Nothing is more comforting on a cold day than a warm, hearty bowl of stew. Stews are part of almost every cuisine, from classic French beef bourguignon, to Brazilian moqueca, to the endless varieties of Moroccan tagines. Not only are stews delicious, they’re also a great way to make use of what’s around—which in the winter months may not be much. Stews transform tougher, less expensive cuts of meat like lamb shoulder or flatiron steak; simply simmer the protein with seasonal vegetables and a flavorful broth and you’ve got a satisfying, one-pot meal. Food & Wine’s guide to stew includes inspired dishes from around the globe plus favorite recipes from Jacques Pepin, Gail Simmons and more of the F&W family. Winter: we’re ready for you.

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Poulet Mafé

In Senegal at the Keur Moussa monastery, a typical meal includes poulet mafé, a thick peanut sauce with chicken, root vegetables, and cabbage served over rice, fonio, or millet couscous. For chef Pierre Thiam, poulet mafé is the ultimate comfort food. His advice: “Be patient when cooking mafé. Let the stew simmer slowly until the oil rises to the surface.” Creamy peanut butter adds body and nuttiness to this savory chicken dish, balancing the aromatic ginger, garlic, and tomato paste. Thiam's version uses fish sauce, which brings a subtle umami that adds complexity to the stew.

Hunter’s Stew with Duck Legs and Cannellini Beans

Bowls of this hearty stew, filled with cannellini beans, gold potatoes, and duck meat, are served with toasted baguette to soak up the delicious broth. If duck stock and legs are unavailable, substitute chicken stock and legs, or make your own duck stock by following this recipe.

Lamb Stew

Learn how to make Ludo Lefebvre's easy lamb stew. Slideshow: More Lamb Recipes 

Hunter’s Sausage-and-Sauerkraut Stew

This Polish “hunter’s stew” typically combines at least three different meats, from wild game to pork ribs, sausages, and veal. Chef Andrew Zimmern uses lightly smoked bacon, chicken thighs, and kielbasa in his version. He also adds roasted bell peppers for depth, buttery chanterelles, and crisp-tender fennel. The stew simmers with fermented sauerkraut, another traditional element. “Thankfully,” says Zimmern, “[the sauerkraut] is available in almost any supermarket you walk into.”    Slideshow: More Stew Recipes 

Shellfish Stew

This shellfish stew was inspired by the foundational Japanese stock, dashi. Though it contains neither kombu nor katsuobushi, the stock gets its minerality from charred onions, ginger, and garlic (a Mexican and Vietnamese technique) and oceanic umami from shrimp shells. Serve with classic aioli to enrich the finished stew. Slideshow: More Hearty Stew Recipes 

More Stews

Hominy Stew with Bacon

Rating: Unrated
Chef JJ Johnson makes hominy the star in this humble, delicious stew. The maize kernels absorb flavor as they simmer while retaining a slight chew. Aromatics sauté in the rendered fat from crispy bacon, which is later used a garnish for each serving. Slideshow: More Hearty Stew Recipes 

Spicy Black Bean Stew with Lamb Sausage

Chef JJ Johnson’s feijoada-inspired stew of smoky, spicy black beans and lamb sausage is far from one-note. It’s also highly adaptable: Use whatever sausage or meat you have on hand. Slideshow: More Hearty Stew Recipes 

Hungarian Goulash

Rating: Unrated

Hungarian paprika and caraway seeds jump-start the flavor development of this comforting stew. Slideshow: More Stew Recipes