A slow-cooked, warm winter stew creates delicious melt-in-the-mouth meat, rich in flavour. It is an easy way to ensure a tasty meal despite minimal prep and attention. However, with slow-cooking there are a couple of drawbacks to be aware of.
- Minimal prep
Marinating meat only takes about 5 minutes to prepare and is well worth doing for a rich flavour. Vegetables can be added into the stew or prepared and cooked separately towards the time of eating, both of which take very little time.
By slow-cooking cheaper cuts of meat, collagen breaks down causing the meat to become very tender, almost velvety. Green Pasture Farms and Eversfield Organic both offer great value diced beef steak, ideal for slow-cooked stews.
- Easy to cook
Once in the oven, stews require little attention, only regular checks to ensure there is plenty of liquid.
I eat slow-cooked meat and stews from time to time simply because I love the taste, not because it is the most nutrient-dense meal. There is nothing quite like returning from a long, chilly walk to some warming, succulent Beef and Bone Broth Stew in front of the fire.
- Destruction of nutrients
Whilst the breaking down of collagen provides juicy, soft meat, it obviously means that there is less collagen present. Collagen supports the health, growth and repair of bones, skin and muscles, making it an essential nutrient. I supplement with Upgraded Collagen, a high-quality protein from 100% grass-fed cows so the decreased level of collagen in a slow-cooked stew is not cause for concern.
- Glutamate production
The amino acid glutamate exists in small concentrations in the brain. A surplus of glutamate excites brain cells to the point of destruction, leading to neurological disorders1 2. Click here to read more about glutamate and how to combat the negative effects using a compound called oxaloacetate.
Tips for slow-cooking
- Keep it tightly sealed.
- Use a low temperature.
- Use antioxidant ingredients such as rosemary or turmeric.
- Consider adding some ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder) if you intend to leave stew simmering for several hours3.