April 13, 2024
Discover the versatility of stews with this guide to making classic beef stew, vegetarian root vegetable stew, slow cooker stew, spicy stew, healthy stew, and exotic stew. Learn about the ingredients, cooking process, and variations to craft your perfect bowl of comfort.

Introduction

Stews are warm, filling, and endlessly adaptable. From classic beef stews to exotic international versions, the possibilities are endless. However, making a stew can be intimidating, especially if you’re not sure where to start. That’s where this guide comes in – we’ll walk you through six different types of stew recipes, from classic to healthy to spicy, and provide tips and tricks to customize them to your liking. Soon, you’ll be a stew-making expert and able to impress your friends and family with a delicious and comforting meal.

Classic Beef Stew Recipe

A classic beef stew recipe is a crowd-pleaser that never fails to deliver both comfort and nutrition. Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds of beef chuck, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 2-3 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Variations:

  • Substitute different veggies based on what you have on hand or what’s in season, such as turnips, parsnips, or mushrooms.
  • Add fresh herbs like rosemary or parsley for extra flavor.
  • For a richer broth, add 1-2 Tbsp of flour to the pot when cooking the onion and garlic, and stir constantly for a few minutes before adding the liquids.

Vegetarian Root Vegetable Stew Recipe

If you’re looking for a hearty vegetarian option, try making a root vegetable stew with lentils or chickpeas for protein.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can of lentils or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato, parsnips, and carrots and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils or chickpeas, vegetable broth, tomato paste, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and the lentils or chickpeas are cooked through.
  4. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Variations:

  • For a creamier texture, stir in 1/2 cup of coconut milk at the end of cooking.
  • Try different types of beans or legumes instead of lentils or chickpeas, such as black beans or kidney beans.
  • Use different veggies, such as butternut squash or beets, for variety.

Slow Cooker Stew Recipe

If you’re short on time or want a hands-off approach to cooking, a slow cooker is your best friend. Here’s a basic slow cooker beef stew recipe that you can customize to your liking:

  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Layer the beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic in a slow cooker in that order.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the beef broth, red wine, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until the beef is tender and the veggies are cooked through.

Variations:

  • Swap out the beef stew meat for chicken, pork, or lamb, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
  • Add different spices or herbs, such as rosemary, turmeric, or coriander, for extra flavor.
  • Throw in some beans, such as cannellini or black beans, for extra protein and texture.

Spicy Stew Recipe

If you’re a fan of heat, try making a spicy stew that will warm you up from the inside out. Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 red chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and chili peppers and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garam masala and cook for another minute.

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