The beauty in a good stew is that you can combine a bunch of leftover veggies and meat and end up with a hearty and flavorful dinner that's comforting to come home to. However, the last thing you want is to find is a thin stew in your Crock-Pot after a long day at the office.
No need to stress — your stew can be saved! Take these tips from Annie Murlowski, recipe blogger at Rocky Mountain Bliss, to add some thickness to your favorite stews or soups.
What You'll Need
- 1 tablespoon of flour or cornstarch
How to Thicken Stew or Soup in a Crock-Pot
- Prepare your stew: Combine all of your stew's ingredients and cook it in your Crock-Pot as you usually do. Keep in mind that every stew reacts differently to thickening based on the ingredients, Murlowski explains.
- Sample your broth: Remove a half-cup of broth and place it in a medium bowl. Try to avoid getting any bits of meat or vegetables in this broth sample.
- Prep a thickening agent: Add one tablespoon of flour or cornstarch to the broth bowl. Using a whisk, mix in the thickening agent and ensure that there are no lumps. Even for a family-sized meal, you only need a small amount to thicken your stew to the proper consistency.
- Add the flour or cornstarch: Add the contents of your broth bowl with the thickening agent into the slow cooker. This step should be done about 30 minutes before the meal is to be served. Then, turn the slow cooker's temperature up to high and allow it to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Repeat the steps: If the stew hasn't thickened enough in 10 minutes, repeat the steps above for a maximum of two times. Avoid adding more than three tablespoons of the thickening agent, as it may alter the taste of the stew.
Different stews will respond differently to thickening, according to Murlowski. While some will only need one tablespoon of flour, others may need two to three. Stews with potatoes may thicken more easily than stews with a noodle base, Murlowski says. Don't add more than one tablespoon at a time and remember to test your stew by tasting it for thickness.
For beef stews, you can also avoid thickening at the end of the recipe by first dredging the beef chunks with flour. Evenly and thoroughly coat each piece of beef before you place it in the stew and test for thickness before adding any thickening agents at the end.
Allowing the stew to simmer longer will result in a thicker stew. If your stew becomes too thick, you can thin it out by adding water or broth to the Crock-Pot, assures Murlowski.
Read more: How to Cook the Most Tender Short Ribs Ever