How Black Coffee Can Elevate Your Stew

Nursing a cup of coffee is a pretty standard morning ritual. But why limit java to the early hours? You might not have considered it before, but black coffee can make a pretty fantastic addition to recipes, especially savory dishes like stews. So, in the odd chance that you happen to have brewed too much, save it for later and prepare to be dazzled by the unlikely ingredient.

Aside from boosting energy levels, Healthline reports that drinking coffee in moderation — up to 4 cups a day — could protect against chronic diseases and even support weight management. Beyond the health benefits, coffee is also just plain tasty, thanks to its unique flavor profile.

Aromas Coffee Roasters explains that fragrance and flavor can range vastly depending on the origins (terroir) of the beans and the degree of roasting. Whether it be fruit, chocolate, nuts, or smoke, coffee beans can relay ultra-unique tastes, which is why adding a cup of this black deliciousness can help elevate even the simplest of dishes like a boring stew.

A caffeinated stew is tastier and more tender

Coffee might be what your dinnertime meals have always been lacking. A secret weapon to add an abundance of complexity, this beverage works to balance the savory flavors of meat, which is why coffee grounds are often used in dry rubs and for encrusting hunks of protein. However, even brewed coffee can jazz up your recipes.

According to Reader's Digest, pouring some black coffee into a stew halfway through cooking can intensify the hue of the stock, along with adding layers of richness. Aside from intensifying in flavor as the ingredient cooks down into the stew, Epicurious explains that using a touch of the bittersweet brew can even help tenderize chunks of meat. But why stop at stews? Instead, add a splash of black coffee to game day chili, a lackluster gravy, or braised ribs.

Lastly, because every amazing recipe starts with quality ingredients, it's important that you choose to cook with the same type of coffee that you like to drink. For this reason, Allrecipes warns against using flavored coffee blends as they might clash with the other seasonings in your dish.