6 Ways To Make Beef Stew Different

Make beef super tasty with these extra ingredients.

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Beef chunks and water isn't all that goes into a beef stew recipe.

Depending on what kind of beef stew you're making, it can have a range of ingredients that can make it super delicious. It can have tomato paste, potato chunks, soy sauce, and even an exotic spice or two mixed in to keep you guessing on why you always need another cup of rice.    

If you want to try something new with your beef stew recipe, try adding any of these delicious ingredients to make it more appetizing:     

Photo by Patrick Martires

1 Use red wine.

The classic beef bourguignon recipe is a French beef stew that uses a good amount of red wine. It uses around 3 cups of red wine, which is almost a full bottle. Red wine is probably what makes it so delicious with a depth of flavor with its fruity notes, fresh herbs, and savory flavors.

This version of a beef stew with red wine however has one more ingredient that makes it super tasty: coffee. You can also add even more fruity notes to the beef stew by adding strips of orange zest for added flavor. 

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Photo by Majoy Siason

2 Stir in coconut milk and peanut butter. 

This regional beef dish called beef kulma is packed with flavors from the South. It not only has curry leaves but it also has coconut milk and peanut butter, adding richness and creaminess that both ingredients provide.  

Photo by Majoy Siason

3 Add star anise. 

Beef pares is comfort food at its best. It's made from small chunks of beef, simmered until tender in a flavorful liquid that's more soup than sauce. What makes this comforting beef stew so delicious is the umami from the soy sauce, the sweetness from the sugar, and the exotic flavor of the star anise. You only need one or two pieces of the whole spice, so when using the ground-up version, use the five-pointed spice with a light hand as it can overpower all other flavors. You can add a little cinnamon to round out its flavors.   


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Photo by Majoy Siason

4 Add chocolate. 

Can you guess the secret that makes this beef recipe unique? It's not evident just by looking at it but this beef stew has tsokolate tablea or the local chocolate stirred into the sauce. This isn't that surprising since chocolate is an ingredient that didn't start off sweet in the first place. Some beef recipes include chocolate or at least cocoa powder in the dish, such as chili, the mole sauce, and other Mexican recipes. It adds an earthy bitterness that contrasts wonderfully with the savory taste that can delight your taste buds.


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Photo by Bianca Laxamana

5 Stir in sesame seeds or sesame oil. 

This version of the beef stew is Korea's version of the pares with more ingredients added. While the beef pares is the basic way of making a super simple beef stew, this similarly soupy version is sweeter, with no hint of the star anise spice. However, what it does have is sesame seeds, which add a delicious warmth of flavor and aroma that's irresistible. Stir in some Korean hot pepper paste to give it some heat, too.  


Photo by Majoy Siason

6 Add olives. 

An "estofado" translates to "stew" and this version uses Pinoy staples tomato sauce and soy sauce to start making it flavorful. It is simmered down to make the sauce rich and uses oregano and paprika to give it extra flavor. What's surprising in this recipe is the addition of briny olives. These salty drupes give this rich tomato and beef stew a burst of flavor when you bite into one. 


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Oct 26, 2019

A simple beef stew can already be a comforting meal. Make it even more comforting and appetizing to eat with any of these recipe hacks so you're delighted by the surprising taste you add each time you make a beef stew recipe. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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