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22

There really is no practical difference; the dictionary definition of a soup is: a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish, or vegetables with various added ingredients. Which also applies to any stew you can conceive of. The technical, highly-nuanced difference is that of emphasis and intent. Stewing is a method of cooking the solids ...


13

Generally speaking when speaking of "stew beef", the meat will break down more the longer you cook it. I often make shredded beef for tacos out of that cut by simmmering it for a few hours or more. At 1 hour, I'd say it was undercooked. For example: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Main/Beef/recipe.html?dishid=1772 In there he recommends using stewing ...


9

If you want to be really lazy about it, just get yourself a fat separator. Pour in the soup, the fat will rise to the top, and you can do what you want with it (i.e. dump it). If you're reading this in an emergency, you can do this with just a strainer. You'll get better results if you chill the strainer before each skim, i.e. by rinsing it with very cold ...


8

Is there some dialectical thing going on here? I have always known stews as stovetop and casseroles as baked, just as Jared said in his comment. See for example on wikipedia: stew vs. casserole; or in Merriam-Webster: stew (click the verb form) vs. casserole. (Casserole refers to the dish as well as the food cooked in it; it's pretty definitely something you ...


8

As far as I know, Collagen starts to break down below 60°C/140F, time play a big role, i.e. to get the same breakdown at 60°C as 80°C you might need 24-48h instead of 3-4h. The higher the heat the more the meat is contracted and it will get dryer, in a stew that might not be as obvious as in other cooking methods but it should still be the fact. Compare ...


8

In the oven, that heat is coming from all directions more or less equally. On the stovetop, the heat is coming only from the bottom. This can potentially cause convection, and almost certainly requires occasional stirring (especially for larger batches), meaning that the ingredients are being moved around. The combination of the ingredients being heated more ...


7

I'd suggest skinless bone-in chicken thighs, as they have plenty of fat and collagen to keep them moist and tasty. I've cooked them in French-style wine-based stews, not to mention cacciatorre, for 2-3 hours before now and they just fall off the bone. It is virtually impossible to overcook them, unless you boil them mercilessly for hours. Just get a nice ...


7

Assuming a long, cooked stew. I cut up a well marbled chuck steak usually and chuck is what I'd recommend. You want enough fat that as the stew cooks long, the fat will render and leave nice, tender meat. Too lean and you're left with boiled shoe leather. If you want a quicker stew, use a leaner cut of meat like sirloin. It will have a lot of flavor but ...


7

You want a cut amenable to stewing, which is a low, slow, wet cooking method--its a variant of braising. These are generally tougher cuts with a lot of connective collagen which will convert to gelatin during the cooking, a part of the animal that works relatively hard in life. These cuts are flavorful and usually (relatively) inexpensive. One cut that is ...


7

Browning ingredients (both meat and vegetables including the aromatics) before doing a braise or stew (which is what slow cookers do) helps develop depth of flavor, through the Maillard reaction where proteins and carbohydrates react together to create a myriad of flavorful compounds. Vegetables that are high in sugar, such as onions or leeks, and even ...


6

"Stew beef" is slightly cheaper than buying a whole roast and cutting it up, because the stew beef is made up of bits and pieces that were left over after the prettier roasts had been carved. If it's not to your taste, spring for a whole roast and cut it up yourself. WARNING: Fat content in meat that is supposed to be cooked for a long time is a good ...


6

Red Burgundy wine is made from Pinot noir grapes, so a Pinor noir from another region probably will work well. Wikipedia describes Pinot noir as “light to medium body with an aroma reminiscent of black cherry, raspberry or currant”, so any wine with those characteristics, such as a light Zinfandel or Shiraz/Syrah will be similarly substitutable.


6

Salt is very much an individual thing. Luckily, you can always add more if needed. The only rule of thumb I can think of is to add a little, taste, and see if it needs more. I would also suggest sweating the vegetables before adding water, with some salt on them. Brings out the flavours better, thus needing less salt overall for flavour.


6

It is somewhere in the range between 70°C-80°C (160 to 175 F I think - conversion may not be exact), below that collagen doesn't hydrolyse. There is no advantage in cooking at this temperature, as your actin has already denatured (that's what you are trying to avoid in roasts and steaks) and is very dry and tough. Without the lubrication from gelatine ...


6

There are several major varieties of clam chowder, which you can find enumerated on the Wikipedia page. New England clam chowder is characterized by a dairy base, usually with some sort of salt pork or bacon, and potatoes. Note: the term chowder basically just means soup or stew, usually with seafood of some sort--very different dishes may go by the name.


5

In addition to Joe's great answer, in my childhood (where they were usually called 'bakes' (the food), but they came out of a 'casserole' (the vessel).) I learned two other important differences: time. A 'stew' was never done in less than 2 hours. It wasn't uncommon for it to bubble away in the crock pot or a dutch oven for 4 or 5 hours. A 'bake' by ...


5

In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child says it should be made with a full-bodied young red wine. She lists the following options: Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux Saint-Émilion, Burgundy, or a Chianti. I've made it with a Bordeaux and can attest to it being delicious.


5

This is my personal experience. It takes sometime to reach the boiling temperature (again) when you add colder water. As a result, vegetables get cooked for a longer period than anticipated. This makes some vegetables becoming mushy and not tasting as good as otherwise. (Example: Egg Plant) Therefore, I make sure to add the right amount of water in the ...


5

Edit: If cooking longer softens the potatoes, then this isn't what's happening. In that case, well, you just need to cook longer. The main variable is probably temperature (maybe the pot isn't actually all hot for all 30-45 minutes), followed by variations in cut size and in the firmness of the original potatoes. But the rest could apply to some readers too! ...


5

Well I will tell you what my old country Grandma use to say, "you can eat a stew on a plate but you will need a bowl for your soup, but they both come out of the same pot!"


5

Rumtscho's answer is correct for most reasonable practical purposes--see Science of Cooking article on slow cooking, which breaks down the process in great detail, at various temperatures. The article provides primary sources if you wish to investigate further. Collagen dissolves to gelatin between 160 F and 180 F (71 C and 82 C), but it is a time ...


5

I'm going to assume that you are covering your meat with liquid, because if you aren't that's the problem. Collagen needs heat plus water to break down, if you don't have liquid it will turn tough as old leather. There is no point where meat gets tougher when being slow cooked, what happens first is that the collagen breaks down, then the proteins start to ...


5

You have some good answers here. I would suggest the following. Always have plenty of liquid for slow cooking any meat. You can ensure this by cooking in a covered pot/wrapping in foil if in the oven or keeping the lid on for a slow cooker. Placing you meat on vegetables such as carrot or onion will add flavour and moisture. Look at it after an hour or so ...


5

Of course you can use it. You can use any edible liquid: water, wine, chicken stock, pineapple juice, whatever. The real question is whether the flavors the wine was mulled with are compatible, and you enjoy them. If they will compliment your dish, go for it. I cannot speak to your taste in stew but the sweet spices often used in mulled wine may give it ...


5

Stewing or braising is essentially what slow cookers do, so there is not a huge difference in converting a stew recipe. There are two main issues to consider: Flavor development. You may choose to sear or brown your ingredients separately, and then deglaze for your base sauce. Most slow cookers cannot create the browning, so it would need to be done ...


5

You will get the roasty, caramelized flavors; how much influence they will have on the overall flavor of your stew will depend on several factors including: How deeply you roast the them How much you add, proportionately, into the stew How strongly flavored the other items in the stew are Roasting the vegetables will also cook them, so you will want to ...


5

Right now I'm thinking of draining the whole mess and making a new gravy but if there's a way to salvage what's already there I'd try it. Before you pitch it, I'd consider cooking it even longer -- we're aiming for 'ragoût' (cooked to rags), not just your typical stew. We want the vegetables to completely disintigrate, until they're more a thickener ...


5

If you're cooking low and slow, with enough liquid, you'll end up with a style of stew called ragoût. The trick is to not add the vegetables during the cooking, unless they're either something that you want to break down, or you've added enough acid to the cooking liquid to prevent onions and potatoes from fully disintegrating. Personally, I prefer to take ...


4

Stewing tough or thoroughly connective-tissued meats is, by design, something you do for a long time at pretty decent temperatures. Since your meat has already been cooked once, if anything you are going to be cooking it slightly less than what is described in whatever stew you decide on. Your food safety concern is admirable, but as long as you observe good ...


4

If you pour the liquid into a narrower vessel to settle, the fat layer on top will be thicker and therefore easier to remove with spoon, paper towel, or turkey baster. Something like this thermos or this ice tea jug would work without needing to cool it down too much. It is best done before any thickening with starch/flour. Since some spices are oil ...



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