Stews are easy, versatile, they make the house smell great, and they can be SO forgiving. While doing this round of the Whole30, I'm keeping stew or ingredients that can quickly become a stew in the fridge. I have two distinctly different approaches to stew and use one or the other depending on which ingredients I have handy. One starts with cooked meats and vegetables, while the other starts in the raw state. Both are easy.
This week for quick lunches, I've been simply pulling roast and veggies from the refrigerator, cutting them into large bite size pieces, and combining them in my cool little warming Crock Pot, which I then take to work and plug in at my desk.
Stew Re-purposed from a Roast
|baby veggies are a nice addition|
Stew for Stew's Sake
|turkey hindquarter ready to become stew|
|start with chopped onions, then brown in coconut oil or beef or chicken fat|
I'm a big fan of a slow cooker for stews, but I sometimes use a heavy French or Dutch oven, like Le Creuset, on the stove top when I'll be at home for a few hours. The advantage to the slow cooker is that you can leave and come back to perfect stew. The stove top advantage is that you can play with it all day. Given the option and the free time, I want to touch and taste and stir. I'm also likely to decide to add a bit of thyme from the garden or a little tomato because it looks good as the stew simmers over the course of a few hours.
Whichever method you choose, layer your browned vegetables with 1" to 3" pieces of carrots, celery,
|tomatoes are optional, go with your mood|
Simmer, covered, for several hours. Meat should be tender and vegetables cooked through but still intact. Taste, adjust seasonings if needed. You may also remove the lid to allow the liquid to continue thickening, if desired.
One thing that makes the Whole30 so much easier is having good food, food you love and don't tire of quickly, on hand and ready to go. The great thing about both this stew and its primary ingredients is that they're easy to keep on hand, fresh or frozen. We have two versions in the fridge much of the time during cooler weather.