A nice warm bowl of beef stew on a cold winter day is comforting to most people. A hearty meal to keep the body fueled to endure the cold weather environment. Cheap and simple to make. A warm bowl of beef that has been slow cooked for hours in a thick gravy or sauce will make most people's mouth water.
What is Stew?
Stews are commonly known as a dish of meat and vegetables that have been simmered in liquid over low heat for a long period of time in a closed container. They can be simple and have only a few ingredients or they may be more complex with a variety of ingredients to give the stew depths of different rich and savory flavors. The low heat is ideal for breaking down meat and making it soft and edible. Therefore, cheaper cuts of beef are favorable to use in beef stew to cut costs and add flavor. The more tough and cheap, the better. Many different cultures have their own versions of a stew.
History of Stew
The history of stew can be traced back to the 8th to 4th centuries BC where Herodotus tells us of the Scythians who put meat into the animals stomach lining and boiling it with water over a low fire. The low fire was used so that the stomach lining would not burn. Some think that primitive man also may have used this method as long ago as 1/2 to one million years ago. The creation of pottery about 10,000 years ago made cooking stews even easier. Different vessels have also been used, such as cast iron pots, skillets, and slow cookers. There are written recipes of stews in 'Apicius de re Coquinaria', a book written in the 1st century BC to 2nd century AD.
Recipes for: Beef Stew
For a dish to be called "beef stew", two requirements must be met. First, it must be cooked in a covered dish or pot with liquid over direct flame, and second, it must have beef as the main ingredient. Many different meats and vegetables can be combined to create a myriad of different dishes. There are many versions of a beef stew recipe, from your Grandma's recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation to many recipes you can search for online. Most cookbooks have recipes of different stews that might be under other names, such as:
- Beef Bourguignon
- Beef Stroganoff
- Bo Kho
- A Ragout
One reason why stews made with beef are so popular is because the use of tough, mostly discarded, cheaper cuts of beef are used and this cuts down on cost but generates a lot of flavor. So grab some beef, water, and your favorite ingredients, and create your own version of beef stew!
Top 5 Routes for "Beef Stew"
- Wikipedia A general idea of what stew is.
- FoodReference.com A unique and fascinating site to get history of stew.
- Encyclopedia.com Stew recipe
- Dictionary.com General definition of stew.
- Google Google search for many different recipes for beef stew.
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