Stews: Not Simple & Boring

Filed in Gather Food Essential by on September 20, 2006 0 Comments

Stews: Not Simple & Boring

Stews are often described as boring or simple fare. Not so! Stews are heary, delicous & anything but boring.

Stew Defined
A stew is a common dish made of vegetables, meat, poultry, or seafood cooked in some sort of broth or sauce. Differentially the line between stew & soup is very fine but stew’s ingredients are cut to larger pieces & retain much of their individual flavor. Stews have a thicker broth, are more coarse in texture & stew is eaten as a main course than a side dish or starter course.

Stew History
Stewing has been in cuisines for a long, long time. Recipes for regional stews, such as gumbo, burgoo, bouillabaise, Brunswick stew chili became popular & common during the 19th century. They have only increased in popularity during the 20th. & now 21st. centuries.

Written records of stews go back as far as written cookbooks. Going back even further, there is a plethora of archaeological evidence from primitive tribes who survived into the 19th. & 20th. centuries, that they boiled foods together thus aminga  stew. Amazonian Indian tribes used the shells of turtles in which they boiled turtle entrails & organs with various other ingredients.
Other cultures used the shells of large mollusks such as clams as vessels in which to boil foods. Archaeological evidence of these practices goes back 8,000+ years & more.

Herodotus wrote of the Scythians who “put the flesh into an animal’s paunch, mix water with it, and boil it like that over the bone fire. The bones burn very well, and the paunch easily contains all the meat once it has been striped off. In this way an ox, or any other sacrificial beast, is ingeniously made to boil itself.” It is surmised that this was how some of the first ‘boiling’ was done by primitive man, maybe 500,000+ years ago & more.

Man’s development of pottery approximately 10,000 years ago is what made stews in particular easier. Hungarian Goulash dates back at least to the 9th century Magyar herdsmen well before the existence of modern Hungary. Paprika was added in the 18th century.

Famous & Well Known Stews

    Bouillabaisse, a fish stew from Provence.
    Brunswick stew of Virginia & the Carolinas
    Burgoo, a Kentuckian stew
    Caldeirada fish stew from Portugal
    Carne Guisada, a Tex-Mex stew
    Cassoulet, a French bean stew
    Cawl, a Welsh stew
    Fabada Asturiana a Spanish stew
    Feijoada, Brazilian or Portuguese bean stew
    Goulash Hungarian stew
    Irish lamb stew
    Curry, Indian & Southeast Asian curries are stews
    Chili an American
    Kaoribana a Japanese seafood stew

Stews are known formtheir heartiness, variety of tastes, variety of ingredients & for being one of the more healthy combinations of ingredients. These delicous culinary concoctions are easy to make, easier to eat & always a safe bet for a filling & pleasing meal.

                                        Stew Recipes

Tex-Mex Chicken Stew
Categories : Tex-Mex, Maindish, Stew, Poultry
Yield: 4 servings

1 ea bunch green onions chopped
2 ts olive oil
2 c s shredded cooked chicken
1 ea 15 oz can pinto beans drained
1 ea 14.5 oz can mexican style  stewed tomatoes undrained
1 3/4 c  chicken broth
1 c  corn niblets frozen
1/2 c  green chiles seeded & chopped
1 tb chile powder
1 tb cumin
1/2 cup cilantro fresh chopped

Saute’ green onions in olive oil in for 2 mins.
Stir in chicken, corn,chiles,beans, tomatoes, cumin & chile powder.
Bring to a slow boil.
Cover pot & reduce heat.
Simmer 10 mins.
Stir in cilantro.

Manny Cortez, El paso-TX, circa 1995

Cuiso De Maize – Corn Stew
Categories : Mexican, Ethnic, Vegetable, Sidedish
Yield: 6 servings

2 tb olive oil
3/4 c  ham chopped
2 ea  chorizo sausage sliced 1/8″thick
1 ea onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 c  drained & chopped tomatoes
3 tb tomato sauce
3 tb cooking sherry
3 c  chicken broth
1 ea potato peeled & cubed 1/2″
1 c  peeled butternut squash in 3/4″chunks
4 c  corn niblets fresh or frozen
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tb chopped parsley

Heat oil over med-heat.
Fry ham until crisp.
Reduce heat to low add chorizo, onions, garlic & pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.
Add tomatoes, broth, sherry, potato &  squash.
Cook covered for 20 mins.
Add corn, salt & pepper then cook, partially covered for 15-20 mins.
Serve in bowls as a side dish.

Manuala Gutierrez, Santa Fe-NM, crica 1993
Eesti (Estonian) Beef Stew
Categories : Beef, Ethinc, Estonian, Baltic, Maindish
Yield: 6 servings

2 lb Boneless beef chuck cubed 1/2″
2 tb Vegetable oil
1 ea Onion minced
2 ts Ground ginger
1 tbsp Coriander ground
1/4 ts Dried thyme
1/4 ts Nutmeg ground
1 ts Salt
1/4 ts Coarse black pepper
1  1/2 c  Beef broth
2 c   Carrots cut to 1″ pieces
2 ea Parsnips  cut to 1″ pieces
1 1/2 c  Rutabaga peeled & cubed 1/2″
1 lb New red potatoes peeled & cubed 1/2″
2 tb Chopped fresh Parsley

Heat 1 tb oil in a 5-qt. Durch oven on med-high heat.
Add 1/2 of beef then cook until browned on all
Transfer beef to a platter.
Repeat with remaining oil & beef.
Reduce heat to medium.
Add onion & cook 10-12 minutes..
Stir in ginger, nutmeg & coriander.
Cook 30 secs.
Add enough water to beef broth to equal 3 cups.
Return beef to Dutch oven.
Stir in beef-broth mixture, salt, pepper & thyme.
Bring to a on high heat.
Reduce heat to low then cover & simmer 1 hr. until meat is almost fork-tender.
Skim fat from liquid in Dutch oven.
Add carrots, parsnips, rutabaga & potatoes.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low then cover & simmer for 30 mins. until vegetables & meat are
Garnish with parsley.

Mikela Turaare, Tallinn-Eesti, circa 1998

Rita’s Beef & Onion Stew
Categories : Stew, Maindish, Southern
Yield: 6 servings

1 1/2 lb beef stew meat
all purpose flour as needed
1/4 c  butter
3 c  diced onion
1 ea garlic clove minced
1 1/2 c  beef broth
1 tb cider vinegar
1 tb balsamic vinegar
1 tb tomato paste
3 ea bay leaf
2 ts salt
1 ts lemon pepper
3/4 ts dried thyme

Heat butter ina large Dutch oven.
Dredge meat in flour.
Brown in butter in Dutch oven.
Add onion
& garlic then cook, for 10 mins. while stirring.
Add beef broth, vinegars, tomato paste & seasonings.
Cover then simmer for 90 mins.
Serve over potatoes, rice or noodles.

Rita Salerno, Arlington-TX, crica 1999

Fabada Andalusiana – Andalusian Beef Stew
Categories : Spanish, Ethnic, Beef, Stew, Maindish
Yield: 6 servings

1 1/2 lb round steak cubed 1″
2 tb  butter
2 ts olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 ts thyme
1 ea bay leaf
1 ea onion stuck with 3 cloves
3 ea green onions cut to 1/2″
2 ea slices bacon cut diced 1/4″
2 1/2 c  beef bouillon diluted
2 tb Dry red wine
1 1/2 c  mushroom caps
1/2 c  sliced black olives
1 tb lemon juice fresh
1 lb of flat noodles cooked & buttered

Brown meat lightly in butter & olive oil for about 5 mins.
Add beef bouillon, salt & pepper, thyme, bay leaf,
onion with cloves, bacon & green onions.
Cover then simmer for 2 hrs.
Stir every 30 mins.
Add sherry, mushrooms, lemon juice & olives then cook
for 30 mins. more.
Serve wover cooked noodles.

Maria-Elena Batista, Cordoba-Spain, crica 1992

Ukrainian Pork Rib Stew
Categories: Ethnic, Ukrainian, Stew, Pork, Maindish
Yield: 6 servings

2 ea rack pork ribs
3 lb potatoes cubed 1/2
3 ea carrots sliced to 1/2″ rounds
2 ea onion chopped
1 c  cherries dried & pitted
Salt & pepper to taste
Water as required
1 tb flour

Fill alrge pot with ater & bring to a boil.
Wash ribs & cut to 3 rib sections.
Place these into a large pot.
Add carrots, potatoes & onions to pot.
Boil for 5-6 mins.
Reduce heat add flour, stir then allow to simmer for 1 hr.
Stir every 10 mins.

Dr. Tamara Yavrotabov, Kyiv-Ukraine, circa 1997

Off Zeytum – Morrocan Stew of Chicken w/ Olives
Categories: Chili, Poultry, Fruit, Jewish, African, Maindish
Yield: 4 Servings

3 lb Chicken pieces
1/2 ts Cinnamon
1/4 ts Ginger
1/2 ts Tumeric
1 1/2 ts Kosher salt
1/2 ts Ground black pepper
1/2 c Olive oil
1 ea Onion chopped
4 ea Garlic cloves peeled & chopped
6 ea Pickled lemons *
1/3 c Chopped parsley
1 1/2 c Water or 50%-50% water &
Chicken stock
1 c Green olives – soaked in
Water for 1/2 hour
2 tb Curry powder
1/2 c Chopped Serrano peppers
1 tb Cornstarch
Chopped parsely
Shredded Serranos

Limonim Hamoutzim are basically salted drained lemons with lots of paprika covered in oil then left for 3-4 weeks. Substitute lemons with Indian Pickled Limes washed, drained then add 1 Tb paprika & allow to rest for 1 hr.

Dry chicken pieces with paper towels.
Combine spices, salt & pepper then rub into chicken pieces.
Set aside for 10 mins.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet & brown chicken
on each side.
Put aside on plate when browned.
Saute chopped onion & garlic in olive oil.
When transluscent stir in
parsely, chiles,curry & 50/50 mixture of water & stock.
Bring to boil.
Add chicken then cover & simmer gently for 40-45 mins.
Add lemon & olives.
Cover & simmer for a further 10 mins.
Remove chicken & place on serving dish
Deposit olives & lemon place over chicken.
Mix cornstarch with 2 tb ice water.
Thicken remaining liquid with cornstarch mixture.
Pour over chicken & garnish with chopped parsley & Serrano peppers.
Serve over rice.

Noura Benzael, Tangier-Morroco, circa 1991

Stewed Lamb/mutton – Tushenaya Baranina
Categories: Ethnic, Lamb, Maindish, Meat, Kazakh
Yield: 6 Servings

2 lb Lamb or mutton lean & boned
2 tb Vegetable oil
1 tb Tomato paste
1 c Cabbage shredded
1 ea Onion med. sliced
2 ea Carrots sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 ea Garlic cloves minced
1/2 ts Cinnamon ground
4 ea Potatos chopped 1/2″ cubes
1 c Green peas
2 c Beef broth
Sour cream as desired*

Optional ingredient

Heat oil in a large deep pot.
Cut meat into stew sized pieces
Fry in oil until browned along with garlic & onion.
Add the other ingredients & 1 cup of beef broth.
Simmer until done.
Add more broth if necessary.
Garnish with sour cream if you wish.

Dr. Raisa Murdalgenek, Almaty-Kazakhstan, circa 1995

Yuletide Oyster Stew w/Buttery Croutons
Categories: Holiday, Seafood, Stew, Maindish
Yield: 6 Servings

2 c Cubed stale bread
1/4 c Butter melted
2 tb Grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 c Butter
1/4 c Chopped onion
1 c Carrots shredded
1 lb Fresh shucked oysters un-drained
1/4 c All-purpose flour
2 c Milk
2 c Whipping cream
1 tb Worcestershire sauce
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Pepper
Fresh cracked pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 deg-F.
Toss together all crouton ingredients in small bowl.
Place onto un-greased baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, for 7-10 mins until browned. Set aside.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in 3-qt saucepan.
Add onion, Worcestershire sauce, carrots & un-drained oysters.
Cook over med-heat, stir occasionally.
When edges of oysters curl & vegetables are crisply tender remove oysters & vegetables with slotted spoon to set aside.
Gradually whisk flour into liquid in pan until smooth.
Continue cooking until bubbly.
Gradually stir in milk, cream, salt & 1/4 ts pepper.
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil.
Add oysters & vegetable mixture.
Continue cooking for 2-3 mins.
Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with croutons & cracked pepper.

Matt & Heidi Hartmuth, Hempstead-NY, circa 1999

Satsuma Jiru – Miso-Flavored Pork & Vegetable Stew
Categories: Japanese, Stew, Ethnic, Asian, Pork
Yield: 6 Servings

1/2 lb Boned Pork 1/4″ Dice
1 ea Section Canned Konnyaku
1 ea Gobo*
1 ea 1″ Slice Daikon
4 oz Aka Miso
1 ea Green Onion
1 lb Pork Neck Bones
2 ea Shiitake
1 ea Medium Carrot
4 oz Sweet Potato diced 1/4″
1 ea Hichimi Togarishi

Optional ingredient

Cut Konnyaku into strips 1/4″ wide & 2″ long.
Peel Carrot & cut into strips 2″ long & 1/4″ wide.
Cut Daikon into strips 1/4″ wide & 1″ long.

Make In Adbvance:
Bring 3/8 pt of water to boil & drop in diced pork.
Cook for 10 mins.
Cover pork bones with 2 1/2 pt cold water, bring to boil uncovered.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 mins. strain broth.
Set aside pork and broth.
Bring 3/8 pt water to boil and drop in Konnyaku, return to boil, & set aside.
Steam Shiitake for 4 minutes, discard stalks, slice caps into strips.
Peel gobo to make 3 tb of peelings, discard root.

Drop Konnyaku into pan of pork broth & bring to boil over low heat.
Add carrot and Daikon strips and raise heat.
Bring to full boil, add sweet potato & mushroom strips.
Skim off foam.
Cook for 5 more mins. & with back of a spoon, rub in miso in through a strainer.
Stir in Gobo.

Transfer soup to a large serving bowl, sprinkle onions over the top, & add spice.

Ayako Komosura, Sapporo-Japan, circa 1994

Hungarian Barley Stew
Categories: Hungarian, Diabetic, Ethnic, Stew, Beef
Yield: 8 Servings

1 1/2 lb Beef stew meat cubed ?”
3 c Water
2 tb Vegetable oil
2/3 c Barley
1 ea Garlic clove mince
1 1/2 c Chopped onion
28 oz Canned whole tomatoes undrained chopped
1 tb Paprika
2 ea Beef bouillon cubes
1 tb Sugar
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Caraway seed
Sour cream as needed

In 4-qt saucepan or Dutch oven, brown meat in oil.
Add onion & garlic.
Cook until onion is tender then drain.
Stir in remaining ingredients except sour cream.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low & cover.
Simmer 45 -50 mins. until meat & barley are tender.
Stir occasionally.
Top each serving with a large dollop of sour cream.

Lazlo Budtor, Budapest-Hungary, circa 1994


The Southern Heritage Soups & Stews Cookbook
By: Southern heritage Cookbook Library

Savory Stews
By: Mary Savage

International Stews & Soups
By: Evan Hunter & Maeve O’reilly

The Complete Book of Soups & Stews
By: Bernard Clayton, Jr

About the Author ()

Viet Nam vet with the usual baggage but mine is now packed away. Public health specialist & medical anthropologist have worked all over the globe, most recent work since 1988 in the former Soviet Union (now the CIS/NIS) & based out of Flo

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