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Old 03-18-2015, 05:44 AM   #1
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What makes casserole, casserole and what makes stew, stew?

So I posted on the Todays Menu thread that I had cooked Harvest Home Casserole but confusingly to me it was cooked on the hob and I generally regard casserole as being cooked in the oven.
This started a bit of a debate with some maintaining that the defining factor was the consistency of the dish while others maintained it was the cooking method that defined it.

Rather than clutter up the Todays menu thread I thought I'd ask the question here.

So, casserole = oven, stew = hob. Or casserole = thick consistency, stew = thinner consistency?
Or do you have another definition?

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Old 03-18-2015, 06:58 AM   #2
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I assume by "hob" you mean on top of the stove.

For me a stew is cooked on top of the stove in a metal pot and it has pieces of meat and vegetables. It also has a thick gravy made from the fond of the meat and flour. A stew is being cooked from scratch.

http://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Stain...+pots+for+stew


A casserole is cooked in the oven in a special dish. Think Macaroni And Cheese. A casserole will often have a sauce made from dairy products. It can have finely cut vegetables or other items that have been precooked such as pieces of cooked ham. Most food items are precooked or steamed. A casserole usually requires a much shorter cooking time as it is mostly being just reheated.


http://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-quart-ca...sserole+dishes

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Old 03-18-2015, 07:13 AM   #3
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Then, what do call something that is started on the stove top, can be finished there or in the oven, like jambalaya? I've also started "stews/pot roasts" on the stove top and finished in the oven.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Then, what do call something that is started on the stove top, can be finished there or in the oven, like jambalaya? I've also started "stews/pot roasts" on the stove top and finished in the oven.
Craig, my doctor has me on medication that makes me forget words. Have you ever known what the word is but it won't leave your brain? It is hiding way in the back. Well, that is me. I can't think that deeply. I need to sit down with WebMD and figure out which med it is and toss it out! But I am afraid if I do find out, I will forget it before I can find the med.

If this is a very important question, I will go to Wikipedia. And we all know how reliable that information is. Now that I can remember.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:58 AM   #5
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A hot dish is one the includes a can of creamed soup, a starch (noodles), and ground beef or other type of protein (tuna). Started on the stove top, goes in the oven. That would be the MN-ND-WI definition.


A casserole is a one-pot dish where the ingredients are mixed together and then put in the oven.


A stew has a "gravy" of sorts, is thicker than a soup, and can be simmered on the stovetop, in the crockpot, or cooked in the oven at a lower temperature (low and slow) than a casserole, which is usually cooked at 350.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:16 AM   #6
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These things are not always cut and dried, but my understanding is similar to CW's.

Reminds me of the famous Potter Stewart quote on the definition of obscenity. "I know it when I see it!"
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:35 AM   #7
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Stew is braised either on the stove or in the oven

Casserole is baked in the oven
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:55 AM   #8
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I go with this:

What's on your plate this St. Urho's Day (2015-03-16)
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyshiepoo View Post
So, casserole = oven, stew = hob.
This is my definition, provided we are talking about a dish containing bite size pieces of meat and/or vegetables in a sauce or gravy.

Keep in mind that there are regional differences that also determine what one calls things. For example, what you call a "hob" others call a "stove top". Which one is correct?
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Then, what do call something that is started on the stove top, can be finished there or in the oven, like jambalaya? I've also started "stews/pot roasts" on the stove top and finished in the oven.
Chili too (red chili con carne with beans), is cooked on the stove top, but can't really be called a stew or a casserole. My wife makes it with a thin enough sauce that she calls it "chili soup", but mine is much thicker and more hearty, nothing "soupy" about it. I don't really worry about it's called.

Stew doesn't always have a thick gravy either. Stewing is a form of cooking, and for some people "stew" is what you end up with after "stewing", no matter what the broth or gravy is like.

Next to stewing is braising, and that can be done either on the stove top or in the oven.

A casserole properly should spend some time in the oven, but there are lots of dishes that have the consistency of a casserole which never see the inside of an oven. They just are what they are. Jambalaya is jambalaya, and chili is chili.
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