10 Great Stews for Weathering this Polar Vortex
Whatever Mother Nature has cooking, being in the midst of this polar vortex doesn't feel nearly as Death Metal as we would have hoped. Mostly we just want a comforting meal, and during winter, that means stew. The process of fortifying slow-cooked broths and sauces with meats, vegetables, and legumes is thankfully one that stretches across the vast majority of cuisines. Though humble in their creation, stews also span socioeconomic classes, from deep cauldrons heaped with luxury seafood to off-cuts made tender after hours of simmering. Until the erratic weather subsides, or in case it never does, here are 10 stews to keep you going while the earth does some meteorological soul-searching.
Catfish Jambalaya at Catfish in Crown Heights Korchma Taras Bulba The hearty, stew-like pea soup.
10. Korchma Taras Bulba, 357 West Broadway; 212-510-7510
Across town from its fading brethren in the East Village and farther still from familiar faces in southern Brooklyn, this flagship U.S. outpost of a popular Moscow chain doles out decorative clay pots filled with veal stew. An earthy sauce perfumes the entire dish, practically soaking through potatoes, mushrooms, and peppers; silken from a hit of sour cream. As a reward for making the trek, a round of postprandial vodka shots are probably in order as well.
9. Catfish, 1433 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn; 347-305-3233
Run by a trio of former bartenders from Dumbo's reBar, this Crown Heights watering hole serves top notch classic New Orleans cocktails and a number of gussied-up Creole riffs (think alligator burger on brioche). A highlight of the cajun-inspired menu is also one of the more traditional offerings -- gumbo. In this case, a chestnut brown medium roux hiding plump nuggets of andouille sausage, shredded crab meat, and shrimp over rice. Dusted with filé as is sometimes the custom, it's a masterful version of an oft-maligned dish.
8. Hou Yi Hot Pot, 92 Hester Street; 212-625-8989
Despite relocating to roomier digs, this hot pot restaurant on the eastern edge of Chinatown gets jam-packed during primetime hours thanks to an all-you-can-eat buffet deal for $32. We're particular to the organ-rich beef hot pot, featuring boiled balls of ground beef and two kinds of tripe. Slippery glass noodles pool in a tangle at the bottom of the bowl, perfect for ensnaring wood ear mushrooms on the slurp up.