Baby, you’ve got a stew going.
As the weather turns cooler, it’s time to cozy up with something warm and hearty. But don’t just fall back on the usual—expand your horizons and try experimenting with some new recipes. This season, explore the world from the comfort of your own kitchen with these 10 stews.
Top Picks for You
Coq au Vin
This classic French stew is centered around chicken that’s been braised in wine, fatty bacon, and mushrooms. While the vin in question may vary from region to region, using a Burgundy is perhaps the most common choice. After just a few minutes of having this dish simmer on your stovetop, you’ll feel like you’re enjoying a relaxed, autumnal evening in a farmhouse located in the French countryside. For such a classically French dish, you can’t go wrong with using Julia Child’s recipe.
Chickpeas are the star of this Tunisian stew that is often eaten for breakfast but can make for a delicious meal at any time of the day. At its most basic, the ingredients include (of course) chickpeas cooked in a broth that’s been flavored with garlic and cumin. And from there, there is any number of ways to build off the base and tailor the final product to your liking. Some common additions are a soft boiled egg, a little lemon juice, and/or some harissa to give this hearty dish a little spicy kick. Get started on your own version with a recipe from 196 Flavors.
It’s said that this Russian beef stew was created by chefs working for the noble Stroganov family. The story probably isn’t true (though it would be pretty messed up if you invented a dish only for the rich people you’re working for to have their name associated with it), as some version of the dish was already in existence at this point. While this dish has a bit of a dated reputation, this will sate your next craving for some cold-weather comfort food. Ready to start cooking? Check out Delish’s recipe here.
This dish is made with lamb or mutton that’s been flavored with a plethora of seasonings—cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, garlic, ginger. And then, like so many good stew recipes, is given the “low and slow” treatment. This dish gets its signature red hue from plenty of powdered Kashmiri chilies. (If you’re someone who’s not exactly angling to guest on Hot Ones anytime soon, don’t worry, they’re not that spicy.) Check out Food & Wine’s recipe and you’ll be well on your way to something delicious.
WHERE: Indonesia and Malaysia
This popular seafood stew tells you exactly what to expect right in its name. Literally translated, asam pedas means “sour spicy.” There are multiple variations but a few things are key. First, an intact fish. Mackerel is a common choice but a range of whole fish or fish heads will do. The second thing you’ll need is to soak the pulp of tamarind until you can squeeze its juice into some water. And then, the eponymous spiciness, which comes from a chili paste. For a guide to your own “spicy sour” experience, check out this recipe from Rasa Malaysia.
WHERE: West Africa
One of the ways this stew is said to have gotten its name (“palaver” in Portuguese roughly translates to “a fuss” or “a disagreement”), is that it’s so good that any argument you might have is soothed by this dish. There are variations throughout West Africa but it consistently is made from a mix of meat and fish, leafy greens, and ground egusi seeds. Try this recipe from Immaculate Bites the next time you’re craving something satisfying (or maybe the next time you have a dinner party where there might be some tension that needs quelling).
WHERE: South Korea
This stew came about in the wake of the Korean War when food was hard to come by. But people who lived near U.S. military bases were able to find processed American foods like Spam, sausage, and canned beans. These ingredients were then combined in a hot pot with kimchi and thus budae-jjigae (“army base stew”) was born. It’s not the sort of thing you have if you’re looking for a light dinner. It is, however, perfect for capping off a breezy night of drinking. Ready for some extremely comforting comfort food? Check out Korean Bapsang’s recipe.
A wide range of places offer their own take on feijoada, but it’s so popular in Brazil it’s the country’s national dish. The Brazilian feijoada is made with black beans and pork products (most crucially, smoked sausage). Sprinkle with toasted farofa and serve this hearty stew with rice and collard greens for a perfect meal. Follow along with Food & Wine’s recipe and you’ll be good to go.
WHERE: The Middle East and Greece
The three main ingredients for this stew are lamb, okra, and tomato. Each region has its own variation and while it is widely cooked as an everyday dish, it’s also enjoyed a more exalted position as it’s the sort of dish that’s featured alongside celebrations, fasting season, and Easter in Greece and Cyprus. Start your bamia journey with a recipe from Every Little Crumb.
WHERE: Andean South America
Locro features heavily throughout the Andean regions of South America, but it is especially popular in Argentina where it’s frequently served on the anniversary of the May Revolution, a series of events that ignited the country’s War of Independence. The main ingredients of this stew are squash, corn, and meat. Try it for yourself with this recipe from Amigo Foods.