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11 December 2005

Can this stew be saved?

Carlweathers"Take this bone, some broth, a potato - you got yourself a stew"

        -Carl Weathers

Would that making a flavorful stew were this easy. I attempted a stew last weekend and anticipated that it would be flavorful, and one that I would want to make again.  The ingredients alone led me to believe I would be enjoying a flavor party in my mouth: onion, green bell pepper, celery rib, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, plum tomatoes, jasmine rice, persimmon and braised pork shoulder.

See the complete recipe here

I will say that the braised pork was incredibly tasty - I would've been happy with it alone, alongside my bottle of Kerner.  Yet the entire ensemble didn't work together.  Perhaps I should have substituted a broth instead of water? Or maybe another magical spice would have made the stew sing.  I implore the home chefs out there to help me revive this recipe for the next time I get a stew on with Liza my lady.


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Ian ScottI

I love making stews - and consider rosemary, basil and sometimes oregano when making them. I will often use gara masala as well.


It sounds like an awesome stew. It looks to be leaning in a vaguely Thai direction.

Thing 1: be sure your spices are awesome. Most of us (myself included) use powdered spices that have been sitting in little jars for who knows how long, and have lost a lot of their punch. So try using whole cumin, freshly ground roasted coriander, and punch up the cayenne a bit. Also, can you really use just one clove of garlic? I don't think I could...

Thing 2: Salt. There doesn't seem to be much of it, and that can make a dish seem flat.

Thing 3: If this were Thai, it would probably have more acid. Probably lime.

Thing 4: Unsalted chicken broth would probably help. 1 14 oz can, with a 1/4 C water (to keep things isovolumetric) might be nice.

Thing 5: Green bell peppers are nice, but red or orange might contribute more appropriate flavor.

Also, if you used a dutch oven for the stew, you could probably do the last 10 minutes on the stove top, which would let you adjust spices at the last minute, if necessary.

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