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Old 03-22-2007, 01:51 PM   #11
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For stews I do not use anything, my stews come out pretty thick without any flour or corn/potato starch.

As mention above barely is a good additive, I like to add potato.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
Here's a really odd one, but for soups and stews it works:
instant potato flakes!

I also like to use "wondra".
I use the instant potato flakes all the time too. Works great.
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoAnn L.
I use the instant potato flakes all the time too. Works great.
I am glad to see other people dothis too!
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:20 AM   #14
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I am a wondra user too - potato flakes for soups is great. cornstarch for making asian vegies shine.
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Old 03-23-2007, 01:16 AM   #15
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There's only one thing that I hate about corn starch.

Even though it makes a beautiful silky smooth thickener, after a while, it starts to break down in sauces and gravies!

Ever order Chinese food to go that has lobster sauce, then by the time you get it home, the gravy that's in it is all loose and watery? Why does that happen?

The same thing happens when the sauce or gravy is kept in the fridge for a few days. I mainly like to use a roux to thicken liquids. It seems to hold up better and longer.

Or Wondra, because it is granuled and mixes very easily with cold water.
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:57 AM   #16
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I don't use thickeners in my stews. Yet my stews always come out thick and flavorful. My secret? I puree the veggies along with the stock. This means I fish out the meat (I keep the meat cuts big) in the middle of stewing (but before adding any ingredient that must remain whole), then I use a stick blender to puree all ingredients (you have to remove bay leaves and such.) Then I add back the meat (slice them smaller if necessary) and add the stuff you want to stay whole like buttom mushrooms, olives, chorizo slices or chickpeas. When done, rapidly cool down the stew and refrigerate overnight or freeze for later. The flavors will have combined by the time you reheat the stew.
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopstix
I don't use thickeners in my stews. Yet my stews always come out thick and flavorful. My secret? I puree the veggies along with the stock. This means I fish out the meat (I keep the meat cuts big) in the middle of stewing (but before adding any ingredient that must remain whole), then I use a stick blender to puree all ingredients (you have to remove bay leaves and such.) Then I add back the meat (slice them smaller if necessary) and add the stuff you want to stay whole like buttom mushrooms, olives, chorizo slices or chickpeas. When done, rapidly cool down the stew and refrigerate overnight or freeze for later. The flavors will have combined by the time you reheat the stew.


Yeah, I've also done it that way. Even with a pot roast. This is mainly called flourless gravy. But it works!

You can also use the food processor for this as well. But I must warn you that the carrots tend to make the gravy a little bit sweet because of their high sugar content.
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:58 AM   #18
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My stews are usually thicker now because of using less braising liquid and using the technique of putting parchment paper in contact with the contents while it is braising. It concentrates the braising liquid by doing this.
Usually the flour I usually put on my meat for searing will translate to enough thickening if used in conjunction with the parchment paper.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:17 AM   #19
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Yeah, I did that also, but the recipe that I use for beef stew also calls for a roux with the remaining flour that is used to coat the meat and the pan drippings left in the kettle.

After the meat is browned the gravy is made next, then the meat is added back into the pot with the gravy and is simmered on low for about 2-1/2 - 3 hours or more.

The large dark brown particles left in the kettle after searing and browning the meat are usually enough to color and flavor the gravy. Then I adjust the seasonings as desired.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:45 AM   #20
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My favorites

Flour slurries..
Roux
Okra
File'
Cornstarch rarely
Arrow root less rarely
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