Stewing Cooking Method
History of stewing food
Thousands of years ago, when boiling the food was introduced, people further started doing their experiments on cooking techniques that resulted in the invention of a more feasible and sustaining stewing method. There have been several stewed foods being served domestically as well as commercially. There have been various recipes you are familiar with but might not have an idea that these are the stewed foods like French Cassoulet, Louisiana’s gumbo, and Beef Bourguignon.
Evidence suggests that the first stewed food belongs to the Jomon period. Herodotus claimed that the people of 8th to 4th centuries BC used to put the food in animals’ stomach, add the water, simmer it and then eat it along with the gravy. Taillevent (1310-1395) was a French chef who wrote various sorts of stewing techniques in his book ‘Le Viandier’. There has been ample evidence that implies the survival of the early tribes by essentially stewing the food for their viability.
What is the Stewing Cooking Method?
What is more tempting than the tender chunks of meat in the juicy flavored gravy? Stewing prepares a one pot-meal retaining the maximum nutritional content that is served by the fusion of solid ingredients as well as the liquid, in which the food is cooked. This method is generally used for the tougher cuts of meat to make them tender and palatable. Stewed food contains the gravy along with the vegetables or meat pieces such as poultry, beef, mutton, seafood, and sausages.
The gravy is exceptionally flavored and nutrient dense as it contains the extracts from the stewed food. Stewing involves the simmering of the food until the required consistency of the gravy is achieved. Different kinds of foods have different stewing temperatures and timings, depending upon the recipes and the ways of stewing food.
Various Ways to Stew the Food
On the stove: Stewing of food can be done easily by using either stockpot on the stove without the need for any advanced techniques. By using the stove technique, the small pieces of food along with the stew liquid are simmered in the pot, which may be covered or uncovered. The food is kept on the low heat until the liquid and the food particles have been combined perfectly. As soon as the food turns brown and the stew liquid achieves its thickness, the food pieces are served along with the stew gravy.
In the oven: Heating ovens can be used to stew the food by mixing all the ingredients along with the stew liquid. The food is then placed in the heat of the oven to simmer and get stewed properly. People have been using this technique giving a lot of good ratings as the oven provides a constant heat with a minute fluctuation.
Countertop electric cooking: What’s wrong with going for unattended cooking from the perks of advanced technology? Countertop electric cooking involves slow cookers or crockpots to simmer the food for many hours. These cookers are the best equipment for the slow cooking of stewed foods.
Examples of Stewed Foods
People have been creating their innovations for a better taste and nutritional content, thereby, numerous appealing and palatable stewed foods are being served in the cuisines, internationally. Want to try new stewed food recipes? Here are the names of the stewed foods whose recipes are easily available on the internet.
- Pork with pepper and green chili stew
- Fusion Mediterranean-Asian fish stew
- Beef stew with cheddar dumplings
- Brazilian Thai fusion fish stew with zucchini
- Japanese style lamb stew
- Caribbean beef stew
- Pumpkin stew with lentils and chick-peas
- Brazilian black bean stew
- Beef stew with zucchini noodles
- Tuscan chicken stew
- Butternut squash white bean kale stew
Thai Fusion Chickpea Stew Recipe
Thai fusion chickpea is a divine dish enriched with protein and delectable Thai flavors. This recipe gives a slightly sweet taste from the coconut and a mild spicy flavor of the Thai sauce. Endeavor this delicious recipe and fulfill your stew food desires.
- 2 tablespoons olive/ sesame oil
- 1/2 cup onions (chopped)
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced lemongrass
- 3 leaves Lacinato kale (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup chickpeas (cooked)
- 2 cups brown rice (cooked)
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 cup Thai sauce
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons water or chicken/vegetable stock
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- Gently heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium pan.
- Fry the onions with the red pepper in the oil until they turn brown.
- Now put the garlic, kale, and lemongrass on the stove, and wait for the kale to start wilting.
- The shredding chicken, all-purpose flour, and the vegetable stock are added to the prepared mixtures to stir them until they achieve the consistency.
- The Thai sauce along with the Greek yogurt, chickpeas, and brown rice are also included.
- The heat is reduced so that the food simmers and then is sit to stew for some time until it cooks properly.
Pros of eating stewed food
People might have various opinions, but stewed foods are taken into consideration due to its major nutritional and appealing traits:
- Stewed foods are cooked within the same liquid that is eaten as a gravy resulting in the ingredients to blend slowly, which develops an incredible taste in the food.
- The nutrients present in the food leach out in the stew liquid making it more nutritious as the stewed foods are consumed along with the gravy.
- None of the foodstuffs is wasted as both solid and liquid ingredients are munched.
- Stewing may be considered a wise choice as it requires a very low fuel consumption due to slow heating.
- Stew food assists in easier digestion as it the fiber and sticky parts of the food are softened by the moist heat of stewing.
- Stewing tenderizes the tough food like meat cuts as it involves a slow heating process for a longer time.
- The process of stewing results in the preparation of a juicy food that gives a typically rich and tempting experience.
- Stewed foods are helpful to overcome nutritional deficiencies.
Cons of eating stewed foods
Is stew a bad option? Not really! It may have a few disadvantages, but they may be covered up if the stewing process is nicely done with expertise and the stewed food is consumed adequately. Here are a few listed cons of eating and preparing the stewed dishes:
- Stewing is a time taking process due to the slow heating technique.
- Longer time and attention are needed to stew the food.
- Providing an inaccurately high temperature causes the elevation of the evaporation process that may burn the food.
- More energy and attention are required to prepare stewed dishes.
- A few stew dishes have extremely high consistency and are thick thereby, they contain a lot of calories which is not a good fact.
- Beef stew dish contains a lot of trans fats which is proved to be a cholesterol riser and provoker.
Evolution of stewing equipment
Proper usage of efficient equipment to stew the food is necessary for a better output because it is an uncertain procedure which needs high standardization. In the classic period, animal stomach, simple pots or pans were used to stew the food. Later, people introduced countertop cooking appliances such as a slow cooker or crockpots. In 1940, Irving Nachumsohn invented the crock-pot while Nachumsohn developed a slow cooker that is food heating devices.
These appliances are more feasible and efficient than the previous techniques as they allow the food to simmer at low temperature. Additionally, Netherland originated the Dutch ovens which are best suited for slow heating processes and now have been used to stew. People have also started using electrical heating ovens to stew the food. More and more equipment is being introduced in the culinary market for the creation of easy and tricky recipes.