Winter weather calls for cooking a meal low and slow on the stove for a couple of hours. The spices mixed with the meat or veggies (and maybe even a splash of wine) are guaranteed to make your home smell wonderful for hours. Stews and braises are closely related, with a defining difference: the amount of liquid used. But the most important thing they have in common? How delicious they are when served up for dinner on a cold, snowy night.
Need convincing that stews and braises don't have to be filled with meat? Just try this curried coconut milk-based stew for a change of heart. And because you can make it in the slow cooker, it's one of those low-fuss meals you'll be adding to your dinner rotation immediately.
The best part about this dinner-party-worthy dish is that the shredded beef can actually be made in advance. And it calls for chuck roast, which is less expensive than short ribs or other fancier cuts of meat.
A slow stew makes hearty greens even more delicious. And this version has a robust and tangy profile, thanks to the addition of apple cider vinegar and spicy chorizo.
The nice thing about this tender oxtail ragu is that you can follow the recipe to the letter or adjust it to your preferences for the desired level of heat and flavor. Add your favorite spices and make it your own.
This dish is proof that comfort food can be healthy after all. The braised baby spinach and chickpeas are cooked in coconut milk, and served atop a baked sweet potato.
Every cook should have a couple of recipes in their back pocket that they know how to make by heart (or almost by heart). Beef stew is one of those recipes. Follow this template to make the best stew you've ever had.
The great thing about pork shank is — unlike other cuts of meat — it doesn't actually take hours to braise. So if you want a comforting dish that's on the table faster than the rest, this is the recipe for you.
One of the best things you can do for your weekly meal prep is make a pot roast for Sunday night dinner. There are tons of ways to use the leftovers for dinners during the rest of the busy week.
This Polish dish is perfect for winter entertaining. Its richness comes from a few types of sausage, sauerkraut, and beer. Invite some friends over — it's the perfect winter meal to share with a crowd.
Black-eyed peas are incredibly easy to cook, and have a delightfully creamy texture while retaining their shape — no need to worry about a mushy stew. Just be sure to serve this with a side of cornbread to sop up the savory juices.
The key to this slow-cooking bean stew is that it is cooked in the oven instead of on the stovetop to ensure a blanket of steady heat turn the beans into a velvety mash. It's time to break out the Dutch oven!
Ready to conquer short ribs? Enjoy their big flavor after a day of shoveling when you follow this step-by-step braising tutorial.
This hearty, traditional African stew is best served with a side of rice, stewed greens, and chapati. If you want to go fully traditional, you'll need to roast the peanuts over a charcoal fire, but we've made a slight tweak that makes preparing it a little easier.
Don't be alarmed if you're used to eating radishes raw. This simple braise, complete with shallots and bacon, will make you change your tune. Their peppery bite mellows, and you'll find yourself craving these next time the temperatures drop.
This braised chicken recipe gets a deep, savory sweetness from caramelized onions and a hearty sprinkling of Gruyère cheese for a salty, nutty finish.
While this stew does take a little bit of prep work to get all the ingredients ready for the slow cooker, it's worth the added effort — especially given the fact that once everything is chopped, you can put it in the slow cooker and come home to a comforting stew.
The prolonged heat of a braise does wonderful things for wedges of fennel in this recipe, coaxing out even more of their inherent sweetness. Oniony shallots help to temper the strong licorice flavor of the fennel, but grow slightly sweet in their own right. This might be your new go-to side dish.
Using pork tenderloin in this hearty stew makes it doable as a weeknight meal. If you want to upgrade it for a slow-cooking weekend meal, opt for a pork shoulder instead. And feel free to use your favorite winter squash if you don't have pumpkin on hand.
Consider this an upgrade on the traditional stroganoff recipe. It uses a braised, boneless beef shoulder; fresh mushrooms; and perfectly cooked pappardelle. All that's missing is your favorite glass of red wine.
This tomato-rich dish is more akin to a risotto than other lentil entrées you may have tried. It is creamy and delicious without being heavy. And the slight bitterness of the broccoli rabe is the perfect counterpart to the creamy base.
(Image credits: Faith Durand; Emma Christensen; Sara Kate Gillingham; Danielle Tsi; Melissa Ryan; Cambria Bold; Coco Morante; Nealey Dozier; Kimberley Hasselbrink)