When you’re in the mood for a hearty home cooked meal, try making stew. Stewing is actually a cooking method that creates a rich sauce, tenderizes meats and infuses vegetables with flavor. While stews are simple to make, they can’t be rushed and often taste better the day after. Make a batch of stew with these simple steps.
Start with a Sear
The secret to irresistible stew is quickly searing the meat over high heat before deglazing the pan. Searing forms a crust on the meat that locks in juices and coats the bottom of the pan with flavorful brown bits. To sear, start with a thin layer of oil in the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the meat and cook until evenly browned, but pink in the center. Pompeian® OlivExtra® Premium Mediterranean Blend is the perfect oil for searing. This innovative trio of extra virgin olive, grapeseed and canola oils stands up to high temperature cooking methods like searing, sautéing, fry and grilling. It’s also a healthful choice as a source of omega-3 and omega-6 monounsaturated fats and vitamin E.
Deglazing is the process of adding a small amount of liquid to the pan after cooking meat or poultry, bringing the liquid to a boil and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. As the brown bits dissolve, they intensify the flavor of the stew, soup or sauce. Water, cooking wine, broth or stock or a combination are the preferred liquids for deglazing. Opt for a reduced-sodium broth or stock to cap the sodium content of the finished recipe.
For stews, sauces and other longer-cooking recipes choose dried herbs and spices in the recipe, reserving fresh herbs for use as a garnish. Adding them at the beginning or middle of the cooking process gives them ample time to blend with other ingredients for the best flavor. The Spice Hunter® Gourmet Herbs, Spices and Salt-Free Blends are sourced at the peak of flavor and freshness from the world’s best growing regions. Stock your spice cabinet with seasoning essentials like French Thyme Leaves, Roasted Garlic and Mediterranean Rosemary Leaves for everyday culinary creations and their exclusive Cajun Creole, Chef ’s Shake and Thai Seasoning for a unique twist.
Simmer to Perfection
Stewing involves simmering meat in liquid at a low temperature until it turns fork-tender. Common stewing liquids include broth, stock, tomato sauce or tomatoes. Our Beef and Mushroom Stew with Quinoa calls for Furmano’s® Italian Style Diced Tomatoes that infuse the beef, vegetables and quinoa with the flavors of ripe tomato, plus basil, garlic and oregano while adding a hearty texture. If you prefer smoother stews, try Tomato Puree, Crushed Tomatoes or Petite Diced Tomatoes instead. All varieties of Furmano’s® Tomatoes are seasoned with natural sea salt that yields a saltier taste, yet contains less sodium per serving.
Make your stew a standout with Della® Quick Cook Quinoa Rice Blend. This attractive mix combines the sweet and nutty flavor of quinoa, brown and basmati rice with earthy-tasting red rice and slightly smoky wild rice. As it simmers, the quinoa and rice absorbs the rich flavor of the stew’s sauce while it cooks to an al dente texture. Each quarter cup serving supplies whole grains, two grams of fiber and five grams of protein. Beyond stew, try their Quinoa Rice Blend and 4 Grain Rice Blend in casseroles, salads, stuffing or pilaf. It’s ready in just 15 minutes!
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