Stews are perfect meals to signal the beginning of the colder seasons. The simple, earthy ingredients are nourishing both for the belly and the soul. Most stews can be made with pantry products, seasonal vegetables, and local meats which is what makes them the perfect go-to meal. Every country has its version of stew, sometimes even every household! Here are 10 stews from around the world to satiate your winter appetite.
1 Irish Beef & Guinness Stew
Let’s pay homage to the classic pub fare and enjoy a hearty warm dish of beef & Guinness stew. It’s fairly easy to make, and there are plenty of variations, but the main ingredients are ones you can find in any local supermarket.
2 Hungarian Goulash
One of the most famous dishes of Hungary, both inside and outside of the country, would have to be hands-down – Hungarian goulash. Like most traditional dishes, an exact recipe is hard to come by as it can even vary from household to household. There are a few ingredients though that almost always remain a staple of this dish – onions, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, stock, oil or lard, and a choice of beef or pork. The Hungarian spice which is a must in this Central European dish is paprika which gives this stew a mildly sweet flavor and gorgeous color. This is a perfect weeknight dish for family dinners.
3 Columbian Chicken Stew
Better known as Sudado de Pollo, Columbian chicken stew is typically served with rice so that every last bite is immersed in the flavorful broth of the dish. It is made with a handful of easy to find ingredients – chicken, tomatoes, onion, bay lead and potatoes, cumin, cilantro chicken broth, and bell pepper. If you can make your own chicken broth ahead of time, this dish will exceed all expectations. Garnish with avocado, lime, and cilantro, and be ready to ask for a second helping.
4 Mexican Black Bean Vegan Stew
There are two great things about this Mexican black bean stew – it is delicious and it is easy to make. You will need a few staple Mexican spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika, and chili pepper to pack those flavors, and the other ingredients can all be found at your local grocery store. You will need black beans, garlic, canned tomatoes, garlic, and vegetable oil. Use canned beans or go all out and soak your dried beans overnight. You may want to make an extra hearty batch, as this freezes well in portion size containers.
This stew is also perfect for company and is surprisingly versatile. You can serve with rice and avocado on the side, eat it on its own, serve with tortillas or even top with cheese if you want to be truly indulgent. Garnish with cilantro and lemon zest and you’ve got yourself a dish worth adding to the recipe book.
5 Navajo Lamb Stew
If there is one stew that is truly food for the soul, it is Navajo lamb stew. The subtle aromas which fill your home while this stew simmers bring a sense of warmth and tradition with it. The ingredients to this stew include lamb, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, tomato, cabbage, sweetcorn, coriander seeds, and thyme. Let these cook together for a few hours and you have a perfect weekend dinner to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.
This is a dish that is typically served with cornmeal dumplings. You can buy them, but while you’re waiting for your stew to cook why not try your hand at making your own? You’ll need cornmeal, milk, baking powder, butter, and flour and you’ve got yourself the perfect accompaniment to your warm homemade stew.
6 New Orleans Gumbo
This southern classic dish oozes flavor and history all in one tasty dish. It’s known for its rich base which is made from shrimp, crab, chicken, and oyster liquid which creates a unique flavor typical of New Orleans. The gumbo recipe has gone through many variations, some of the more traditional recipes from the 20th century included ingredients such as squirrel and rabbit and this is when the addition of greens and cabbage came into play as well.
There are a few flavors and ingredients which you can find in most gumbos and those include cayenne pepper, crab, oysters, and okra. If you’re making a small batch, expect to be cooking for a little over 3 hours – this includes the homemade broth which is a must in this recipe.
7 Coq au Vin French Stew
It’s no wonder coq au vin stew was a Julia Child classic. This is a dish for those evenings when you want to show off your cooking skills. The chicken is slowly braised in wine to create a rich sauce with complex flavors that merge beautifully with the other ingredients such as bacon, mushrooms, and pearl onions. French dishes are famous for their use of butter as a thickening agent, giving this stew a delicate sauce perfect for bread dipping.
Like most stews, this one will take about 3 hours to make but you will probably find yourself hovering over it in the kitchen trying to decipher the new aromas that arise from the pot with every passing hour. Choose your favorite red wine to cook with and pair this dish with.
8 Vegan Indian Chickpea & Potato Stew
If you’re in the mood for something savory and full of flavor, you will want to try an Indian chickpea and potato stew. This high-protein dish is pleasantly aromatic, bursting with dried spices such as garam masala, coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin mustard seeds, cloves, black pepper, and fresh spices such as mint, cilantro, ginger, and garlic.
The main ingredients are chickpeas, stewed in crushed tomatoes. Serve with yogurt, rice, and/or Indian chapati bread. This is a scrumptious stew perfect for gluten-free, vegetarians, or vegans. The spices blend perfectly, making this a satisfying dish to make at home over and over again.
9 Mediterranean Fish Stew
Being mostly a coastal country, Italy is full of amazing fish dishes, and this Sicilian fish stew is no exception. This particular stew is made with another Sicilian favorite – tomatoes! There is a delicate mix of sweet and savory in this tomato-based stew which highlights the soft texture of skinless sea bass. This is a slow-cooked stew made with local ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, capers, white wine, raisins, garlic, pine nuts, onion, parsley, and of course – fish. You can replace the sea bass with fresh cod or any white structured white fish and if you’re feeling experimental, add a few chopped potatoes or freshly sliced calamari towards the end of cooking time. No Italian meal is complete, without pairing it with Italian wine.
10 Russia Sweet & Sour Beef Solyanka Stew
There are plenty of ingredients that make this stew an unforgettable one, all of which mix together perfectly to form a warm and savory solyanka stew with just the right amount of subtle sweetness. This traditional stew was known as a “peasant dish” but is now quite popular and every grandmother has her special take on this recipe. Thanks to the abundance of ingredients, it is a dish whose quantities you can easily experiment with. Add more or what you like, and less of what you don’t and create your own version of this delicious stew.
Some of the ingredients include a hearty mixture of smoked sausages, beef, bacon, a variety of mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onion, pickles, cream, and plenty more. Cook for 3 hours and enjoy it. This is one of those meals that somehow tastes even better the next day so make an ample batch!