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Cooking in College: A warm stew to combat the cold

A warm, simmering stew does wonders on a cold day, and there will be no shortage of those in the coming weeks. The great thing about stews, however, is that they can be made in bulk, so there doesn’t need to be shortage.

The featured recipe for this week is a Japanese curry, one of my favorite types of stews. The fragrance of the spices is sharp yet alluring, and the wonderful taste is only emboldened by the aroma. Additionally, the warmth of the stew heats up the very core of anyone who eats it.

When making stews, you have to be ready for the long haul. Preparing the ingredients to make a stew is the most intense part of cooking the dish. Afterward, most of the work being done is letting the ingredients sit on the the stove to simmer for a long time, occasionally stirring the ingredients together.

To prep all the ingredients, you can use the same cutting board and knife to chop everything up. Just be sure to clean both the board the knife between uses to make sure the flavors of one ingredient don’t travel to the next.

In the instructions for the stew, I mention placing the prepared, chopped ingredients in different bowls. Although this will mean more cleaning later on, you’ll have the down time to clean it all up later while the stew is simmering since you won’t need to prep any more ingredients.

Additionally, you’ll have more than enough time while the stew is simmering to do other things a busy college student needs to do. So despite the seemingly large time commitment to make the dish, it’s not like you won’t be able to multitask to do other things, like study for finals (especially considering how close the end of the semester is).

The recipe is for a milder form of curry, so there’s no need to worry about this being too spicy. However, for those who want more kick to their curry, feel free to add a teaspoon or two of cayenne red pepper to the stew.

Another part of the recipe that can be changed to your liking is the type of meat used. Many times I’ve substituted the beef for pork, chicken or even shrimp if you’re feeling fancy.

For the coming cold days in the winter season, consider making this Asian stew to keep warm and surprise your taste buds with a maelstrom of flavors.



Homemade Japanese curry. Credit: Robert Scarpinito | Copy Chief

Homemade Japanese curry. Credit: Robert Scarpinito | Copy Chief

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 10

1 1/2 pounds beef
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons flour
4 potatoes
3 carrots
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup red cooking wine
3 1/2 cups beef stock
1 package Golden Curry
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

On a cutting board, dice the beef into small chunks, about a centimeter cubed in size. Put the diced beef in a large bowl and season it with black pepper, two teaspoons of salt and flour. Put the bowl in the fridge. Clean off the cutting board.

Peel the carrots and wash them, and then slice them into small pieces. Wash then dice the potatoes. Place both the carrots and potatoes in bowls and soak them in warm water.

Clean off the cutting board again, and then dice the onion. Place the onions in another bowl.

Clean off the cutting board one last time, and then mince the garlic. Place the garlic in a small container, and then add the curry powder and ketchup in the container.

On the stovetop, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, start cooking the seasoned diced beef.

Once the beef starts cooking, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Once that oil is hot, put in the onions. Keep stirring both the beef and onions.

After the onions turn translucent, add the container of garlic, curry powder and ketchup, and stir it well into the onions.

After the beef turns light brown, add it to the onions and stir them together. When properly mixed, add the cooking wine and let it simmer, stirring it every now and then. Let the wine cook into the beef for 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes and carrots, and mix the ingredients around to coat the potatoes and carrots with the red wine.

Add the beef stock to the pot, and bring it to a slight boil. Then let the pot simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring the stew.

Add the packaged curry roux from the Golden Curry box to the stew. Keep stirring it as the consistency starts to slightly thicken, and then let the pot simmer for another 15 minutes, occasionally stirring it more. Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce, and let the curry simmer for five more minutes.

Let the pot cool a little bit, then serve with rice.

One comment

  1. While cleaning the cutting board is always a good idea, you don’t need to clean it between vegetables. Their flavors are going to “mix” when you cook it. However, my main suggestion would be to cut all the vegetables FIRST, and then cut your meat. That way you don’t contaminate your veggies with raw meat juices.

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