"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Soups, Stews & Casseroles > Stews
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-15-2008, 09:33 PM   #1
Head Chef
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Inside the fridge
Posts: 1,708
Is there a better thickening agent than Corn Starch?

I make stews and the usual thickening agent is a little "cold" water mixed with corn starch. I do that, and it thickens the stew a bit, but not enough.

When I add more corn starch...it lessens the flavor.

Is there some kind of kick butt thickening agent?

__________________

__________________
Caslon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
I find that when I brown the meat, and I flour it thoroughly, (seasoned flour of course), it tends to thicken it quite nicely. I prefer a flour slurry myself. Just cook long enough to cook out the flour taste.

Arrowroot is also a nice thickener without having to cook it out like the flour.

One more thing - - - if you are cooking potatoes in your stew you can take some out, along with some of the liquid, and blend them either in a blender or using a hand blender. No flavor to have to cook out this way. Instant potatoes is another option.
__________________

__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,169
One thing about using a flour slurry is that when it is added to the "mass," everything should be brought up to a boil. This will, then, help things come up to their best thickening capabilities.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:43 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
Yep, Katie mentioned a very important part. You just have to stand there and be patient for a few minutes. Stir, stir, stir.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #5
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 107
I like arrowroot powder and cold water. I get the arrowroot powder at Penzey's.
__________________
Nancy Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:47 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
Constance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf View Post
I find that when I brown the meat, and I flour it thoroughly, (seasoned flour of course), it tends to thicken it quite nicely. I prefer a flour slurry myself. Just cook long enough to cook out the flour taste.
Ditto that. Remember, the darker you get your meat, without scorching, the better your gravy will taste.
__________________
We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 09:47 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,169
Okay....next question. What are you trying to thicken? Different answers for different situations.

Never mind. Long day. You already said stews.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 10:15 PM   #8
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,405
I prefer flour to cornstarch for thickening a stew. It has twice the thickening effect of corn starch. Also, corn starch will lose its thickening effect if you cook it for too long, so reheating a stew the next day could be a problem.

Make a beurre manie, a mixture of equal parts of flour and softened butter. Mix the two together with a fork (or your fingers) in a bowl. Add a half cup of the stew liquid and whisk the combo to smooth it out then stir it into the pot of stew. It needs to come to a boil to thicken. Cook it for 2-3 mintues to get rid of any raw flour taste.

You could also add some instant potato flakes.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 03:07 AM   #9
Head Chef
 
auntdot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,418
To me cornstarch is a great thickener. But for stews I also prefer flour.Here is a quick overview of thickeners:Cook's Thesaurus: Thickeners
__________________
Before criticizing a person, walk a mile in his shoes - then you are a mile away and you have his shoes!
auntdot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 05:07 AM   #10
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
I dredge all the meat in flour first. When you add it (the meat) to the fat you used to sauté the vegetables, it makes a roux. If you don't add any more liquid than necessary, it will thicken your stew as it cooks.

You could also use additional roux later in the cooking process if you feel it's still too thin. Just remove some of the broth to a separate bowl first. Then whisk the roux into the bowl. Add it all back to the stew and it will thicken. If you do this, you'll have to simmer for another 20-30 minutes to cook out the flour flavour.
__________________

__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.