We’re tempted to describe stew recipes as timesavers because while it takes at least an hour to cook, you can organize your bills (or catch up on your Facebook reading). So we’ll just say it’s perfect when you’re multitasking. And if you’re really in a rush, use a pressure cooker (like we did) to cut your prep time in half. By the way, stews are perfect for using up ingredients from your pantry and chiller. Just add your favorite meat.
Pork, Beans, and Carrot Stew A bowl of this flavorful white stew will satiate even the hungriest of diners.
Takes 45 minutes plus cooling Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoons oil 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1/2 kilo pork, adobo cut 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 5 cups pork stock 1/2 cup munggo beans 1 (400 grams) can white beans (cannelini) 2 carrots, peeled, chopped Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a pressure cooker over medium heat, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook until softened. 2. Add the pork by the handful until seared on all sides. Sprinkle in cinnamon and flour and cook until aromatic, stirring. Add in munggo and pour in stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer, seal lid and cook until beans and pork are tender, about 30 minutes. 3. Let cool to release pressure. Open lid and bring back to a simmer. Add carrots and simmer until softened. Stir in white beans, and season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Serve with steamed rice.
Spiced Beef Stew The kalabasa gives this beef stew a little sweetness to complement the spices.
Takes 1 hour 30 minutes plus cooling Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoons oil 1 onion, sliced 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 teaspoon cumin1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1 kilo beef cubes, mechado cut 4 cups water, more if needed 1 1/2 cups kalabasa, peeled, cubed 2 cups potatoes, peeled, cubed 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a pressure cooker over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until softened. Sprinkle in spices and cook until aromatic. 2. Add beef cubes and brown on all sides. Pour enough water to cover meat. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, then seal lid. Simmer 45 minutes, or until fork tender. 3. Let cool to release pressure. Open lid and bring back to a simmer. Add potatoes; cook until almost tender. Add more water, if necessary. Add kalabasa and cook until both vegetables have softened. Add peas; stir and cook until heated through and sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with steamed rice.
Meatball Stew Pressed for time? Use readymade meatballs.
Takes 1 hour Makes 6 servings
1/2 kilo ground pork 1/2 cup cooked rice 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided Zest from 1 lemon, finely grated 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 1/3 cup seasoned flour 1 1/2 cups pork stock 1 onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 teaspoon paprika 2 cups tomato sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced Oil for pan frying Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. Combine pork, rice, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, zest, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Form into balls. Dredge in seasoned fl our. Pan fry over medium heat. Cook meatballs until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Set aside. 2. Drain excess oil from pan, reserving about 2 tablespoons; sauté onions and garlic until softened. Add paprika, tomato sauce, stock, and sugar. Add peppers and return meatballs to the pan. Cook until sauce has thickened slightly. Season to taste. Serve over steamed rice.
Chicken-Vegetable Rice Stew A modern take on good ol’ fashioned lugaw—as comforting as the original.
Takes 50 minutes Makes 8 servings
2 onions, sliced 4 chicken thighs, chopped in half 4 cups chicken stock, more if needed 1 cup malagkit 1 cup whole mushrooms, halved 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 2 tablespoons patis Salt and ground black pepper, to taste Oil for sautéing
1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat about 2 tablespoons oil. Add and sauté onions until softened. Lightly season chicken pieces and place, skin side down, in pot. Cook until browned on both sides. 2. Pour in chicken stock and add malagkit; stir. Bring to a boil then let simmer until rice is cooked, stirring occasionally. Add more chicken stock, if too thick. 3. Add mushrooms and mixed vegetables and simmer until heated through. Season with patis and ground black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Photos by Miguel Nacianceno. Styling by Cleone Baradas. This article originally appeared in the January-February 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping Philippines. Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting editors.