Hoping to create a heartiest stew, I was thinking of roasting my carrots, okra, and sweet potatoes. Will it create any substantial change in flavor?

  • Slightly off-topic (unrelated to vegetables), but have you tried classic hearty-flavor-enhancers like reduced wine, worcestershire sauce, and Thai fish sauce? – orip Mar 12 '14 at 11:03
  • The "fire-roasted" canned tomatoes sold at my grocery store strongly affects the flavor of tomato dishes, almost too much sometimes. – AlexMA Mar 13 '14 at 19:07

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 add them to the stew much later, so they don't overcook.

If you google roasted vegetable stew, you will find several recipes for inspiration.

As to whether this is a superior, or heartier flavor, that would be a matter of opinion. You don't mention roasting celery or onions (partners with carrots in the classic mire poix), but these are also excellent candidates for roasting, as are all types of root vegetable.

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  • I plan to use leeks and shallots instead of onions. oooh. I never thought about roasting my aromatics as well. Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. When should I add the roasted veggies in order to blend all the flavors together, or at least impart the caramelized flavor into the stew. – SaltAndPepper Mar 9 '14 at 6:57
  • It depends on how thoroughly they are roasted, as you don't want to cook them to mush. One beef stew recipe I looked at suggested the last 20 minutes, which definitely sounds reasonable. That is more than enough time for hte roasted flavors to infuse into the gravy. – SAJ14SAJ Mar 9 '14 at 7:05

Roasting your veggies will give a "richer" and somewhat sweeter flavor to your stew. As mentioned in another answer, your cooking times are reduced by pre-roasting. Also, it's been my experience that pre-roasting or deeply browning your meat will Vastly improve your stews!

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