Rustic Beef & Vegetable Stew

Rustic Beef & Vegetable Stew

Details

Slow-cooked in dark stock, red wine and beer, fork-tender pieces of beef and perfectly-cooked vegetables are surrounded by a rich and full-flavored gravy.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 1 hr 15 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hrs - 32 hrs
  • Views: 42,084
  • Success: 99%

Steps

Step 1: Marinating the Meat (optional)

• 1 1/2 lb stewing beef (preferably from a shoulder or chuck roast)
• 2 cups red wine (approx. to cover)
• 1 tsp kosher salt

Method

To start, cut the stewing meat into 1 to 2" -inch cubes. Place into a small bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with red wine and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Step 2: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 1 rib celery
• 1 large onion
• 2 carrots
• 2 cloves garlic
• 3 large potatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 bottle beer (ale or lager, 340 ml)
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 2 to 4 cups dark stock (chicken, beef or veal)
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 large sprig thyme
• 1 thick piece of bacon

Method

To prepare your mise en place, cut the onions into large dice. Cut the celery and carrots into about 1" -inch chunks. Peel and cut the potatoes into eighths. Mince the garlic and measure out the flour and tomato paste. Gather the beer, red wine, stock, bouquet garni and bacon.

Step 3: Browning the Meat

• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
• 2 tsp grapeseed oil (more, if needed)

Method

First, preheat your oven to 250º degrees Fahrenheit (120º Celsius).

To brown the meat, first drain it from the marinade (discard the marinade). Pat the meat dry with paper towel and then season it liberally with salt and pepper.

Next, preheat a stainless-steel pan over medium to medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the meat on all sides, being careful not to burn the sucs. Brown the bacon as well. Transfer each batch of seared meat to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add more oil to the pan, as needed, to obtain nice, even browning.

Step 4: Building the Stew

• pinch of kosher salt

Method

Once the meat has been browned, add more oil to the pan (if needed) and brown the onions. Add a pinch of salt to help bring out their moisture.

Once the onions have browned, add the garlic and fry until fragrant, but not browned. Next, singer (sprinkle) with the flour and stir together. Let cook for about a minute and then add the tomato paste (if using). Cook for another minute or so and then deglaze with the beer. Once a thick, smooth consistency has been reached, pour the mixture into the stewing pot.

Deglaze the pan again with the red wine to clean off any remaining bits from the pan. Pour into the pot and stir to combine.

Next, add the cut up vegetables. Top up with enough stock to almost cover all of the ingredients. Tuck the bouquet garni under the surface and bring the stew to a gentle simmer on the stove top.

Step 5: Slow-Cooking the Stew

Method

Once the stew comes to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Let cook for 1 to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Step 6: Finishing the Sauce

• 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 4 tbsp cold water
• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Method

Once the meat is fork-tender, thicken the sauce, if needed. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and vegetables from the pot and set aside.

Make a slurry by stirring the flour and cold water together until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and add the slurry, a bit at a time, until you reach the desired consistency (let the sauce come back up to a simmer each time before adding more). The sauce should lightly coat a spoon.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the meat and vegetables back into the pot and gently fold everything together.

At this point, the stew can be served; however, to give the flavors time to mature and infuse into each other, chill in the refrigerator overnight. To do this, cool the stew over an ice bath before refrigerating.

Step 7: Reheating and Serving

Method

To reheat the stew, simply place the pot into a preheated, 200-250º degrees Fahrenheit (or 95-120º Celsius) oven. Once the stew has fully heated through, it can be served. Just remember, you can experience the most flavor when the dish is not served piping hot.

55 Comments

  • Michael M
    Michael M
    I'm making this recipe for a crowd on our next ski trip; the cabin will be at about 8000 ft (2400 meters) and I was wondering how this will affect the cooking time and oven temperature. I was thinking taking the temperature down to 200 degrees and letting it cook for 4-6 hours so I can get in a good day of skiing before coming back! Is that reasonable?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    As long as the stew cooks slowly at a very gentle simmer, you're good to go. Don't worry about timing so much, just let the stew cook until the meat is fork tender. If you can, make it the day before so the flavors can meld together. If you haven't watched the Stewing Lesson yet, it's a good one! Good luck, I'm sure it will be delicious.
  • Omar E
    Omar E
    Just wondering why can't the marinade be used in the dish? Also, what if I used 3 parts good quality grape juice and 1 part red wine vinegar instead of the the red wine (both in the stew and marinade)? Thank you, Omar
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Marinades are often discarded for food safety reasons. The marinade will be contaminated from the raw meat. If you were to cook it with the meat you wouldn't have to necessarily discard it; however, if you did use the marinade, the meat, of course, would just taste different. It would have a much a stronger wine flavor than the meat in this particular stew or recipe. As for the grape juice and red wine vinegar, I have not tried this, but feel free to give it a try and see how you like it. That is the fun of cooking, you are free to experiment. Cheers!
  • Omar E
    Omar E
    Would a clear stock affect the taste much or mostly the color? Another question: if I have a weak stock, can I throw in a few bones I since the meat is going to cook for a long time anyways, and thus add some more flavor?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    No a clear stock would generally not make a difference in taste, as long as the stock itself was a good tasting stock. As for whether or not you can add flavor to a weak stock...indeed you can. Basically you would just make a short stock. Cheers!
  • Omar E
    Omar E
    What I meant then is: can I make a "short stock" in the stew? I put the bones in the stew and then remove them.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Omar I think that you must realize that with cooking you have freedom. There are not many "absolute rules" that you must always follow. Feel free to experiment and have fun in the kitchen. Is putting bones into a stew something we would teach? No, not likely, but can you do it? Yes, I suppose you could. This is how we end up creating our own little tips and tricks that make us all unique. Cheers!
  • Boban D
    Boban D
    In the recipe it says to preheat the oven to 250 degrees. But in one of the related techniques "oven temperatures for combination cooking" it says to always cook at 200 degrees so that it never comes to a boil. Which is correct in this instance?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    The concept to understand is that with combination cooking, slower and lower is the way to go for the best results. You have the freedom to crank up the heat if you are short on time, etc. The main thing is to understand how the heat increase will affect the dish. It's all about being flexible and understanding the consequences by turning up the heat. At 200 or 250, the temperature is still quite low compared to 350 or 400. Hope this helps!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    What kind of potatoes do you use in this AND won't the vegetables turn to mush after a while? Shouldn't the veggies be added after it's cooked a while and if so, at what time in the process should they be added. If I end up cooking this for four hours seems like they would turn to mush. Thanks!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    I guess I answered my own question by going through some lessons. No doubt you need to use those "Hard" potatoes like yukon and red. As for them getting mushy the low temperature at 200 degrees will take care of them not getting mushy. Sorry, I was in the middle of making this dish when these questions popped up. If I do a good job on this dish, I'll report back. Made some mistakes but I think they will take care of themselves. Thanks for your patience.
  • Nancy T
    Nancy T
    Is there any problem with increasing recipe by 1/2 to serve 10? Would I have to use two pots. Thanks, Nancy Taylor
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    There are no restrictions on how big or small a stew can be. Just use a large enough pot to adequately hold the amount you plan to make. Happy cooking!
  • Dana H
    Dana H
    I were were going out I decided to cook the stew at 210 degrees and it was in the oven for more then 6.5 hrs. I was afraid that I would have mushy vegetable but instead I had hard vegetables and tough meat. I am now boiling on the cook top trying to salvage it (after feeding the kids). I should also mention that I had doubled the recipe as we have a large family.
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Man, that sounds terrible. Also sounds intriguing. Would like to hear more... These are probably dumb questions but: Was your pot covered? Did your meat have a lot of marbling and fat or was it too lean? (but that wouldn't explain hard veggies) Did you have the proper amount of juice in there--almost covering to the top of the meat? Sounds like maybe your oven might be off? Do you have one of those oven thermometers to check it? Can't wait to see what Rouxbe has to say about this one. I'm really sorry this happened to you, I would have been devastated. I tried this same recipe and even though it cooked perfectly, still didn't like it. I just don't like stews. Don't get too discouraged, the milk braised pork roast was unbelievably good along with everything else on this site!
  • Dana H
    Dana H
    The pot was covered and the meat was well marble, was bought at the local butchers. I covered it stock so 99% of everything was immersed. After posting I did considered inaccurate oven temperature so I will go out and buy a thermometers. I ended up finishing it on the stove and it was ready 2 hrs later. Needless to say we had a very late diner. Thank you for your response back.
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    When you checked under the lid while it was in the oven was it at a slight simmer? That would be key in oven temperature.
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Remember 212 is boiling at sea level, and 180 is just below a simmer, hence 200 being the perfect temp. Without a thermometer, you can check the temperature by checking what's inside your pot. If it's at a small simmer, your oven should be fine. If not, then just raise the oven temp until you get that slight simmer. I probably shouldn't be giving advise cause I'm just a student. But couldn't help myself :)
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Honestly, you guys have asked yourselves the same questions I would have asked you. Nice work Jude on your feedback and questions. Dana, I also think it sounds like it could have been your oven. Other than that, I might suggest that you re-watch (or watch) the lessons on Stewing and Combination Cooking. Perhaps there was something else that you missed? Cheers!
  • Richard S
    Richard S
    I'm not much of a stew person. They always taste blah and samey to me. Rouxbe hasn't disappointed yet so I gave it a go. Yum. It was enjoyed by all. I used a dark ale on lees. Worked well. The only tweak for next time is slightly larger potato pieces. The other veg was perfect, but the potatoes were a bit soft.
  • K B
    K B
    I'm watching the stew simmer...on the stove top. I discovered none of my large pots are oven-friendly in the middle of the recipe! Will be shopping soon... but wondering what to do now?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Stews can be cooked on the stove top if that is all you've got. The oven and a heavy-bottomed, oven-proof pot with a tight fitting lid, just allows more more even and gentle heat distribution. Make sure to keep an eye on the stew so it doesn't scorch. Cheers!
  • Carol P
    Carol P
    I really wanted to serve beef stew at an hors d'oeuvre party, so I made skewers and served them on crispy potato skins. It was a hit! I cooked the stew in my slow cooker which worked great. After the meat & veggies were cooked I removed them from the liquid and once cooled, skewered the pieces like little kabobs. I only used carrots and parsnips in the stew and then oven roasted pearl onions which I thought would skewer better than sliced onion (I did add a grated onion during the cooking process though). I left out the potatoes because each skewer was served on a potato skin. To reheat the skewers for serving I just put a single layer in a large pan, poured the liquid over them, covered and heated in the oven until bubbly. I served the first batch and loaded another round of skewers in the sauce and heated them. Everyone loved it. This recipe was delicious! Beef stew can be finger food.
  • Erika K
    Erika K
    Just out of curiosity, why do you brown the meat and onions in a separate pan instead of using a dutch oven and setting the meat aside to continue with the recipe?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This is a great question Erina. For the answer I will point you to the lesson on "Stewing | Combination Cooking" as we go into quite a bit of detail about this (Topic 3)...both in voice over and visually. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Erika K
    Erika K
    Thank you! Also, if I want to leave out the wine and beer, should I just add more beef stock to make up for the difference?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Any liquid can be used as per Topic 6 in the Combination Cooking Fundamentals lesson. It's up to you and the flavors you are looking to achieve. Cheers!
  • Geni P
    Geni P
    Let me start by saying that I don't know that I've ever made a stew. If I did, it was so many years ago I can't recall. What I can tell you is that I've never made a stew like the one I just had for dinner. It is sooooo gooooood! I didn't have some of the ingredients (beer, beef stock) and it STILL turned out great. I also messed up on the directions but didn't realize until I was halfway through. Luckily this stew is very forgiving. Leaving it refrigerate for a day also added a wonderful flavor profile that was much better today than yesterday. I can only imagine what it would be like if I had all of the ingredients and actually followed the directions. Maybe next time. I will definitely be making this again.
  • Dominic T
    Dominic T
    I tried this recipe but I guess there wasn't enough time for the meat to absorb the taste of the stew, the taste of wine in the meat was still pretty strong after 2 hours in the oven. In lieu of the oven, how does using a pressure cooker differ from slow cooking?
  • Tony M Rouxbe Staff
    Tony M
    Pressure cookers work just fine, at a fraction of the time. May I suggest adding the wine before the stock and cooking it out a bit first to evaporate its alcohol and strong wine flavor. Also, rest the stew for at least 20 minutes before serving to mellow the flavor. Cheers!
  • Dominic T
    Dominic T
    Thanks! I'll definitely try this recipe again, maybe will use the adobo marinade and see what happens :)
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Before making another stew, I encourage you to watch the lesson on "Stewing" as this will guide you through the whole process and show you where and when one can change up the flavors. In fact, for the best understanding of stewing and moist-heat cooking in general, I would also encourage you to watch the lesson called "Combination Cooking Fundamentals" as well. Cheers!
  • Dominic T
    Dominic T
    I just went back into the stewing video and I think I know now where I went wrong, I didn't season the meat as liberally with salt and pepper as was needed :)
  • Jose S
    Jose S
    In Puerto Rico we make something very similar called "Carne Guisada" (they make it in Texas, and in South America as well there are different variations, but it is pretty much the same). We use the same cut of meat, however we don't' make a slurry at the end to thicken it we use a sofrito (which is basically peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, ajice dulces (sweet perennial peppers) , culantro (not to be confused with cilantro) which is pulsed in a food processor (basically a pulsed mirepoix), tomato sauce, and sometimes the break down of the potatoes will thicken it as well. However I made this version and it came out spectacular, I made a lot and my wife and I ate for three days with some jasmine rice.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    So glad you liked the stew Jose. I have to say that your version also sounds very delicious. You don't happen to have a family recipe you might like to share do you? :-) Cheers!
  • Jose S
    Jose S
    Hey Dawn, I sure do: beef stew meat (season with salt and pepper and dredged in flour (optional), vegetable oil, 1/2 cup homemade sofrito, some chopped stuffed olives, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 can Spanish-Style Tomato Sauce 4 C Beef Stock, bouquet garni(with cloves), 3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed Sofrito recipe: 2 medium Spanish onions, 3 cubanelle peppers head of garlic a bunch of cilantro a few ajices dulces 3 ripe plum tomatoes 1 large red bell pepper, seeds removed add oil and sear dredge meat, remove add sofritio, then add olives & cumin, place meat back in and tomato sauce, add stock ad bouquet boil then simmer cook for about 1 hour add potatoes about half way through. At this point you can add a slurry if you wish or add some brunoise of potatoes after adding the stock to thicken it if it needs to be thickened. serve with white rice and tostones (plantains) This is the way my grandmother use to make it and my mother makes it. Buen provecho!!!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Thanks so much Jose, I will give it a try and let you know how it goes. Cheers!
  • Jose S
    Jose S
    No problem. Sure let me know how it turns out. I have a question will there be any lessons on how to handle and cook offal meats in the future? Ciao!!!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This may be something that is covered down the road but it is more important to focus on the main cooking methods for any type of meat or ingredient. Cheers!
  • Kevin O
    Kevin O
    ... I don't know what happened. I bought good ingredients, used stout and store bought but fresh stock, pork belly, fresh potatoes & celeriac & carrot & onions ... The only major difference, was cooking it on the stove top and not in the oven; however, I made sure it remained at a gentle simmer throughout. Within 1.5 hours the potatoes (which were in fairly large chucks) were falling apart while the meat (in smallish chunks) was ok but not fork tender. In addition, the stewing liquid was incredibly bland! I just couldn't understand it with the herbs, flavoured liquids and stock, no extra water added. I even added extra stout and a stout slurry to try and add extra flavour while not letting it thin too much. I added fresh english mustard, loads of black pepper. I'm getting some flavour now but I've really had to fight to get a flavourful liquid. Maybe I'm getting a cold and my tastebuds are going, maybe the pork I used rendered too much fat which watered down the other flavours? Maybe the stock I used didn't impart enough flavour, maybe my beef was too lean? Just when I think I've got it down, I realise I have so much more to learn and internalise.
  • Tony M Rouxbe Staff
    Tony M
    I ike the way you ended your observation. Yes, Kevin, there's always a lot more to learn. Based on your comments (what you noticed, what adjustments you tried, what you think perhaps were the issues), you ARE learning more, THINKING more - THAT's the path to getting it down. I'm not a big fan of the cooktop method unless you have a very heavy duty pot with very tight-fitting lid. I also believe it takes at least 3 hours to get flavor transfer between liquids and meats. Also, was enough salt to the preparation to initiate osmosis? Perhaps your meat was indeed too lean. And if not yet tender, not cooked long enough. Next time, do it in a low oven for a much longer period of time. Omit potatoes in the beginning, as they'll neutralize flavors once they go to mush (usually added with stronger tasting meats like lamb). I'd make mashed potatoes on the side for this lovely dish. But based on your last line (especially the word "internalize"), and trust me on this one, you're on the exact right path to very good cooking. I too remind myself I have a lot more to learn and digest.
  • Kevin O
    Kevin O
    I have been thinking a lot since initially doing the dish and I am inclined to agree that the stove top method made a big difference - as per your post. I didn't presalt the meat; mainly I thought that would just add saltiness and didn't consider what other functions the salt might have had in extracting flavour. I do think the meat was lean and next time I think I'll try using a different cut like Oxtail and/or cheek. I only chose the stove top method at the time because my pyrex oven dish wasn't big enough and last time I tried it the stew leaked all over the oven. Having compared this and another recipe where it was cooked on the hob I made a last minute decision to try the other method; assuming I could approximate the same result. I neglected to note that in the hob method recipe it indeed added the veg much later - in itself highlighting how the different methods give markedly different results. Needless to say I'm having a lot of "aha!" moments reading your response and encouraged I guess that I was able to reason out what my problems may have been based on the principles you've outlined. Thanks!
  • Nikita G
    Nikita G
    I absolutely love this recipe and each time it gets better! The last time, I added some butternut squash and white turnip when I added the potatoes and it gave an interesting spicy twist. Can't wait to experiment more.
  • Debbie D
    Debbie D
    I made this stew last night and gave it a 100% success rating because it turned out beautifully in the end. I had one small problem when I went to thicken the sauce with the flour/water mixture in that I ended up with lumps in the gravy and had to strain the lumps out before adding the vegetables and meat back in. The gravy turned out silky smooth and just at the right consistency. I'm just wondering what I did wrong. I had the sauce at a simmer and added a small amount of the flour/water mixture at a time, whisking after each addition and bringing the sauce back to a simmer before adding more. Should I have been whisking the sauce as I added the flour/water? That's the only thing I can think of that created the lumps. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    Reading the details of how you made your stew, 2 things may have given you lumps. First, make sure the slurry is relatively thin. It should pour, and of course, it needs to be lump-less, so ensure that it is. Secondly, try whisking while pouring the slurry in. These 2 things will ensure that you have no lumps. Congratulations on not getting discouraged and finding a way to fix it by straining it. You already think like a cook. Whatever happened you found a solution. In the end, only you knew and your guests were delighted.
  • Debbie D
    Debbie D
    Thanks for your quick reply Christophe. My slurry was quite thick and I wondered about that at the time. I'll know for next time!
  • Rhoda W
    Rhoda W
    In an effort to clean out frig, used rutabaga and parsnips instead of potatoes. Interesting spicy flavor. Next time will add parsnips later as got too soft.
  • Ron B
    Ron B
    I found the 1 to 1 ratio of flour and water, way too thick to pour. I added more water (50% more?) which made it a better consistency. No lumps, perfect gravy.
  • Ron B
    Ron B
    Some of the previous comments about learning as you cook are right on. Cooking to me is always an experiment. That's the part that makes it fun. You try your best to control the outcome but each time is different.
  • Ron B
    Ron B
    It's easy to get the first side brown and nicely caramelized. After you turn it over, the juices from the meat causes it to steam thus preventing it from browning. Between batches, I drained those juices into the pot to add flavor, scraping the pan dry to allow browning of the next batch. Keeping the pan dry enough when browning any beef is always a challenge for me. Other than draining the juices part way through, I can't think of what else to do. Any other suggestions?
  • Paul A
    Paul A
    I've been following this recipe for some time with various stews with very good results. I just realized though, after re-reading, that the recipe calls for only sweating the onions. I have been sweating the whole deal (carrots, celery, as well as onions). I understand that there are no set rules in cooking but was wondering why one wouldn't just sweat the entire mirepoix rather than adding it in (the celery and carrots) just before the stock. It doesn't seem to me to be for the sake of maintaining firmness, as the celery and carrots will soften during the cooking process anyway. Thanks.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Often, we sauté the onions and/or mirepoix for added flavor and color. For more detail on this, be sure to watch the lesson on "Stewing". There you will find more information. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Lucia R
    Lucia R
    Hello! I want to make this recipe in the slow cooker, I cook it for the same amount of time? 4 hours? Thanks :)
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hey there Lucia - that's a good start. It really all depends on the power of your slow cooker and the size of the product you are using - but probably a good starting place. I would double-check 1/2 through the process to ensure your on target! Thanks for learning with Rouxbe - Chef Kirk

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