The humble stew is the most versatile cooking pattern: no wonder that every cuisine around the world has their own iconic stews to show off.
I don't know about you, but I'll happily admit that I hardly ever get tired of some sort or other of stew - the variations on the theme are literally endless!
A stew is one of the most versatile cooking patterns you can use in the kitchen: no wonder that every cuisine around the world has their own iconic stews to show off. And if you look more closely, even the most exotic sounding stew, is actually 'just' a stew: they all follow the same basic pattern!
They all feature their own local twists, of course, in terms of ingredients and/or preparation, but they are just tweaks on the same simple pattern:
Stews are closely related to soup (more soupy = more liquid) and sauce (more condensed, meant to be eaten over something else cooked separately). In a stew everything is cooked together - the perfect one pot dish!
We could look at a lot of examples - from the most common to the most exotic - and still find that they all fit that pattern. Here is just a few to illustrate the concept, including some of my regional favourites:
Greek celery stew
Usually involving pork (a winning combination) but there are many variations. The sauce is often refined with egg & lemon. (I will share more about this favourite dish of mine some other time.)
Balinese pork stew
The twist: the spiced meat is baked first, before being simmered in a sauce. A flavour turbo charge! (Check out the details in this post)
Featuring pomegranate & walnuts. This sounds very exotic yet it closely follows the 'stew' pattern - it's the local ingredients that make all the difference. (More about it here)
To stew or not to stew? For me the answer is a resounding yes! What's your favourite stew?