Saving Problem Stews

If the stew you made wasn’t all you’d hoped for, you may be able to fix the stew’s problem (or, at least, make the problem less noticeable). A stew can go wrong in several ways, and each has its own possible fixes:

  • Flat-tasting: Add salt and pepper. Or try a little sherry or Madeira.

  • Tough: Cook it longer. Additional cooking breaks down the sinew in muscular cuts of meat. You may want to remove the vegetables in the dish with a slotted spoon to prevent them from overcooking.

  • Burned on the bottom: Carefully scoop out the unburned portion of the stew into a separate pot. Add water or stock to stretch the stew if necessary, and add sherry and a chopped onion.

    The sweetness in an onion can mask many mistakes.

  • Too thin: Blend 1 tablespoon flour with 1 tablespoon water. Mix this mixture with 1 cup stew liquid and return to the pot with the rest of the stew. Stir well. Heat slowly until thickened.