9 Warming Winter Stews ...

When it's cold outside, the wind is blowing, and you just want to keep warm, try one of these winter stews for dinner. Stew is a hearty, warming meal to have on a cold evening, plus you can really experiment with it. I've found a variety of delicious winter stew recipes if you want more opportunities to experiment in the kitchen while making a hot, scrumptious, and nutritious meal that warms you from the inside out!

1. Lamb and Prune Stew

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If you've ever eaten lamb with any sweet fruits, you already know how good this is going to be. It's so decadent, it's one of my favorite winter stews. The lamb's gamy flavor mixes so well with the subtle sweetness of prunes, although I daresay you could probably use plums if you wanted. The carrots are earthy and the spices are just perfect for cool winter evenings!

Ingredients:
3 lb. boneless lamb shoulder or leg, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 Β½- to 2-inch pieces
3 Tbs. grapeseed oil or vegetable oil; more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, coarsely chopped (about Β½ cup)
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 to 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup hard cider
2 Β½ cups homemade or lower-salt store-bought beef broth
2 Β½ cups peeled pearl onions
2 Β½ cups 1-inch carrot pieces
1 cup prunes, cut into bite-size pieces
ΒΌ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 325Β°F. Spread the lamb on paper towels to dry for 10 to 20 minutes before browning. (You can use this time to chop the onion, celery, and carrot). If the meat is very wet, pat it dry.

In a 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Season about one-third of the lamb with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the pot (there should be at least 1/2 inch of space between the pieces). Brown well on at least 4 sides, adjusting the heat as necessary; each batch should take about 10 minutes to brown. Transfer the lamb to a large bowl or rimmed baking sheet as it browns and repeat with the rest of the lamb, seasoning with salt and pepper before browning. Once all of the lamb is browned, remove the pot from the heat to let it cool for a few minutes.

Pour all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. (If there is not enough, add oil to equal 2 Tbs.) Return the pot to medium heat, then add the yellow onion, celery, and coarsely chopped carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the cider, stirring with the wooden spatula to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat to medium high and boil to reduce by about half, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the beef broth and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil.

Return the lamb to the pot along with any accumulated juice. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Crumple a 12x16-inch piece of parchment, then flatten it out. (Crumpling makes for easy handling.) Place the parchment directly on the surface of the stew, allowing the ends to come up the sides of the pot. Cover and put in the oven.

After 1 hour of stewing, add the pearl onions, carrot pieces, and prunes to the pot. Cover with the parchment and lid, and cook until the lamb is fork-tender, 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 hours more (shoulder cuts will take longer than leg cuts).

Stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Degrease the stew by laying a clean paper towel over the surface of the stew and gently pushing it into all the bumps and dips, then quickly peeling it off. Repeat as necessary with more paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

finecooking.com

2. Garbanzo Bean Stew

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This is a great recipe, and if you don't like kielbasa, you can easily substitute another meat or protein, or leave it out entirely. This one's a quick, easy recipe with stick-to-your-ribs heat and flavor. It's a great alternative to most traditional stews.

Ingredients:
2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium-size carrots, halved lengthwise then sliced crosswise ΒΌ inch thick (1 cup)
2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise ΒΌ inch thick (1 cup)
1 medium-size onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
1 medium-size sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 medium-size sweet green pepper, cored, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Β½ teaspoon dried basil
ΒΌ teaspoon black pepper
1 package (1 pound) Polish kielbasa, cut into cubes
2-Β½ cups beef broth
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 container (8 ounces) prepared hummus

Directions:
Spread beans over the bottom of a 5- to 5-1/2-quart slow-cooker. Layer the carrots, celery, onion and sweet red and green peppers on top of the beans. Sprinkle evenly with the thyme, basil and black pepper. Place the cubed kielbasa evenly over the top of the vegetables. Pour the beef broth over all the ingredients.

Cover pot; cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, or on LOW for 10 to 11 hours, until vegetables are tender.

Stir the tomato paste, hummus and salt into the liquid in the slow-cooker. Cover the pot; cook on high for 10 to 15 or until the stew is heated through.

recipe.com

3. Moroccan Lamb Stew

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I couldn't resist this one, simply because the flavors are so amazing. It's tart but rich and just delicious. It takes a while to make, but it's worth all the effort. This is the kind of stew I like to make when I want to try something new and completely homemade. It's strange, but complicated recipes relieve me of other stress!

Ingredients:
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 lb. cubed lamb for stewing
Β½ cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
ΒΌ tsp. saffron threads
1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 Β½ cups beef stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped dried dates
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions and sautΓ© until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Pat the lamb dry with paper towels. Place the flour in a large bowl or sealable plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Add the lamb in batches and stir or shake to coat thoroughly with the seasoned flour.

Warm the remaining 3 Tbs. oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the lamb and brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes for each batch. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Return the onion mixture and the lamb along with any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the garlic, cumin, saffron and ginger and stir to coat the meat and vegetables. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the tomatoes, dates, and orange zest and juice and bring to a boil over high heat.

Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake until the meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If the sauce seems too thin, using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to a bowl and boil the sauce on the stove top until thickened. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

williams-sonoma.com

4. Beef Barley Soup

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I had to add this simple soup, because it's ideal for cold days. It's great when you feel a little blah or if you're interested in having a warm, cozy, lazy day. Beef and barley is one of my favorite casual weekend stews; it reminds me of my dad fixing me Campbell's when I was a kid – but this version is much, much better!

Ingredients:
1 Β½ pounds boneless beef chuck
6 cups water
2 cups diced celery
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
Β½ teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup quick-cooking barley

Directions:
Trim fat from meat; cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes. In a Dutch oven combine meat, water, celery, mushrooms, carrots, onion, salt, rosemary, pepper, and garlic. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until meat is tender. If necessary, skim fat.

Stir in tomato paste and barley. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 mintues or until barley is done. Makes 8 servings.

recipe.com

5. Pea and Parmigiano Soup

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Just the title of this soup drew me when I found this recipe. I could not imagine how that flavor profile would work – but it really does. It works amazingly well. Frankly, I love this soup for any number of reasons, from its taste to its bright color, which really is great on grey winter days.

Ingredients:
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
Β½ cup finely chopped shallots
ΒΌ cup dry white wine
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1 large Yukon Gold potato (8 oz.), peeled and cut into Β½-inch cubes (1 cup)
10 oz. (2 cups) frozen peas
1 Β½ oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 Β½ cups using a rasp grater)
Freshly ground black pepper
White truffle oil, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, raise the heat to medium high, and cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and potato and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the peas, cover the pan, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes more.

PurΓ©e the soup in 2 batches in a blender until very smooth. Reheat the soup in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the Parmigiano, the remaining 1 Tbs. butter, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring, until melted. Serve drizzled with the truffle oil, if using.

finecooking.com

6. Country Potato and Cabbage Soup

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I don't know if there's a heartier soup than this one. Cabbage and potatoes, you can't get more filling than that! This stew is clean, crisp, and delicious, a great change from the usual. It's wonderfully earthy, and again, you can leave out the meat if you want to, the soup is still magnificent.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
1 large onion
1 leek, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
Β½ cup dry white wine
6 parsley sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 pound small red potatoes, thinly sliced
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound green cabbage, finely shredded (4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons snipped chives
3 Β½ slices of country bread, cut into cubes
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Directions:
In a soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat until crisp, 5 minutes. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat until softened, 10 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until nearly evaporated, 5 minutes.

Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf with string; add to the pot along with the potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the cabbage is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Discard the herb bundle. Stir in the chives.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the bread and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the croutons are golden brown, 6 minutes; discard the garlic. Season with salt and sprinkle with the parsley.

Ladle the soup into deep bowls. Sprinkle with the croutons and serve.

recipe.com

7. Thai-Style Pork Stew

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If you want something really new, really inspired, and really original, try this. It is absolutely delicious. I can't get over the addition of peanut butter, or the way it works so well! Try this, I'm telling you. If you already like Thai food or just think this stew sounds interesting, give it a try.

Ingredients:
2 pounds boned pork loin, cut into 4 pieces
2 cups (1 x ΒΌ inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
ΒΌ cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
ΒΌ cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups hot cooked basmati rice
Β½ cup diagonally cut green onions
2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
8 lime wedges

Directions:
To prepare stew, trim fat from pork. Place pork and next 5 ingredients (pork through garlic) in an electric slow cooker. Cover with lid, and cook on low-heat setting for 8 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker, and coarsely chop. Add peanut butter to liquid in slow cooker; stir well. Stir in pork.

Combine stew and rice in a large bowl. Top each serving with onions and peanuts; serve with lime wedges.

myrecipes.com

8. Kielbasa Stew

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I've gotten into kielbasa recently. I blame the Better Half, and she blames one of her coworker's, but it all comes down to the same. And I really, really love this stew. It's a new take on an old favorite, but the small changes make huge differences. Plus, this will get you warmed up in no time.

Ingredients:
4 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
3 cups peeled, cubed potato
1 Β½ cups sliced carrots
1 pound cooked kielbasa, sliced
Β½ teaspoon dried basil, crushed
Β½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
Β½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth

Directions:
In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine cabbage, potato, and carrots. Top with kielbasa. Sprinkle basil, thyme, and pepper over kielbasa. Pour chicken broth over all.

Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

recipe.com

9. Beef Stew with Root Vegetables and Horseradish

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I'm crazy about horseradish, and I make a stew very much like this. It's delicious, with just enough bite to warm you down to the tips of your toes. Though it calls for root vegetables, you could use any kind of vegetable you have, almost, especially if you're looking to empty out the crisper a little.

Ingredients:
3 lb. boneless beef shoulder roast, chuck roast, or top blade, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch pieces
2 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbs. grapeseed oil or vegetable oil; more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. minced fresh sage
1 cup dry red wine
2-Β½ cups homemade or lower-salt store-bought beef broth
2 cups parsnip pieces (halve lengthwise, core, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 cups carrot pieces (1-inch pieces)
2 cups halved small red potatoes
ΒΌ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. drained prepared horseradish

Directions:
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 325Β°F. Spread the beef on paper towels to dry for 10 to 20 minutes before browning. (You can use this time to chop the onion, celery, and carrot). If the meat is very wet, pat it dry.

In a 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, cook the bacon in the oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned but not crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Do not wipe out the pan.

Heat the bacon fat over medium to medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Season about one-third of the beef with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the pot (there should be at least 1/2 inch of space between the pieces). Brown well on at least 4 sides, adjusting the heat as necessary; each batch should take about 10 minutes to brown. Transfer the beef to a large bowl or rimmed baking sheet as it browns and repeat with the rest of the beef, seasoning with salt and pepper before browning. Once all of the beef is browned, remove the pot from the heat to let it cool for a few minutes.

Pour all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot. (If there is not enough, add oil to equal 2 Tbs.) Return the pot to medium heat, then add the onion, celery, and carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the bacon to the pot.

Add the wine, stirring with the wooden spatula to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat to medium high and boil to reduce by about half, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the beef broth and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Return the beef to the pot along with any accumulated juice. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer.

Crumple a 12x16-inch piece of parchment, then flatten it out. (Crumpling makes for easy handling.) Place the parchment directly on the surface of the stew, allowing the ends to come up the sides of the pot. Cover and put in the oven.

After 1 hour of stewing, add the parsnips, carrot pieces, and potatoes to the pot. Cover with the parchment and lid, and cook until the beef is fork-tender, 1 to 2 hours more. (Shoulder cuts will take longer than leg cuts.)

Stir in the parsley and horseradish. Degrease the stew by laying a clean paper towel over the surface of the stew and gently pushing it into all the bumps and dips, then quickly peeling it off. Repeat as necessary with more paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

finecooking.com

I love many of these recipes and I can't wait to try the others. Stew is so easy to make, really, plus you can easily freeze it and save it for a later meal. Help yourself to something warm and filling the next time the temperatures plummet. What's your favorite meal on those kinds of evenings?

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