Winter Comfort ❄ Beef Stew with Red Wine

Beef Stew with Red Wine | © Life Through the Kitchen

Winter calls out for beef stew: hearty, nourishing and comforting it warms us despite the snow outside the window. I like to toss together a stew in the slow cooker on a Sunday morning. Then, while we putter about or go for a drive to marvel at the frozen lake, it cooks away, building flavour, getting tender and happy and filling the house with its enticing fragrance.

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This is my “standard” beef stew, and I don’t use a recipe for it. I make it more or less the same each time, but each batch varies somewhat according to what I have on hand and whim. I do like to use a fair amount of celery, and am especially happy when I have lots of the leaves as they up the celery flavour. When I made this stew last week, I kept it fairly basic and wrote down the ingredients as I went. Feel free to use it as is, or add your own special touches.

It you make variations on this recipe, do drop a note in the comments and tell me about them. I’m always looking for new ideas!

Beef Stew with Red Wine | © Life Through the Kitchen

Beef Stew with Red Wine

This recipe lends itself to slow cooker cooking, but this recipe is for stove top cooking. By all means, make a double batch and freeze the leftover in dinner-sized portions; you’ll thank yourself on those days when time is short  and you’re hungering for comfort food.

  • 2 medium yellow cooking onions, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 red chill pepper, deseeded and minced
  • 2-1/2 cups finely sliced celery, including the leaves
  • 2 small carrots, cut lengthwise & thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (I used frozen beefsteaks; you could use a 19-oz can of tomatoes and cut them up)
  • 1 lb stewing beef (I prefer organic)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock (I made mine from a bouillon cube)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

Put the beef chunks in a plastic or paper bag or in a large bowl. Sprinkle the flour and a couple gratings of pepper over and toss until the pieces are lightly and fairly evenly coated. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, then use tongs to add the floured beef. Don’t dump in the contents of the bag or bowl, or you’ll end up with too much flour in the pan. Work in batches if necessary; if the beef is overcrowded it won’t brown as effectively. When it’s browned on the bottom it will release; use the tongs to turn over. Repeat until all sides are browned. This process should only take about five minutes. Remove the meat to a plate and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, chill pepper, celery and carrot to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes. This will begin the process of releasing the bits that are stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the red wine to finish that process.

Return the beef to the pot, scraping the drippings off the plate (don’t let any of the goodness go to waste). Stir in the beef stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper, cover the pot and turn up the heat to bring it to a boil. Immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting. Sprinkle the thyme and parsley over and stir. Toss the bay leaf on top, put the lid back on and let the stew simmer for a couple of hours, stirring a couple of times. About 15 or 20 minutes before serving time, taste and adjust the seasonings as required.

When it’s done the broth will be a beautiful rich brown and the meat will be fork tender.

We enjoyed ours over plain boiled potatoes, for a simple, rustic meal.

Beef Stew with Red Wine | © Life Through the Kitchen

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  1. This is such a great recipe! May I know which part of the cow is best for stewing? In an oriental market, the butcher is not quite aware of recipes like this. Thanks! warmly, danny from hong kong.

  2. Marlene, your stew looks wonderful and perfect for this cold day. I’m making a Moroccan chicken stew for tonight. If I put a bowl outside to photograph, I think it would develop ice crystals before I got all the shots. Stay warm. 🙂

    • Sounds like we were definitely on the same wavelength, Karen. There’s nothing like stews in weather like this. I’ve been taking lots of food pics outside this winter (and eating lots of coolish food), but in these severe cold temperatures I stay inside. You’re right, our food would start to freeze before the photo shoot would be done!

  3. […] Just look at the depth of colour in that glass of bone broth. You know from its deep caramel hue that it’s full of rich flavour. This nourishing broth, prized for its health properties, is delicious to drink straight out of a mug for breakfast, as part of a light meal or in place of tea anytime during the day. Can you imagine the boost it would add to something like a classic beef stew?  […]

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