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Old 11-05-2006, 11:12 PM   #1
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New stew recipe - could use some input

I merged two threads into one so that is why there are two questions from the OP in this thread - thought I would explain since it looks a little strange. xhtnlrcgfytn, you will get replies at one or the other, here they will be together.

Hello everyone, I just got an account here.

Does anyone have a simple stew (or something similar) recipe (beef, whatever) that meets these criteria:

No tomatoes,
no potatoes,
no msg.(that doesn't necessarily mean no broth, if it's chicken turkey or beef)
reasonably cheap

All it really has to have is a variety of veggies, and some meat.

Please don't just ask my why I'm excluding these things..... I just need a recipe.... Basically I don't like msg, and I have to avoid anything with solanine in it. I must admit I'm not a very good cook or I suppose I could invent something myself. I've searched the net, but almost all stew has one of these things in it.

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Old 11-05-2006, 11:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC. We have a forum for Stews. Check it out for some recipes to try.

Actually, just about any recipe can work for you. You can omit any potatoes, or tomatoes in a recipe and continue on or substitute.

Starch subs for a potato can be turnips, pasta or barley. You can just omit any tomato. I don't think I've seen any recipes here that have MSG as an ingredient. Regardless, that is also easily ommited from any recipe leaving still worth cooking.

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Old 11-06-2006, 12:00 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome!

Stew is more of a technique than a recipe. You get a large, heavy pot, put a little grease in the bottom, brown a pound or so of beef chunks that are cut in about 1-2 inch squares, add enough liquid to cover the beef, toss in a large onion that you've peeled and sliced, plus 2 or 3 large carrots, washed and cut into rounds, and possibly some celery or other veggies that will not wilt into shapelessness, add a few herbs (bay leaf, thyme and rosemary are good), simmer for an hour, more or less, until the meat can be broken with a fork, add salt and pepper to taste, and there you are.

The ingredients will make their own broth as they cook in the liquid. On occasions when I've been penny-pinching, I've actually used plain water as the liquid. You could also use red wine, or water with vinegar or wine in it. The veggies can be whatever you want, though it's better if they can take the cooking time of the meat. Root veggies, like turnips, work well if you like them. Sometimes I throw in some frozen peas or corn towards the end.

The key is to keep the ingredients simmering--just under a boil--and to make sure the liquid doesn't dry up during cooking. If you need to add liquid during cooking, try to have it warm, or at least room-temperature. Some folks salt their meat during cooking; I prefer not to. Some folks skip the browning step at the beginning; I prefer to do it. Cooking goes better if all the meat chunks are about the same size, and all the pieces of carrot, onion, or whatever, match the other pieces of that same vegetable. That way, it's easier to tell when they are done (soft enough to chew without trouble!).

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:43 PM   #4
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Invented stew recipe - could use some input

I was looking for a recipe that fits my picky dietary requirements and what ingredients I have, but then I came to the conclusion I'd pretty much have to make my own recipe. So I collected a bunch of recipes to get an idea of the usual spices amounts etc., then made up a first draft. (Thanks texanfrench for your post in another thread. Just the sort of thing I needed....)

I am trying to do without alcoholic beverages (which I didn't consider at first, but found many recipes include. I know the alchohol evaporates, but I'd still rather avoid them.) potatoes, tomatoes, and msg, which includes any storebought broth at my local supermarket.

I will try to make it in a couple hours, but I thought I'd post and see if anybody had any suggestions anyway.

You might notice it's a bit heavy on the barley and veggies.... I thought I'd cram as much in as I could, now what I'm trying to invent my own recipe anyway. Nutritionally, it basically comes out the same as eating bread with normal stew 'cept barley's 1$/kg.
I thought it might be to light on the spices, but I’d rather under do it than over do it, since I can add garlic powder etc. after cooking, then adjust the recipe.

1 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat
1tbsp olive oil
4-6 cups water save 1 cup for cornstarch
3/4 teaspon garlic powder
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 to 3 tsp. dried thyme
507g barley
962g frozen vegetables mix, which includes green peas, lima beans, carrots, corn, and green beans
1.5 tsp dark sugar, maybe
4tbsp corn starch, mixed with water
7 tblspoons onion powder
salt and pepper and maybe cumin or paprika to taste if deemed suitable

1. Brown meat in olive oil.

2. Add garlic and brown sugar and onion powder. Stir and cook for two minutes.

3. Add other seasoning and vegetables and barley.

4. make a slurry with cornstarch and 1 cup water, and add after main mix heats up to 70 C or so again, stir.

5. Adding more water if barley soaks up too much, keeping track of how much water is added, simmer 1 hour or until done.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:52 PM   #5
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Onion powder will never give you the depth of flavor that real onions will. As well, I think it needs celery and carrots. The onions, celery and carrots are the foundation upon which you build your stew, just as you wouldn't build a house without a foundation....

just my 2-cents. Nobody's ever turned down a second helping of any of my stews.......
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:36 AM   #6
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Frozen vegetables are already partially cooked (parboiled) and will probably turn into mush if you cook them for an hour. If you put them in at the end, and let the pot come back up to steaming again, they will probably be about right.

But fresh veggies, especially onions and carrots and celery, cooked with the meat will add a special flavor that you don't get with the frozen ones. Chef June is right--those 3 veggies are the most common in stews for a reason!

Onion and garlic powders are missing the full zing (and eye-irritating oils) of the originals, and won't stand up to long cooking as well. You'll actually get more flavor from them if you add them at the end of the cooking.

But the best way to learn is by experience--give it a go, and don't let the liquid dry up!

Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:50 AM   #7
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If you can use real onion and garlic, do so. If not, I think the quantity of onion powder is too much.

I don't know what part of the world you live in but there are packaged stocks/broths available without MSG.

Also, you may want to consider using wheat flour in place of the cornstarch as a thickener.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:03 AM   #8
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I seriously doubt that you will need to thicken the stew with corn starch with all of the barley that you have in the mix. Barley creates it's own starchy thickening as it cooks. But, if you do need to thicken it I agree that a wheat thickener (if you can tolerate it) would be yield a better flavor and result especially for leftovers.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:14 AM   #9
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If you are omitting the onions, celery and carrots because you don't care for them, leave them whole and take them out before you serve. You still get a great flavor and all the vitamins.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:42 AM   #10
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Fresh onions would be nice, but the onion powder is Ok, especially if you don't want bits of onion in your soup. That's WAY too much, however. One or two teaspoons will be plenty.
I'm not familiar with grams, but that sounds way heavy on the barley, also. Barley really swells up and soaks up a lot of juice when you cook it. You probably don't need more than a couple handsfull.
As mentioned above, wait to put your frozen vegies in until the last 20 minutes or so, after meat is tender. Don't add your barley too soon, either. Check the package for cooking times...it won't take as long as the meat.
I like to add a small can of tomato sauce to my beef stew for richness. You might give it a try...it doesn't really make the stew taste tomatoey.


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