Cold weather seems to make most of us crave warm, filling comfort food. Despite today’s unusually pleasant weather, the snow and bitter cold are no doubt just around the corner.
Yesterday Madison.com ran this piece by Chris Martell, offering tips from area chefs for making the perfect stew. The story includes the cooking wisdom of Carrie Johnson of Jordandal Farms. In case you didn’t know, in addition to sustainably and humanely raising chicken, beef, and pork, Jordandal also makes soups, stews, pasties, and more. (I spotted them in the freezer section of Metcalfe’s the other day.)
Among her tips: “Don’t skimp on the meat. There’s nothing worse than stew with only a few bites of meat.” Martell continues: “Johnson uses a no-sodium or low-sodium beef stock she makes from scratch, and always uses real garlic rather than garlic powder or salt. She doesn’t use barley in her stews because it tends to make them mushy. Instead, she uses potatoes to make her stews thicker.” Other hints come from Bong Wong (manager of Steve’s Liquor and “an avid cook”) and Mari Meister, including the effective use of wine, beer, and vodka in various stews.
Three recipes also accompany the article: beef stew (from Johnson), fava bean stew (from Meister), and green chile and pork stew with tomatoes (also from Meister).