg. cooked, drained, frozen peas

1 10 ½ oz. can beef broth

3 stalks chopped celery

½ cup chopped green pepper

Cornstarch (optional)

Brown stew meat in oil. Add onion soup mix, mushroom soup, and water. Simmer on stove for 20 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and simmer for 3 hours. Add peas, broth, celery, and green pepper. Simmer 40 minutes. If you desire more thickening, dissolve some cornstarch in a ½ cup of broth and then add to pot.

LAMB STEW

1 ½ pounds lamb shoulder meat, cubed

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 chopped onion

2 peeled, chopped carrots

15oz. can drained garbanzo beans

½ cup chicken broth

½ cup tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

10 oz. pkg. spinach leaves

Sprinkle lamb with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat olive oil in large pot. .Add lamb and saute 10 minutes until brown. Add onion and carrots and saute 5 minutes. Add beans, broth, tomato sauce, and lemon juice. Simmer for 1 hour at medium-low heat or until lamb is tender. Add fresh spinach to the stew. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, while stirring, until spinach wilts. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside rice if desired.

PORK STEW

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 pounds country-style pork ribs, cubed

2 cups regular Coca Cola

6 minced garlic cloves

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. peeled, chopped fresh ginger

1 bunch chopped green onions

Salt and pepper

Heat oil in large pot. Add half of the pork and saute 8 minutes until browned. Set aside, and brown remaining pork. Return pork to pot. Pour cola into pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Add garlic, soy, ginger and half of onions and simmer covered for 50 minutes until pork is tender.  Uncover and simmer 10 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining fresh onions.

HAM AND COLLARDS STEW

1 chopped onion

3 stalks chopped celery

8 oz. lean ham steak

1 tsp. vegetable oil

14 oz. can chicken broth

29 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 pound washed, chopped fresh collards

3 16 oz. cans pinto beans

In a deep pot, saute onion, celery, and ham in hot vegetable oil for 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes, greens, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in beans and simmer while stirring for 10 minutes.

VEGETARIAN STEW

2 tsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

½ tsp. of coriander, and crushed caraway seeds

1/8 tsp. ground cumin, and ground red pepper

1 minced garlic clove

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash

1 cup peeled, sliced carrot

¾ cup peeled, cubed Yukon gold potatoes

1 pound peeled, chopped turnips

15 ½ oz. can drained garbanzo beans

1 ½ tsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp. spice paste

¾ tsp. salt

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 tsp. sugar

1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous

2/3 cup vegetable stock

In a large pot, heat oil. Saute onion for 5 minutes. Add all spices and garlic next. Cook 1 minute. Add 3 cups broth, squash, carrot, potatoes, turnips, beans, spice paste, tomato paste, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and sugar. For couscous, remove 2/3 cup liquid from squash mixture and add to 2/3 cup vegetable stock. Stir in couscous. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff. Serve stew over couscous.

MARINADE FOR STEW MEATS

2 thinly sliced onions

1 sliced carrot

2 stalks chopped celery

1 garlic clove

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. thyme

2 bay leaves

12 black peppercorns

2 cloves

2 cups red wine

½ cup salad oil

Mix and pour marinade over stew meat. Refrigerate at least 24 hours. Remove meat from marinade.  Can be used for any meat.

GOURMET VENISON STEW

Bundle of celery, parsley, bay leaf, thyme

½ cup olive oil

1 cup diced salt pork

1 chopped onion

2 sliced carrots

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

½ lb. sliced fresh mushrooms

2 Tbsp. flour

1 garlic clove

2/3 cup red wine

Water

Salt and pepper

Trim fat from venison and cut into 2-inch cubes. Marinade for 24 hours using the above recipe. Strain marinade and reserve. Make a bundle of herbs by typing them in cheesecloth. Set aside for later use. In hot oil, brown salt pork and add onions. When browned, add carrots and sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook until browned. Remove from pan, drain and set aside. Saute mushrooms in the same pan. When brown, remove, drain and set aside. In same pan, brown stew meat. Sprinkle with flour, and cook until flour is browned. Add garlic, wine, herb bundle, reserved marinade, and water to cover the meat. Simmer at least 1 hour until tender. Add the reserved salt pork, onions, carrots, and mushrooms and simmer 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

ROOT VEGETABLE BEEF STEW

8 oz. bacon cut in 1-inch pieces

5 pounds beef chuck, 1 ½ inch cubed

Salt and pepper

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 plus 4 Tbsp. olive oil

2 pounds thinly sliced onions

6 chopped garlic cloves

¼ cup red wine vinegar

3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

2 -14 ½ oz. can beef broth

3 cups dark beer (Guinness)

½ pounds peeled carrots, cut in 2-inch lengths

1 ½ pound peeled parsnips, in 2-inch lengths

¾ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 bay leaves

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

Cook bacon in a large pot about 6 minutes until crisp. Drain. Retain ¼ cup of bacon drippings. Place beef in a bowl and sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Add beef to the reserved drippings and brown, adding oil by the tablespoon as needed. Transfer beef to a bowl. Heat 4 tbsp. oil in the same pot. Add onions and garlic and saute 5 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar while stirring 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Return beef to pot, add bacon and any remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer about 1 ½ hour while occasionally stirring until meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

VEAL STEW

2 pounds cubed lean, boneless, veal

Salt, pepper, nutmeg

Flour

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. salted butter

1 cup dry white wine

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 beaten egg yolk

Sprinkle veal with salt, seasonings, and flour. Heat oil and butter in a pan. Brown veal, a few cubes at a time. Remove as browned. When all are brown, return to pan and add wine, lemon juice, and cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stir a small amount of pan juice into egg yolk. Stir into juices that remain in pan for a rich sauce. Serve over noodles.

FAVORITE BEEF, PEA AND POTATO STEW

1 pound cubed, lean beef stew meat

Salt and pepper

6 Tbsp. salted butter

1 chopped onion

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. garlic salt

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

32 oz. beef broth

3 peeled, sliced carrots

14 ½ oz. can yellow corn

14 ½ oz. can whole tomatoes

1 large potato, cubed

1 ½ cup cooked, frozen peas

Salt and pepper the beef. In a large pot, melt butter. Saute the beef in butter for 15 minutes or until browned. Set aside the meat. Then add onion and saute in butter until done. Stir in the flour and garlic powder, salt and minced garlic. Add salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add broth and carrots, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes.  Return meat to pot. Cover with water just until covered. Simmer covered about 1 ½ hour or until meat is tender. Add the peas and simmer just until heated.

CHURCH CROWD STEW

10 pounds chuck roast

10 pounds pork roast

12 pounds stewing hens

2 pounds dry white beans, soaked overnight

1 Gallon fresh butter beans

5 pounds sliced onions

1-gallon fresh corn

½ cup of salt

¼ cup black pepper

2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

3 Gallons fresh or canned, peeled tomatoes

Salt meats and cook in water until tender. Cool, then deskin, and debone hens. Cut all meat into 1 ½ inch cubes and return to broth. In a large pot of water, cook white beans, butter beans, and onions until tender but firm. Add corn, salt, and peppers. Cook 30 minutes on medium heat while stirring. Add tomatoes and cook 30 more minutes. Add meat and broth to the cooked vegetables. Makes 8 gallons or 96 servings. Can be frozen. Can be made with fresh or frozen vegetables.