Chilis, soups, and stews are classic methods for putting together a big family meal with a single pan. Chewing is valuable for satiety and varied textures provide interest that keep a bowl of stuff from getting boring from beginning to end. Use these tips to keep chilis, soups, and stews fresh and fun for your family.
Layer your cooking times.
If softer ingredients go in at the same time as harder ingredients, you’ll either have complete mush or undercooked bits. Start with your onions and meat, keeping in mind that leaner whole meats need longer cook times to tenderize and leaner ground meats need less time to avoid becoming tough. Firm veggies like potatoes and squash go in next, and finally, delicate flavor components like fruits and herbs go in close to service.
Consider balancing sweet with savory.
A smidge of sweetness can do a lot for a savory dish to make it special. For dishes like beef stew, add in some chopped apple or pear in the last twenty minutes of cooking. For things like chili, add corn in close to the end of the cook time and maybe, as with this dish, incorporate just a breath of chocolate.