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Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes

This classic French beef stew is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. After a few hours in the oven, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a rich wine sauce.



This classic French beef stew, otherwise known as Beef Bourguignon, is the ultimate cold weather comfort food.Chunks of well-marbled beef are seared in a hot pan, and then gently braised with garlic and onions in a rich wine-based broth. After a few hours in the oven, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a deeply-flavored sauce. The stew takes a few hours to make but the recipe is mostly hands-off. Go ahead and make it a day or two ahead of time; the flavor improves the longer it sits.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE BEEF STEW WITH CARROTS & POTATOES



The most important thing is to start with the right cut of meat. You want to buy chuck roast that is well-marbled—that means it should have a good amount of white veins of fat running through it. Stay away from meat generically packaged as “stew meat,” especially if it looks lean (I can guarantee you it will not get tender, no matter how long you cook it).


For the wine, use any dry red (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink.


HOW TO MAKE BEEF STEW WITH CARROTS & POTATOES



Begin by removing any large chunks of fat that are easy to get to (like the one my knife is pointing to below), but don’t overdo it with the trimming, as the fat helps make the beef tender.



Next, season the meat generously with salt and pepper.



Heat a bit of oil in a Dutch oven or large pot and brown the meat in batches.



This step is a bit time-consuming but browning the meat adds depth and dimension to the stew. (Note: it’s important not to crowd the pan — if you try to brown all the meat at once, it will steam instead of sear and you won’t get all that lovely color and flavor.)



Remove the meat and add the onions, garlic, and balsamic vinegar to the pan. The vinegar will loosen all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and add flavor.



Cook until the vegetables are softened, then add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more.



Add the beef back into the pan and sprinkle with the flour.



Stir until the flour is dissolved.



Add the wine, broth, water, thyme, bay leaves, and sugar.



Bring to a boil, then cover and braise in the oven for 2 hours.



After 2 hours, add the carrots and potatoes.



Return to the oven and continue cooking for one hour, or until the meat is fork-tender, the broth is thickened, and the carrots and potatoes are tender.



Feel free to adapt the recipe to your liking. You can leave out the potatoes and serve it over buttered egg noodles, or toss in some frozen peas or sautéed mushrooms at the very end. Either way, it’s soul-satisfying comfort food for a cold night.



Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes


By Jennifer Segal


This classic French beef stew is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. After a few hours in the oven, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a rich wine sauce.


Servings: 6 Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck (well-marbled), cut into 1½-inch pieces

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups dry red wine

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1½ teaspoons sugar

  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks on a diagonal

  • 1 pound small white boiling potatoes (baby yukons), cut in half

  • Fresh chopped parsley, for serving (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set a rack in the lower middle position.

  2. Pat the beef dry and season with the salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown the meat in 3 batches, turning with tongs, for about 5 minutes per batch; add one tablespoon more oil for each batch. (To sear the meat properly, do not crowd the pan and let the meat develop a nice brown crust before turning with tongs.) Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside.

  3. Add the onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Add the beef with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir with wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, water, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to the preheated oven, and braise for 2 hours.

  4. Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and place back in oven for about an hour more, or until the vegetables are cooked, the broth is thickened, and the meat is tender. Fish out the bay leaf and discard, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve the stew warm -- or let it come to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. This stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead. Reheat, covered, over medium heat or in a 350°F oven. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

  5. Note: If you don’t have a Dutch oven or covered pot that is appropriate for the oven, the stew can be cooked on the stove. The timing will be the same and it should be cooked over the lowest setting.

  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the stew in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat until hot.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per serving (6 servings)

  • Calories:539

  • Fat:18g

  • Saturated fat:6g

  • Carbohydrates:32g

  • Sugar:8g

  • Fiber:4g

  • Protein:54g

  • Sodium:1189mg

  • Cholesterol:143mg


Special thanks to Jennifer Segal, for the recipe and images. You can support Jennifer by purchasing her cookbook, "Once Upon a Chef, the Cookbook," featuring over 100 delightful recipes.

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