Our Favorite Beef Stew

As the nights get chillier, our minds turn to thoughts of beef stew. Our favorite recipes all instruct you to dredge your beef chunks in flour first, and then pan-sear, which seals in juices AND acts as a thickener later in the cooking process. It’s hearty, satisfying, and will make your kitchen smell fantastic for days. Make it once, and you won’t need a recipe again.

Our Favorite Beef Stew
Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (750-ml bottle) red wine
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow or white onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 or 5 carrots peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
  • 4-5 potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 in chunks
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large branch fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Method:

Place the beef in a bowl with red wine and garlic. Refrigerate overnight.

Combine the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon and save. In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mixture and shake off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. As each batch finishes cooking, place the beef in a large crock pot and continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary.

After all beef is browned, heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in the large pot and add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Place all the vegetables in the crock pot over the beef. Add 2 1/2 cups of the reserved marinade to the empty pot and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the crock pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, or until meat is tender and liquid reaches desired consistency.

Serve hot with egg noodles or rice.

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the taco-centric blog "Eat More Tacos," and the junk food-centric "Spork & Barrel." His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

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