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Potato Stew

Potato Stew is a very filling and hearty preparation made with potatoes as the main ingredient. This is a semi-thick dish and every region of the world has its own style and variation of the same. There is no original recipe for potato stews. References to the preparation have been found in cookbooks and documents from almost all eras. Essentially a winter dish, potato stews are a popular household preparation and are often served in eateries, cafes and restaurants almost everywhere in the world, especially in regions known for their harsh winters.

Potato Stew Recipe Overview

Ingredients: Ingredients typically used in the preparation of Potato Stew include potatoes (preferably fresh), water/broth (chicken, seafood, vegetable, etc., preferably homemade), white wine/beer, oil, onions and light seasoning of salt and pepper. Vegetables and meats that complement potatoes are added to make a fuller and more flavorful stew. Carrot, cabbage, peas, leek, celery, corn, tomato, green onions, turnips, shallots, pork, chicken, seafood and fish, to name a few, are popular additions. Herbs and spices like paprika, parsley, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, etc., are added to spice-up the stew and make it more aromatic.

Preparation Overview: Potato stews are fairly easy to cook and 3-4 servings are made in about 20 to 25 minutes. To cook the stew, the potatoes (and other meats and/or vegetables, if used) are cleaned and sliced as required and then sautéed for a few minutes in a large Dutch Oven or slow cooker. All other ingredients are added and the stew is simmered till done. The result is a semi-thick gravy with cooked potatoes (and vegetables and/or meats). Chopped parsley and chives are popular garnishes.

Potato Stew Recipe Variations

  • Ethiopian Potato Stew - This popular Ethiopian version is made with sweet potatoes and common additions are onion, coriander, garlic, ginger, paprika, etc. At times, lentils are added to the dish to make it more filling.
  • Kerala Potato Stew - This variation of the dish comes from the Indian state of Kerala and is a popular breakfast food served with Appams. It is cooked in coconut milk and flavored with onion, ginger, curry leaves and green chilies. A twist to this traditional dish is the meat stew where pieces of meat are added with potatoes.
  • Baeckeoffe - A dish from the province of Alsace, this stew is made with potatoes, onions, lamb, beef and pork. The ingredients are marinated overnight in juniper berries and Alsatian white wine and then slow cooked in a traditional ceramic casserole dish that is sealed. The stew is spiced with thyme, parsley, garlic, etc.
  • Nikujaga - The Japanese version of potato stews is made with onion, potatoes and meat. It is flavored with soy sauce and vegetables are sometimes added to make a fuller dish. The meat most commonly used is thinly sliced beef, but minced or ground beef or pork can also be used. Nikujaga is a common winter-dish cooked extensively in Japanese homes.

Serving Suggestions

Potato Stew is essentially a winter dish and served piping hot. Usually, the stew is served as a complete meal, accompanied with toasted bread or steamed white rice. It can, however, also be served as an appetizer (in smaller quantities), part of the main course or even a snack.

Potato Stews Trivia

Kerala Potato Stew served with Appam holds a very prominent place in Kerala cuisine, particularly in Christian households. It is a must-have on special occasions and during festive celebrations.