Stewing: Method and Recipes

Methods | Stewing Image

When chunks of meat, seafood or vegetables are slow-simmered in a flavorful liquid brew, the result is a warming, comforting dish called a stew. Slow, moist cooking is the best way to tenderize tough cuts of meat (which happen to also be the most flavorful). Stews are also a great way to use up leftovers. And speaking of leftovers, most stews are more flavorful the next day.

Image Creative Commons by adactio

Stewing Recipes

Boeuf à l'Haïtienne

Ingredients | Red Bell Peppers

(Haitian beef with tomatoes and peppers)

This simple, flavorful dish is characteristic of the Haitian love of tasty meat and vegetable dishes. Boeuf à l'haïtienne tastes even better if served the next day. Read more »


Soups | Bogracsgulyas Image

(Hungarian beef and pepper stew)

Bográcsgulyás (boh-GRACH goo-YAHSH), or goulash, is one of the classics of Hungarian cuisine. Variations of this basic dish are popular throughout Central Europe. Bogrács is Hungarian for "kettle", and gulyás was originally the word for "cowboy." Today goulash refers to both the herdsmen and the stew they first cooked in their kettles. Read more »


Soup | Bredie

(South African lamb stew)

Bredies are simple, traditional South African mutton stews in the Cape Malay tradition. The most popular are green bean bredie, tomato bredie and cabbage bredie. A basic bredie recipe is listed here, with the more common variations below. (Tip: A bredie will always taste better served the day after it is made.) Read more »


Soups | Caldereta Image

(Filipino beef stew)

Caldereta is a comforting beef stew popular in the Philippines. Every family has its own version. Experiment with the ingredients and try different vegetables. Read more »


Soups | Carapulcra

(Peruvian pork and freeze-dried potato stew)

Modern Peruvian cuisine has several dishes with ancient roots in Incan culture, and carapulcra is one of them. Carapulcra is a thick stew made with meat and the freeze-dried potatoes called chuño, or papa seca. Read more »

Cerdo con Frijoles

Ingredients | Beans, Black Image

(Mexican stewed pork and black beans)

Wild boar, or cerdo, was traditionally used in this typically Mayan dish from southern Mexico. Epazote is an herb that is almost always used to flavor black beans in the Yucatán. You can substitute bay leaf. Read more »

Ewa Dodo

Ingredients | Black-Eyed Peas

(Nigerian black-eyed pea stew with plantains)

Black-eyed peas (ewa) and plantains (dodo) are staple foods in Nigeria. Ewa dodo is a spicy, stewy combination of black-eyed peas and often fish served with a side of fried plantains. A Nigerian favorite, ewa dodo makes a nutritious and filling meal. Read more »


Soups | Feijoada Completa

(Brazilian pork, beef and black bean stew)

Feijoada, or feijoada completa, is Brazil's national dish, a lusty meat and bean stew slow simmered and traditionally served as a Saturday afternoon meal. A true feijoada should contain pork, beef, and sausages, with at least one smoked item. Read more »


Soups | Gumbo Image

(American Cajun-Creole meat and shellfish stew)

Gumbo, one of the most famous of Cajun-Creole dishes, acquired its name from quingombo, a Congolese word for okra. It came about through a fusion of French, African, Native American and Spanish influences in early Louisiana cuisine. Read more »


Soups | Harira Image

(North African lamb and chickpea stew)

Harira is a soup from the Maghreb region of North Africa that is especially popular as an iftar meal to break the daily fast during Ramadan. There are innumerable variations of this hearty, healthy soup, but most recipes are for chunks of lamb slow simmered with tomatoes, chickpeas, spices and herbs. Read more »


Soups | Hkatenkwan, Groundnut Stew

(Ghanaian chicken and groundnut stew)

The marriage of tomatoes and ground peanuts in stews is popular in sub-Saharan African cooking. Hkatenkwan, or nkatenkwan, is a tasty version of the dish enjoyed in Ghana. Chicken, sometimes smoked fish, and vegetables simmer in a tomatoey broth. Towards the end of cooking, the broth is thickened with peanut butter. Read more »

Hong Shao Rou

Meats | Hong Shao Rou Image

(Chinese red-cooked pork)

Hong shao, or red-cooking, is a popular way to prepare meats in the Shanghai region of eastern China. Simmering in dark soy sauce gives the meat a reddish color and the dish its name. Red-cooked dishes often include a mix of meat and vegetables and are similar to a western stew. Read more »

Irish Stew

Soups | Irish Stew Image

(Irish lamb and potato stew)

Even though this dish — known as ballymaloe, or stobhach gaelach in the Irish language — started out as a meal for hard times, its delicious flavor belies its humble origins. In the old days, this hearty stew was made with simple mutton neck bones and meat scraps for flavor. Sometimes actual mutton or young goat meat was used. In the last few decades it has become much more common to use milder flavored lamb. Read more »

Khoresht Ghaimeh

Ingredients | Split Peas Image

(Persian lamb and split pea stew)

Khoresht ghaimeh, sometimes spelled khorest-e ghaimeh, is a hearty, warming Persian stew that is in the repertoire of every Iranian cook. The lamb and split peas melt together in flavor and texture during the long simmering period. Read more »

Khoresht-e Aloo

Ingredients | Prunes

(Persian lamb stewed with prunes)

This khoresht, or stew, takes hearty chunks of lamb and melds them together with the deep flavor of dried plums to create a rich dish with a sweet bent. A variation, khoresht-e esfenaj aloo, adds spinach to the stew. Sometimes spelled khoresh alu. Read more »

Lahm Lhalou

Ingredients | Dried Fruit in Moroccan Market

(Algerian lamb stewed with prunes)

Lahm lhalou, Arabic for "sweet meat," is a very popular dish in Algeria, especially during the month of Ramadan. The daylong fast is broken first with dates, then with mouthfuls of this unctuous and fragrant dish of tender lamb simmered with sweet fruits. Read more »


Ingredients | Peanuts Image

(West African meat in peanut sauce)

Mafé is a famous and popular West African dish, particularly in Senegal, Gambia, Mali and the Ivory Coast. It is a stew with meat simmered in a sauce thickened with ground peanuts and has a wonderful sweet-salty flavor. Mafé is known by many names, including groundnut stew, mafe, maffé, maffe, sauce d'arachide, sauce z'ara, tigadèguèna and tigadene. Read more »


Ingredients | Green Bananas

(Ugandan beef and plantain stew)

Plaintains and green bananas (matoke) are a staple part of the diet in Uganda and much of East Africa. Matoke is also the name given to a delicious, rib-sticking plantain stew that is a Ugandan national dish. Versions of matoke, also known as matooke, are served in Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Read more »


Fish | Moqueca Image

(Brazilian fish and coconut milk stew)

Moqueca, sometimes spelled muqueca, is a simple yet tasty Brazilian seafood stew from Bahia state. As with many of the dishes of Bahia, moqueca shows strong African roots. Read more »

Porotos Granados

Ingredients | Beans, Cranberry Image

(Chilean pumpkin and cranberry bean stew)

The origins of Chile's porotos granados reach back into pre-Hispanic times. The basic ingredients — pumpkin, beans, corn and tomatoes — are all indigenous to the New World. Cranberry beans are the traditional choice, but you can substitute other beans. Read more »


Soups | Pozole Image

(Mexican pork and hominy stew)

Pozole is a special occasion dish in Mexico, especially in Guerrero State. Restaurants called pozolerías specialize in it. This dish is a well known cure for hangovers and is often eaten in the wee hours of the morning as a preventive. Pozole is also popular in New Mexico, where it is usually spelled posole. Read more »


Soups | Puchero

(Spanish meat and chickpea stew)

Puchero is a meat and chickpea stew from the Andalusia region of Spain. Pork, sausages and often chicken are slow-simmered with hearty vegetables and garbanzo beans. Puchero was originally a wintertime peasant dish eaten over several days, first with rice, then with noodles, then with the remainder incorporated into other dishes. Read more »

Quimbombó Guisado

Ingredients | Okra Image

(Puerto Rican stewed okra)

Okra, or "quimbombó," was introduced to Puerto Rican cooking by African slaves. This easy dish makes excellent use of these green pods with their unique texture and taste. Read more »


Soups | Sancocho Image

(Latin root vegetable stew)

Sancocho is a nourishing stew popular throughout the Latin World, especially in the Caribbean and northern South America. It originated in Spain's Canary Islands where is is a simple and spicy fish and potato stew. Most New World versions contain a variety of root vegetables, meats and chicken. Read more »

Tashreeb Dajaj

Ingredients | Fresh Chickpeas

(Iraqi chicken stew over bread)

Try this nourishing dish for a tasty change from your everyday chicken (dajaj) and vegetables. Tashreebs started as a food of the poor in Iraq. A simple stew is made using whatever is on hand and the flavorful combination is then ladled over leftover bread to make a cheap, filling and wholesome meal. Also spelled taghreeb. Read more »