What to Serve with Beef Stew
While many people think that beef stew is fine on its own, some still feel a need to add side dishes. Let’s face it, a hearty beef stew is full of chunks of beef, many kinds of vegetables, and a thick gravy. What else do you need? Nevertheless, sometimes, you feel the need to supplement that hearty beef stew. So, what do you serve?
Bread is always a good choice. You can use it to sop up any extra gravy from the stew. You can toast it so diners can pile stew on top of it. Homemade biscuits or cornbread are also excellent choices in this category. Stew and bread are old pals from the homesteading days. They are just as good together now. There is something about bread and gravy that makes them perfect for each other. To make your cornbread extra special, bake it in the oven in a hot cast iron skillet. It makes a crisp outside crust while the rest remains tender and moist.
Others feel the need to lighten the meal by serving a green salad. This does work nicely. The soft root vegetables in the stew are filling, while the crisp greens in the salad refresh the palate and get you ready for more. Other salad options include spinach salad or creamy coleslaw. Others prefer some lightly cooked vegetables like asparagus, green beans, or spinach. Other seasonal vegetables may also be appropriate, like corn on the cob.
Sides That Aren’t Really Sides
Many people like to serve egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes with beef stew, and then they serve the stew on top of these foods. If using mashed potatoes, you may want to omit potatoes from the stew so you do not overdo it. Of course you can always add dumplings to the stew, so it is not really a side dish either, but it helps fill up the stew.
Another option is to serve your stew with pureed white beans, also known as a white bean mash. If your stew is on the lighter side, this can be a very nice side dish.
Some people enjoy pickles, olives and other finger foods along with their meal. You can also do this with fruit. Grapes, strawberries, slices of larger fruits and so on can make a nice refreshing accompaniment to a heavy meal of stew. If you want something a little spicy and exotic, kimchi is a traditional condiment from Korea that is served with almost anything.
For those who like stew with their stew, who can blame them? Everything is there in the pot already! There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of thick, hearty stew. For those who prefer their stew pure, do not force side dishes on them. Let them enjoy their stew the way they want. The stew is the star of the meal, and sometimes that is enough. You do not need any side dishes to support it. Enjoy your stew, no matter what your preferences on this matter.
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