how do you stew rhubarb?
I just dice it, toss it into a saucepan with some sugar to coat, a tiny pinch of salt, and a vanilla bean split lengthwise, and a tiny bit of water. Bring it up to a simmer. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting and simmer gently until it is the consistency you desire. Add more sugar or a little bit more water if necessary, tasting after it has simmered a bit.
You put the rhubarb in a saucepan/ pot, etc. with liquid and usually add a bunch of sugar, allowing it to cook down for a bit. Measurements will depend on how much rhubarb you have and what you're using it for. In my experience the cooking down process does not take very long.
Rhubarb is a vegetable. At the risk of y'all accusing me of watching too much Paula Deen, allow me to assert that all vegetables taste better with butter and a pinch of salt.
If you want your stewed rhubarb to break down to the consistency of applesauce, slice it the way you'd slice celery for potato salad--very thinly. For every two cups of rhubarb, melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the rhubarb with a pinch of salt and saute until the rhubarb softens and has given up its juice. Add two tablespoons of granulated sugar and taste; add more sugar as desired, along with desired flavorings such as a couple dashes of cinnamon or some orange or lemon peel.
Serve alongside roasted chicken or pork or ham, or on top of poundcake or ice cream (or both).
If you want to keep your rhubarb pieces more intact: Make a simple syrup of 1 1/2 c sugar and 1 1/2 c water then simmer down until thick. Add 4 cups rhubarb cut in 3/4" pieces. Cook gently on medium until tender. Always yummy with a few handfuls of fresh strawberries tossed in right at the end.