5 Stews for Rainy Spring Nights

Streamlined Cassoulet with a glass of wine.

Spring is finally here! The cold days and nights are happily waning. However, there’s still a bit of a back and forth, and spring brings quite a few rainy nights. April showers and all that jazz. We’ve definitely had our share in the Bay Area – in fact, today is one of these gloomy rainy days. I hate gray, rainy days. The remedy for me is usually a cozy stew and I have definitely been partaking. I thought I'd round up a few here for inspiration.

A few weeks ago I shared an 8 & 20 on WineSpectator.com for a Streamlined Cassoulet (pictured above). This recipe makes use of the convenience of an Instant Pot. (I got one for x-mas and have been loving it!) Cassoulet is a casserole typical of the Occitan in Southern France, particularly around the city of Toulouse. It was actually named for the vessel it was made in – an earthenware pot with slanting sides. White beans are a common base for the stew, which can include a whole mixture of different meats including duck (usually confit), pork, sausages, really whatever meats one has around and feel like throwing in. This dish is so celebrated that there are competitions and fairs in its honor.

It’s traditionally cooked slowly, sometimes over several days, and certainly, there’s no substitution for one made in this way. That said, a dish that’s made over several days is kind of out of the running for most weeknights. The streamlined version I made for 8 & 20 makes the dish a little more friendly for every day. 

If that stew still takes more time than you want to wait, I shared another White Bean Stew recently on Somm’s Table. This one is even quicker and still pretty hearty with sausages and kale. 

White bean stew with Sausages and Kale with Marcel Lapierre Morgon.

Both of these dishes have wines paired with them in their post, but both are also pretty wine-friendly dishes that can match versatilely with quite a few options. I happen to have tried this inexpensive Bordeaux from Château Lestrille with both of these dishes and it also made a lovely match for each. 

Château Lestrille Bordeaux bottle shot.

I also shared this lentil soup right here on this blog a while back that’s also really easy and quick to make. 

Good Luck Lentil Soup with Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence wine.

I think this weather is also perfect for a seafood stew like this Spiced Wine Braised Octopus.

Spiced Wine Braised Octopus with Passagem Douro Reserva wine.

If you’re in the mood for something meatier, check out this Smoky Beef Goulash.

Smoky Beef Goulash with Covenant Neshama Red Blend.

Mmmmm . . . I feel a craving coming on.

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