Quarantine Cooking: An Introduction to Stew
Though the art of Stewmaking has few rules, any stew worth remembrance is likely a tight balance of vegetables, herbs/spices, liquid, fat, and sodium. Making good stew is a simmery sensation understood in kitchens across the world. Interested in learning to stew? Let me help you.
Let’s start with vegetables. Just about any vegetable can be stewed, but some of the more popular and economical options are potatoes, carrots, celery, and squash. But these options can usually be determined by your own region. When I shop for stews, I tend to purchase whichever vegetables are in abundance and cheap!
My vegetable for this stew will be garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, chayote, and cassava.
Fat sources don’t have to come solely from meat! Most oils contain fat and will bring richness to and silkiness to your stew
My source of fat will be smoked bacon (on sale at my local market!)
The herbs and spices you choose can take your stew from decent to dream-worthy. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
For my herbs/spices I’ll be applying Turmeric, Chili, Seven Spice, Cardamom, and Oregano
1. Let’s begin by cooking our meat. I’ve chopped my bacon into small cubes to be sauteed in a heavy-bottomed dutch oven
2. Sautee until brown, but not burnt. Remove and cover your meat to be used later
3. In the same pot, we will add our onion and garlic
5. Sautee in your fat source (ill be using bacon fat, but any neutral oil will work well)
6. The onion and garlic will begin picking up the deep bacon flavor, add your spices
7. Continue to sautee slowly (this part smells amazing) until your onion is translucent and spices have fried sufficiently
8. Time for Vegetables! I’ve cubed my veggies so they are all roughly even
9. Add veggies to the pot and fill with liquid (broth or stock is best) but ill be using good ‘ol H2O
10. Ensure your liquid is high enough to cover all your veggies! I’ve added a sprig of fresh rosemary to add another depth of flavor.
11. Add salt, and simmer for as long as you can bear to wait! Taste every hour or so. Season accordingly.
12. Time to eat! I’ll be serving this stew with rice, topped with bacon, rosemary flowers, crumbled cheese, and parsley. Feel free to top with any fresh herbs you have!