Stewing over the change in season
September 5, 2007 9:52 AM   Subscribe

It's September, and (this morning, at least) it feels like fall is on its way. There's nothing I like more as the weather gets colder than a hearty bowl of stew. Can you suggest some delicious stews I might not have tried before?

I have my standbys: classic beef & root vegetable stew, chili, chile (yes, there's a difference), chicken & dumplings, Italian pork & sausage stew; however, I'm always looking for something new, or some variation or technique tip I may not have thought of.
posted by dersins to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 108 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend made Sausage and Lentil Casserole for me last week and it was freakin fantastic.
posted by spec80 at 9:58 AM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Spanish chickpea stew.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 9:58 AM on September 5, 2007

Caldeirada De Peixe. Easy and very versatile. There are a ton of varying recipes out there, it's a case of just trying a few. On a more traditional note..Cassoulet.
posted by fire&wings at 10:00 AM on September 5, 2007

I make caldo verde really thick like a stew, and it's good in the fall. So is beef (or lamb) stew with apricots. Typical basic recipe.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:03 AM on September 5, 2007

i make a really delicious moroccan tagine: you brown lamb and then stew it with onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, black olives, apricots, figs, zucchini, eggplant and chicken stock (or veal stock).

for seasoning, ras al hanout, if you can find it. if not, cayenne, turmeric, a teeny dash of clove, a teeny dash of nutmeg and/or cinnamon, a bit of fennel, salt, and pepper. add a little honey for sweetness and orange zest to garnish. sever over rice or couscous.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:05 AM on September 5, 2007 [2 favorites]

caldo verde reminds me a little of the Spanish soup Caldo Gallego, which is also quite delicious.
posted by jquinby at 10:10 AM on September 5, 2007

I make bouef bourguignon many many many times over the course of winter. Its wonderful over boiled or mashed potatoes or potatoes gratin. Pair it with a red from bourgogne and i'm in heaven. Also, i'd cook with a bottle of decent bourgogne as well (dont cook with something you wouldnt drink!). Its a fantastic dinner party stew as well, mine always goes over very well.

The recipe can be a little intimidating. The one i've linked is a good recipe, but there are certainly other ones with short cuts that are still just as tasty. Also, the picture they've listed looks disgusting. My bourguignon is always a beautiful deep red color (from the wine) and the meat just falls apart. Yum.

I've used both burgandy and bourgogne. I highly recommend the bourgogne over the burgandy.

Any recipe that uses a bottle of wine in it is a good one in my book. :c)
posted by modernsquid at 10:15 AM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Try amping up any beef stew with short ribs on the bone - carbonnade-style with Belgian beer, bourguignon-style with wine, plain ol' beef stew - it's my favorite cut for stewing. The texture is a lot more satisfying than that of chunked up chuck or whatever, and the bones/connective tissue add a lot of character to the broth. You'll definitely want to skim scrupulously, though, or make a day ahead and chill so you can lift off the giant cap of fat that will form.

Speaking of short ribs, a really good kalbi jjim is about the most satisfying thing you can eat on a cold day. Rich and hearty, a little sweet, garlicky and oniony - good stuff.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:31 AM on September 5, 2007

This is one of my favorites:
Hangover Soup

Also a good Guinness stew never fails to fill.
posted by xorry at 10:43 AM on September 5, 2007

I really think that risotto -- once you learn that you don't have to stir it all damned day -- is a great stewlike cold weather meal. You can feed it to vegans if you need to, it's great with crusty bread, a super way of sopping up leftovers, and makes the kitchen smell good. This is my current favorite recipe almost no-stir saffron risotto.
posted by jessamyn at 10:48 AM on September 5, 2007

Lamb and Artichoke stew.
posted by Gungho at 10:52 AM on September 5, 2007

We've always got a pot of chili colorado handy in the wintertime
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:56 AM on September 5, 2007

Goulash is also really nice.

2 lb. beef chuck
1 tsp. salt
2 onions, white or yellow
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
2 bay leaves
1 Qt. water
4 peeled and diced potatoes
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cut beef into 1 inch squares, add 1/2 tsp. salt. Chop onions and brown in oil, add beef and paprika. Let beef simmer in its own juice along with salt and paprika for 1 hr. on low heat. Add water, diced potatoes and remaining salt. Cover and simmer until potatoes are done and meat is tender.

I prefer to brown the beef in the oil, then deglaze the pan with white wine, then proceed as per the recipe. Yummy!
posted by LN at 10:58 AM on September 5, 2007

I'm from New Orleans and one of my favorite cold weather meals is Red Beans and Rice. Now, you can make it loaded with bacon and tasso ham and andouille sausage, which is delicious and has its place. I like this recipe I've developed over the years as much, though, and it has half the fat and sodium, and fewer calories, too.

1 pound of dry red kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
5 slices of turkey bacon
1 pound of turkey kielbasa, cut in 1/4 inch rounds
4 tbls olive oil
2 bay leaves
6 to 8 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 tbls dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of worchesteshire sauce
half large yellow or vidalia onion, diced
half large green pepper, diced
half large red pepper, diced
2 scallions, chopped
4 gloves of garlic, sliced thin
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 to 4 cups water
1 tbls white or yellow miso paste
fresh ground black pepper

In a cast iron dutch oven (7 quarts or more), brown your turkey bacon in 1 to 1.5 tbls of olive oil over medium low heat. Remove when browned thoroughly. Dice and set aside.

Add an additional 1 to 1.5 tbls of olive oil to your pot. Brown your sliced turkey kielbasa for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. Deglaze your pot with about a quarter cup of chicken stock and pour drippings over your reserved turkey kielbasa. Wipe your pot out with a wet paper towel.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your pot . Saute your onions, green and red peppers, green onion, and garlic until softened, about 1 minute. Add worchesteshire sauce and tomato paste. Saute for about 1 minute more. Add several twists of black pepper and 1/4 tsp of cayenne. Saute for 30 seconds more. Add red beans, thyme, bay leaves, half your parsley, remaining chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, reduce heat to low, and cover tightly. Allow to cook for one hour, covered.

After an hour, check your liquid level. Beans should be covered with about a 1/4 to a half inch of liquid at all times until they begin to absord liquid and soften. Add more water, if necessary. Add half your kielbasa and 3 chopped turkey bacon slices to your pot. Cover and allow to simmer for an hour and a half to two hours. Check your liquid level periodically and test your beans for doneness. Beans should be very, very soft and have developed a chunky, velvety, rich consistency when done. Depending on your beans, this process may take over three hours.

When beans are very soft and have broken down sufficiently, add remaining kielbasa and chopped bacon, remaining parsley, and miso paste and stir until miso is completely dissolved. Check seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper and remaining cayenne to taste. Allow to cook for about fifteen more minutes uncovered. Turn off heat and let stand to allow heat to dissipate - the flavor will be much more nuanced and complex if allowed to cool down a bit, around 15 minutes.

Serve over white or brown rice. Particularly good with brown basmati, in my opinion. Also great with a green salad and a toasted sourdough drizzled with good olive oil and rubbed with garlic cloves.

A note on salt - Ive found it's best to hold off on adding too much salt until after you've added your miso paste. Feel free to add more salt at the last, if desired. Lastly, watch for thyme stems and bay leaves, and know that this recipe is even better the second day.

posted by TryTheTilapia at 11:20 AM on September 5, 2007 [5 favorites]

Why not try Japanese hot pot?

My favourite would have to be kimchee kaki nabe.

It's useful to have a cassette table top burner - you should be able to get these at your local Chinese or Japanese grocery.

You'll need a big stoneware pot.

Get some dried kelp and cook in water with some salt. This will be your broth.

Chop up bite-sized bits of Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, and nira (kind of like an onion). Add to the pot to cook. Put in tofu cubes, too. Be sure to add kimchee sauce. Put in some oysters. Use a ladle to serve into small bowls. Serve with beer, and keep adding stuff as the night goes on.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:20 AM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ah, let me also plug this book: Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Br. Victor D'Avila-Latourrette. Most of the recipes are fairly simple, and they're organized by month so as to make best use of seasonal ingredients.
posted by jquinby at 11:36 AM on September 5, 2007

Birria is one of my favorites. You want to use goat for this, even if you don't technically have to.

Also, in a similar vein to KokuRyu's suggestion, I recommend sukiyaki. I'd put a lot more onions in it--big, tender slices of white onion--then this recipe calls for, however.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:28 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Chicken Chili with Pesto
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 1:02 PM on September 5, 2007

You have seen the monster winter soup thread, yes?
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:59 PM on September 5, 2007

Carbonnade, a Belgian beef stew with caramelized onions and beer. I've got to make myself some soon.
posted by Herkimer at 6:27 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

How about Oyster Stew?

I like to add a bit of white wine and fresh thyme to mine, and I use heavy cream instead of half and half. Season with white pepper and serve with crusty bread. Simple and amazing!
posted by solongxenon at 8:22 PM on September 5, 2007

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