3 Things Your Stew Needs Before It’s Done

published Jan 13, 2017
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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Your stew has been bubbling and simmering on the stovetop for hours. By all accounts it seems like it’s done and ready to hit the table, but not so fast — there are three more tiny things your pot of stew needs before it’s really done.

1. Acid

Have you ever tasted a stew where the flavor was dull or flat? Like, the potential was there, but the stew just needed that one extra thing you couldn’t quite pinpoint?

Acid, in the form of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, is that one final ingredient that helps your stew realize its full potential. A tablespoon or two makes all the difference. You won’t actually taste the acid, or even its bite; instead it brightens up the stew to bring all the ingredients together in flavorful harmony.

2. Extra Salt

Even though you seasoned the ingredients with salt as you were cooking, there’s a chance your stew could benefit from a bit more. As a rule of thumb, always taste the stew before serving, and then add another pinch of salt.

3. Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are the final pick-me-up for your stew. Be sure not to add them too soon, as they lose their fresh aroma when subjected to heat for too long. Leafy fresh herbs do their best work and are at their most flavorful when added at the very end of cooking. Consider adding herbs like parsley, chives, basil, cilantro, or tarragon.

Do you have any finishing tricks to make your stew even better?