Winter Time Comfort Food

By on February 28, 2016

One-Pot Meals are Winter Time Favorites

Beef stew with small potato dumplings and carrots

Beef stew with small potato dumplings and carrots

When you think of one-pot meals, especially in the middle of winter, delicious stews seem to come to mind.  Stews are one of our favorite meals here at Club Sauce.  They are simple to make, inexpensive, and the ultimate winter time comfort food.   In this article, Jules Silver, owner of Club Sauce, will break down stew groups for you, and set you on a path to create your own signature one-pot meals!

Getting Started

There are five basic stew groups, including meat, poultry, wild game, seafood and vegetable.  Depending on which stew group you choose, here are two helpful tips to enrich the flavor:

First, browning the seasoned meat in a Dutch oven or pot on top of the stove will help bring out a deeper, richer flavor to the stew. Deglazing the pot with a portion of the wine or stock after the browning process (scrapping to loosen the bits and pieces remaining in the pot) will help add to the flavor of the stew.

Second, stews should be cooked in an oven not to exceed 250º. It’s the slow simmering process that marries the proteins from the meat with the liquids, vegetables and gourmet seasonings into a hearty, intense flavor that makes it a comfort food.

Useful Stew Tips

Beef stews- Use a chuck roast or rib eye steak and cut into 1 1⁄2-inch cubes. This is generally superior to buying precut stew meat.

Be sure to use a good quality seafood, meat, or vegetable stock (Try our More Than Gourmet line of stocks). They’ll save you lots of time, unless you’re willing to make your own.

Pork stews – Use pork shoulder cut into 1 1⁄2-inch cubes.

Lamb stews – Use lamb shoulder or shoulder chops and cut into 1 1⁄2-inch cubes.

Chicken and poultry stews – The preferred parts of the chicken are the thighs, bone-in and skin-on, for browning. If available, older mature hens or so called stewing hens can be used as they do better than young hens in the stewing process.

Fish stews– We generally recommend any firm, white-fleshed fish for stewing. Use red snapper, monkfish, sea bass, cod, grouper, or halibut -the fresher the better- usually cut into 1 to 1 1⁄2 inch pieces.

Wild game stews and domestically raised game – Boneless venison shoulder, boar shoulder, and buffalo shoulder 1 1⁄2-inch cubed, whole young rabbits cut into 6 to 8 pieces.

Vegetable stews – Always use the freshest vegetables possible; however, if the fresh version is not available, consider using frozen corn, lima beans, canned tomatoes, and dried wild mushrooms. Baby carrots are ready for the pot and pearl onions glazed with balsamic vinegar add a rich, deep tone to this soul-satisfying stew. (You could even use frozen onions).

Stew can be an old fashioned favorite.  And with these tips, you can rest assured that your stew will invoke the same feelings of warmth in the winter time.  Serve your stew with a green salad and crusty bread for an evening of comfort and great dining.  You can find many more expert tips and gourmet recipes for stew at www.clubsauce.com.

For more information, please visit www.clubsauce.com to learn about our fabulous recipes and professional line of More Than Gourmet demi glace and stocks. We carry four different demi glace and over twelve different stocks, including fish, seafood/lobster, chicken, beef, veal, lamb, turkey, duck and more. They’re simple, easy to use products that will add a natural richness and depth of flavor to all your favorite sauces, soups, stews, rice and pasta dishes, stir-fry, braising liquids and more.

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About The Saucemaster

I've followed the food show circuit for years, charted the winners, and personally tested the cooking sauces. Though there are literally thousands of items represented at the food shows, I've only selected the top gourmet sauces in their category for your cooking and dining pleasure.

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