How To Make the Perfect Beef Stew, According To a Master Chef

When one thinks of hearty spring dishes, beef stew is sure to be around the top of the list. The simplicity and deliciousness of this one-pot meal is what had made it a go-to meal for centuries. It can be made in a standard stock pot, Dutch oven, or cast-iron cauldron hanging over a campfire.

Whatever vessel you decide to cook beef stew in, it’s a good idea to make a lot of it. The leftovers keep for a long time, and it’s one of the few dishes you can prepare where the re-heats taste as good as the first cook. Combined with a crusty baguette to sop up the flavorful stock, there are few foods more comforting than this.

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Beef stew recipes are pretty standard across the board, but we wanted to kick it up a notch and deliver a recipe that you’ll want to turn to every time you make this winter delight. That’s why we teamed up with Certified Master Chef (CMC) Sean Andrade. A quick note, there are fewer than 200 Certified Master Chefs worldwide, so we trust he knows his stuff. Chef Sean has this to say about beef stew.

“Beef stew is a wonderful mid-week meal that is both nourishing and warming. This beef stew recipe can be paired with a beautiful bottle of French Burgundy and a crusty baguette to complete this easy to prepare single-pot meal. This stew can be easily made ahead of time and actually tastes better the next day. The stew reheats beautifully on the stovetop, oven, or in the microwave.”

Beef Stew

By Certified Master Chef (CMC) Sean Andrade and Executive Chef-Owner of AWG Private Chefs in San Fransico

“Don’t cut corners on the time it takes to brown the meat. Also, try not to overcrowd the pan or push the meat around the pan too often,” Chef Andrade tells The Manual. “The longer the meat stays in one place and in contact with the pan, the better the browning you will get. Brown food tastes great and enrichens your depth of flavor! If you wish to make this recipe gluten-free, simply omit the flour, remove the lid after 90 minutes of cooking, and increase total cooking time by 30-45 minutes to help naturally thicken the stew by evaporation.”

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless USDA Choice beef chuck roll, excess fat trimmed, then cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or French Burgundy
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium red onion – cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion – cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups beef bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 8 sprigs of fresh thyme (destemmed)
  • 4 large organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks on a diagonal
  • 3 large stalks organic celery, cut into 1-inch chunks on a diagonal
  • 1 pound heirloom pebble potatoes or small red skin potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks)

Method

  1. After cutting the beef, pat it dry with paper towels, generously season with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Sear the beef in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a heavy-bottomed oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Heat the pan until the oil begins to shimmer.
  4. Brown the meat in small batches to avoid crowding and steaming.
  5. Drain the meat onto a paper towel-lined side plate.
  6. Add in the onions, both kinds of vinegar, and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spatula or wooden spoon.
  7. After 3 minutes of cooking, add in the garlic, continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  8. Add tomato paste, continue cooking for 2 minutes, and add in the celery.
  9. Return the beef and all the juices to the pot and whisk together until combined.
  10. Add in bay leaves, thyme, beef broth, wine, and 1 3/4 cups water, and bring to a medium simmer.
  11. In a small bowl make a slurry of the flour and 1/4 cup water and add the slurry to the simmering liquid.
  12. Cover the pot with a lid and transfer to a preheated 325-degree oven and cook for 2 hours.
  13. After 2 hours, remove the lid, and continue cooking for another 45 minutes.
  14. Just prior to serving, remove bay leaves, taste the stew, and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

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