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Beef Stew

A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers and tomatoes etc.), meat, poultry, sausages and seafood. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, wine, stock, and beer are also common. Seasoning and flavourings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature (simmered, not boiled), allowing flavors to mingle.

Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method. This makes it popular in low-cost cooking. Cuts having a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may easily become dry.

Stews may be thickened by reduction or thickened with flour, either by coating pieces of meat with flour before searing, or by using a roux or beurre manié, a dough consisting of equal parts of butter and flour. Thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot may also be used.

Stews are similar to soups, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Generally, stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat. While soups are almost always served in a bowl, stews may be thick enough to be served on a plate with the gravy as a sauce over the solid ingredients.[1]

Highland stew, a common Cantabrian dish.

Contents

History

Lamb and Lentil Stew

Stews have been made since prehistoric times. Herodotus says that the Scythians (8th to 4th centuries BC) "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 stripped off. In this way an ox, or any other sacrificial beast, is ingeniously made to boil itself." Some sources consider that this was how boiling was first done by primitive man, perhaps as long ago as ½ to 1 million years ago.[citation needed]

There is evidence that primitive tribes boiled foods together as a prelude to mating rituals[citation needed]. Amazonian tribes used the shells of turtles as vessels, boiling the entrails of the turtle and various other ingredients in them. Other cultures used the shells of large mollusks (clams etc.) to boil foods in[citation needed]. There is archaeological evidence of these practices going back 8,000 years or more.[citation needed]

There are recipes for lamb stews and fish stews in the Roman cookery book Apicius, believed to date from the 4th century. Le Viandier, one of the oldest cookbooks in French, written by the French chef known as Taillevent, has ragouts or stews of various types in it.[citation needed]

Hungarian Goulash dates back to the 9th century Magyar shepherds of the area, before the existence of Hungary. Paprika was added in the 18th century.[citation needed]

The first written reference to 'Irish stew' is in Byron's 'Devil's Drive' (1814): "The Devil ... dined on ... a rebel or so in an Irish stew."[citation needed]

Types of stew

In meat-based stews, white stews, also known as blanquettes or fricassées, are made with lamb or veal that is blanched, or lightly seared without browning, and cooked in stock. Brown stews are made with pieces of red meat that are first seared or browned, before a browned mirepoix, sometimes browned flour, stock and wine are added.[citation needed]

List of stews

Sundubu jjigae, a Korean spicy stew made of soft tofu.

See also

References

External links

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also stew

Contents

English

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Stew

Plural
-

Stew

  1. A diminutive of the male given name Stewart.

See also

Anagrams


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