These brisk fall days are the perfect time to make an easy beef stew. It’s one of my daughter’s favorite dishes and around this time each year she makes requests it and I am always happy to oblige. I mean…a hearty stew, some crusty bread and a glass of wine is definitely a pleasant autumnal dinner.
For the wine, may I suggest a Cabernet from Hall Family Wines? The 2020 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon, while on the higher end, is worth the splurge. Complex, dense, earthy and rich, it’s an exquisite wine for the fall and a perfect pair for the stew.
How to Make This Easy Beef Stew
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 bottle good quality dry red wine
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tablespoon thyme
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 cups beef stock
- 6 cups potatoes cut into quarters
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups pearl onions, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas (optional)
Make the Stew
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter. While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it and set aside.
Add the wine to the pan and heat to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, loosening up all the tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, garlic, cinnamon, freshly ground black pepper and salt, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for about an hour.
After an hour, add potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, and peas (if adding) along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Season with salt and pepper and remove thyme sprigs if you used fresh ones. Serve with wine and bread.