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How to flavour stew

(83 Posts)
Stillmonday Sat 10-Feb-18 23:46:33

I know it's bad but I normally add 8 oxo cubes to a large beef stew which serves 6 people.
How would you season without t make more healthy? I'm worried about the salt content but it doesn't taste as nice without :/

OP’s posts: |
Heratnumber7 Sat 10-Feb-18 23:49:13


What is the rest of the recipe? And do you use any herbs or spices?

MaryPoppinsPenguins Sat 10-Feb-18 23:50:07

That sounds like a lot! I use red wine, tomato purée and two stock cubes...

Hawkmoth Sat 10-Feb-18 23:50:07

Worcestershire Sauce?

AlpacaLypse Sat 10-Feb-18 23:50:49


I use a couple of veggie oxo cubes (they're less salty than the beef ones), and a couple of bayleaves, a sprinkle of sage, thyme and some pepper. I'll have a last taste just before the dumplings go in, maybe add some salt then, but usually it's not needed.

ShovingLeopard Sat 10-Feb-18 23:51:43

Wine!! And lots of it grin

AlpacaLypse Sat 10-Feb-18 23:51:54

Also dumping a can of chopped tinned tomatoes and whatever dregs of red wine are left kicking about usually helps.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Sat 10-Feb-18 23:52:11

I use a red wine stock pot, chicken gravy pot and Rich and smoky stock pot in mine. It gives it a bit of a chilli kick and depth of flavour.

MrsPestilence Sat 10-Feb-18 23:53:24

You may have to admit that your family don't like beef stew, they like oxo.

Withhindsight Sat 10-Feb-18 23:54:13

As above but also with beef, a piece of dark chocolate to bring flavours out, also umami- buy in tubes, it's a bit Worcester sauce meets other yummy flavours, you'll never touch a stock cube again

wobytide Sat 10-Feb-18 23:55:06

Maybe hand out oxo cubes as a starter to get everyone geed up for the main course. Or as an after dinner "mint" the surprise of peeling silver foil for a beef flavour hit. Priceless

dicdicnurse Sat 10-Feb-18 23:55:16

I'm a huge salt addict but I've never added 8 stock cubes to anything! My advise would be a dash of soy sauce or a teaspoon of marmite melted in.

Stillmonday Sun 11-Feb-18 00:08:15

Oh god I feared these responses!

I put a whole head of celery, 6-8 large carrots, small swede, diced chicken or beef, few onions, and 8 oxos. Some pepper but never any extra salt.
I do add Worcestershire sauce but never any alcohol.

I need help

OP’s posts: |
AndhowcouldIeverrefuse Sun 11-Feb-18 00:12:05

My stews have meat, veg, herbs, spices, wine, salt and pepper and taste of pretty much nothing. I will try Oxo cubes!

Stillmonday Sun 11-Feb-18 00:13:20

Ha This is my trouble.. no oxo = no taste :/

OP’s posts: |
bruffin Sun 11-Feb-18 00:15:45

Lamb stew last night was
Frozen sofrito
Tin tomatos
1 chicken stock cube
Harrisa spices

Notso Sun 11-Feb-18 00:17:36

I use alcohol, herbs, stock melt relevant to the meat I'm using and a veg stock, maybe a spoonful of marmite if it needs it.

bruffin Sun 11-Feb-18 00:17:39

Not harissa , ras el hanout

NorthernLurker Sun 11-Feb-18 00:19:44

You need to add wine or stout. That's a ridiculous amount of salt.

Blondie1984 Sun 11-Feb-18 00:24:27

DO you brown your meat beforehand? I find that really helps with the flavour- that and cooking it with ale

LoniceraJaponica Sun 11-Feb-18 00:26:59

A tin of oxtail soup is excellent in a beef stew.

Stillmonday Sun 11-Feb-18 00:32:29

Alcohol is a no no so I need another option please!

OP’s posts: |
HeddaGarbled Sun 11-Feb-18 00:38:14

Your problem is that the meat and veg aren't enough to give the casserole a tasty flavour. Multiple oxo cubes are not the answer!

You need a gravy or sauce. Plenty of suggestions above or just google recipes.

A good recipe is best but if you are looking for short cuts better than 8 Oxo cubes here's some suggestions:

Gravy made with a heaped tablespoon of Bisto gravy granules added to boiled water with a dash of red wine

Half a pint of stock made with one Oxo cube with quarter of a pint of boiling water and quarter of a pint of red or white wine

Half a pint of stock made with one Oxo cube with added flavours: choose some from tomato purée, chilli powder, balsamic vinegar, chutney, spices e.g. cumin, paprika, herbs e.g. tarragon, rosemary

Packets of gravy or casserole mixes or jars of casserole mixes

But really, start searching for recipes and experiment till you find some you all like

halfwitpicker Sun 11-Feb-18 00:43:38

How much meat are you actually using though? It's a lot of veg to say, just one pack of meat.

Also, what helps my stews, is browning the meat beforehand. Toss the meat in flour, fry in oil on all sides. Remove from pan, deglaze pan with water or stock then add all ingredients back to the dish.

HeddaGarbled Sun 11-Feb-18 00:44:24

Ok, just seen your no alcohol post. For beef casserole, I would go with a standard gravy and then serve with horseradish sauce and/or mustard. For lamb, gravy again, but with mint sauce.

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