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December 3, 2020

Stews – quick and easy

Posted on June 10, 2015 by in rsg, vegetarian

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Stews are the ultimate winter food and every time I post a picture of a comforting stew on Facebook, people go crazy.

Not sure what it is about stews though, but I think it is the comforting warmness that maybe remind us all about a meal at mom’s table. Stews take time to make, or that is the general conception. So for working moms, making a stew for dinner is out of the question unless of course she uses a slow cooker or Wonderbag. Well, it is a misconception, there are ways and means to make stews in a flash. 30 – 40 Minutes for a stew, really? Yes, really! Here are a few hints and tips to make delicious, warm and nutritious stews in under an hour.


Of course there is very little that can compare with a rich bold oxtail that cooked for 4-6 hours or lamb shank green bean stew, but I do those on weekends when you can spend time reading a book or next to the hockey field with the kids. There are few moments as blissful as walking into my house after a day out in the cold, smelling the beautiful aromas of a stew on the stove or the oven. It says: “HOME” in such a big welcoming way!

Here however are my ideas for making quick stews when your are strapped for time and even money!

– choose your meat wisely, go for chicken, fish, turkey or pork!

– if you want to use red meat like beef, use ground beef or use fillet, rump steak or even small minute steaks

The idea is that you braise and cook the vegetables without the meat, the meat is just seared and added to vegetables. You can only do this with a tender cut like the above mentioned. Here is a quick beef stew explaining this point.

– I use a lot of beans. It is healthy, bulks up a stew quickly and there is nothing wrong with using canned beans

– cut your vegetables in smaller cubes

– use your pressure cooker

– use lots of herbs and spices and also the old fashioned spices like cloves and bay leaves to give the stew that “mom’s touch”

I made this delicious White Bean and Tomato Stew in 15 minutes. It is warm, comforting, cheap and so, so easy to make. Serve with bread sticks or garlic crostini.


White Bean and Tomato Stew with Pancetta

serves 4


1 big onion – peeled and very thinly sliced

30 ml butter

30 ml olive oil

1 clove garlic – crushed

3 -4 big basil leaves

3 x 410 g tins white beans – I used barlotti ( butter beans a bit to soft)

salt and pepper

250 ml chicken stock

zest of 1 lemon

500g cocktail tomatoes

to serve

parmesan shavings

basil pesto – optional

crisp pancetta  or streaky bacon



Heat the butter and oil in a pot and saute the onions and garlic until soft, but do not allow to caramelize. Add the tomatoes and basil and take the het right down to a very low simmer. Put the lid on the pot and let the tomatoes burst open and create a delicious tomato sauce. Some tomatoes need to stay whole. Add stock. lemon zest and beans cook on a very low simmer so that flavors can mingle. Serve with garlicy crostini or bread sticks and a good dollop of basil pesto.

Tomorrow  morning  just after 9 o’clock, I will be making these in the RSG studios, tune in if you have a chance!

I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!

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3 Responses to “Stews – quick and easy”

  1. Isobel Conradie 11 June 2015 at 6:58 pm #

    Thanks for this quick recipe, Nina – looks delicious, definitely going to make it tomorrow night!

  2. Isobel Conradie 11 June 2015 at 6:59 pm #

    Thank you SO much for the hints as well as the recipe, Nina – tomorrow night’s menu solved …

  3. Lynne Bindeman 24 May 2016 at 10:52 am #

    Dankie Nina! Jy is voorwaar ‘n staatmaker!

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