I was rifling through an old journal/notebook/art book (?) and I came across an old stew recipe from a few year ago. For me, a great stew has to be chunky, hearty, and filling. IMO, this recipe fits my stew ideals to a tee.
I mean, really, a recipe is just a guideline. A base. An inspiration point. You can take the gist of any recipe and recreate it to fit you. This recipe is perfect for that.
Now this stew can be cooked in a Dutch oven (which is what I used) or a slow cooker.
My original recipe calls for 1lb of chicken – I didn’t have one on me so I went vegetarian.
First, I sautéed my onion and ginger in a glug of oil until it was nice and fragrant. Next, I threw in my veggies. This time ’round I chose carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi (my new obsession).
Then I added my grains. I used a mix of brown rice, wild rice, pearl barley, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils.
Next, fill your pot with chicken stock and water until it covers your veg and grains.
Then add any spices you like – I picked some fresh sage from the garden, added some Italian seasoning, and sea salt. If you’re cooking this stew with meat, especially in-bone, your stew will get a TON of flavor. But if you decided on the vegetarian option (like me) you may need to spice it up a bit more.
I cooked my stew on low heat for roughly two hours. If you’re cooking in a Dutch oven, make sure to keep an eye on your stew so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom. If you’re not cooking with meat, your cook time can be really flexible. Want it a little more soupy? Take it off after 90 minutes. Want something a little more thick? Leave it on for 2-2.5 hours. If you want it soupy but the grains soaked up all the liquid, just add some more water or stock and stir until heated.
So really, as long as your meat is cooked through, and the desired consistency is reached, your stew is done! Of course, if you’re cooking in a slow cooker, on low heat, it’ll likely need longer than two hours. Try 4-6 hours. Or add more liquid and leave 6-8 hours.
Garnished with a sprig of sage, and voila! Hearty stew.
One last great thing about this recipe is that it freezes really well. I always tend to make a truck load of this stuff and it’s nice to have left overs not only for the next day but for those rainy or lazy nights when I don’t feel like cooking!
Do you enjoy a good, hearty stew? Or are you more partial to broth-y soups? If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it turns out!