How to add flavour to a bland stew

In this article, we will answer the question: “How to add flavour to a bland stew?”. Below are some tips and ways to add flavour to a bland stew and a concise step-by-step guide to take you through it. 

How to add flavour to a bland stew?

Making stew can be a bit trickier than most other broth-based recipes, so here are the tips you need to add more flavour to a bland stew.

Really flavourful stews start with homemade broth, so try to use it instead of store bought options as much as possible. Chicken broth is your best best as it is mild and will let the flavours of the ingredients shine through. 

Since it takes time for any stew to develop its rich, dense taste, it is advised to not rush the cooking process. You need to easily give it a few hours for that intense depth you are looking for. 

Choose the right cut of meat with enough fat on it and sear it well on both sides. The juices released will help thicken and enrich the stew. 

Spice and season the stew adequately. It is better to add your spices and seasonings at the beginning to build up on as you go through the cooking process. You can use smoked paprika for an unforgettable, lingering taste in your stew. 

The most important step of making a wholesome stew is deglazing. Bring out the best flavours by lifting the browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a splash of wine, beer or plain water. 

What do you need to prepare a flavourful stew?

Here are the ingredients you need to prepare a flavourful stew. 

  • 5 tbsp unsalted Butter
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Barbecue sauce 
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Tomato paste
  • ¼–½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 can diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can Butter Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen Corn
  • 1 large Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 pounds cooked (browned) meat of choice (like roasted chicken, diced smoked pork or beef)
  • 2 cups Chicken broth or stock
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • Two to three dashes hot sauce, to serve

A step-by-step guide to add flavour to a bland stew

  1. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot (such as a big Dutch oven), melt the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and garlic in the saucepan for 5–7 minutes, or until tender and aromatic.
  1. In a small bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, and cayenne pepper. To combine, whisk everything together.
  1. To the onions and garlic, add the canned tomatoes, butter beans, corn, bell pepper, beef, and Worcestershire sauce combination. Season with salt and pepper after adding the stock. To incorporate all the flavours, stir everything together.
  1. Bring the stew to a boil, then turn down to a low heat for it to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes more, uncovered, until the beans are cooked and the sauce has noticeably thickened.
  1. If using, garnish with a hot sauce of your choice.

Other FAQs about stew

How to freeze stew?

How to cook beef stew meat on the stove?

What are the secrets to adding flavour to a bland stew?

  • Taste and season the stew as you go 
  • Try and incorporate dried mushrooms 
  • Caramelise the onions well before adding other ingredients 
  • Swap fresh garlic for roasted ones 
  • Let the stew simmer with whole spices
  • Up the umami flavour with miso paste 
  • Consider adding a spoonful of fish sauce
  • A little acidity in the dish goes a long way 
  • Always garnish with fresh herbs

What are the mistakes to avoid while making a stew?

  • Choosing an overly lean cut of meat

It’s critical to select a cut with fat and tissue that will aid in softening the meat

  • Using too much flour to coat the stew meat before sautéing it

Flour actually aids in the binding of the liquids, making the sauce thicker, so be aware of not adding too much.

  • Omitting the use of wine to deglaze the browned parts in the pan

The taste of the stew is enhanced by cooking the meat in wine. Avoid using only broth or water.

  • Cooking the meat and veggies all at once in a same pan

Brown the beef over high heat for a few minutes alone in a skillet with just a drizzle of olive oil to give it as much flavour as possible. 

  • Rushing the cooking process

Stew is a meal that requires a significant amount of time to prepare; rushing it will lead to undercooked or tough meat.

Final Thoughts 

From the choice of meat to the perfect cooking time, each step helps enhance the flavour profile of a delectable stew. Be patient, see it through to the end and you will have one of the best dishes to savour, especially on a cold winter’s night.

Conclusion

In this article, we have answered the question: “How to add flavour to a bland stew?”. Above are all the tips and ways you need to add flavour to a bland stew and a concise step-by-step guide to take you through it. 

References

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/oct/26/how-do-i-add-flavour-to-a-vegetable-stew
https://www.thekitchn.com/10-ways-to-make-your-chili-and-stews-taste-amazing-239406
https://www.jamieoliver.com/features/make-perfect-stew/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.