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A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy.
Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers and tomatoes etc.), meat, poultry, sausages and seafood. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, wine, stock, and beer are also common. Seasoning and flavourings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature (simmered, not boiled), to allow flavors to combine.
Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method. This makes it popular in low-cost cooking. Cuts having a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may easily become dry.
Stews may be thickened by reduction or thickened with flour, either by coating pieces of meat with flour before searing, or by using a roux or beurre mani¨¦, a dough consisting of equal parts of butter and flour. Thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot may also be used.