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14 Facts About Stews

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1

A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy.

Gravy is a sauce often made from the juices of meats that run naturally during cooking and thickened with wheat flour or corn starch for added texture.

Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body.

An ingredient is a substance that forms part of a mixture.

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Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef.

Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food.

Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle, particularly skeletal muscle.

Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food.

Interdisciplinary team cooks 4000-year old Babylonian stews at NYU event by YaleCampus

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Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used.

A sausage is a cylindrical meat product usually made from ground meat, often pork, beef, or veal, along with salt, spices and other flavourings, and breadcrumbs, encased by a skin.

Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the eggs they produce, their meat, their feathers, or sometimes as pets.

Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans.

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While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, stock is also common.

Water is a transparent fluid which forms the world's streams, lakes, oceans and rain and is the major constituent of the fluids of organisms.

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Seasoning and flavourings may also be added.

Flavor or flavour is the sensory impression of food or other substances, and is determined primarily by the chemical senses of taste and smell.

Seasoning is the process of adding salt, herbs, or spices to food to enhance the flavour.

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Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature, allowing flavours to mingle.

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Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method.

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This makes it popular in low-cost cooking.

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Cuts having a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may easily become dry.

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Stews are thickened by reduction or with flour, either by coating pieces of meat with flour before searing, or by using a roux or beurre manié, a dough consisting of equal parts of fat and flour.

Searing is a technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food is cooked at high temperature until a browned crust forms.

Beurre manié is a dough, consisting of equal parts of soft butter and flour, used to thicken soups and sauces.

Flour is a powder made by grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts or seeds.

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11

Thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot may also be used.

Arrowroot is a starch obtained from the rhizomes of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea, but also Florida arrowroot from Zamia integrifolia, and tapioca from cassava, which is often labelled as arrowroot.

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Stews are similar to soups, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two.

Soup is a primarily liquid food, generally served warm or hot, that is made by combining ingredients of meat or vegetables with stock, or water.

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Generally, stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat.

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While soups are almost always served in a bowl, stews may be thick enough to be served on a plate with the gravy as a sauce over the solid ingredients.

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