Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Carrots

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A Note from Feedfeed

As the colder months approach, nothing beats the comfort of an easy red wine beef stew. This simple beef stew recipe offers a rich, warming experience on those chilly nights. Infused with red wine's robust flavor and tender braised beef, it’s a surefire way to stay cozy and satisfied. What’s more, it’s a breeze to make with a few simple ingredients, guaranteeing a quick and easy bowl of stew whenever you crave that soothing comfort.

Recipe Description

Get ready to fall in love with this old-fashioned red wine beef stew recipe with potatoes! Crispy bacon, seared beef, caramelized onions, and the magic of red wine infusing the pot. Veggies like potatoes, carrots, and earthy mushrooms join in, while thyme adds that cozy herbaceous flavor. This aromatic stew will fill your home with rich, comforting scents. It's the meal that brings everyone together, making any moment memorable. These robust flavors become the main centerpiece for any occasion, enhancing the simple pleasure of a shared meal.

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  • Beef Stew Ingredients
  • Test Kitchen Notes
  • FAQs
  • Recipe Card

Beef Stew Ingredients

All of the ingredients you'll need to make red wine-braised beef stew.

  • Red Wine

    Adds a deep, complex flavor to the stew. The wine's fruity and tannic notes create a velvety richness that transforms this dish into something special. While you can choose any red wine, opting for a good-quality bottle will elevate the entire experience, making it well worth the investment.

  • Cremini Mushrooms

    These aren't your everyday mushrooms. Creminis bring a robust, earthy flavor and a meaty texture that adds a layer of heartiness to the stew. You'll love how they soak up all the delicious flavors, making each bite a delight. While you can substitute it with white mushrooms, the creminis take the dish to a new level of umami.

  • Thyme

    This herb may seem common, but it's a secret superstar in this recipe. Tied with butcher's twine, the thyme infuses the stew with its aromatic essence, giving every spoonful a hint of fresh, woodsy notes. While dried thyme is an option, fresh thyme's bright, fragrant character enhances the stew's overall quality. It's a small detail that makes a big difference.

Test Kitchen Notes

  • Wine Wisdom

    Choosing the right wine is crucial. While red wine is the star, consider experimenting with different grape varieties for unique flavors. Whether you prefer a Merlot's velvety notes or a Cabernet Sauvignon's boldness, your wine selection can dramatically influence the stew's taste.

  • Meat Matters

    Beyond beef chuck, consider short ribs or brisket for diverse textures. Each cut has its charm, from the fall-apart tenderness of short ribs to the leaner, meaty brisket quality. Your choice of meat can enhance the texture of the stew.

  • Searing

    Bacon fat is a fantastic choice for searing the beef for this stew, imparting rich, smoky notes that elevate the stew’s overall flavor profile. However, olive oil offers an equally excellent substitution for those seeking an alternative. The robust nature of olive oil adds a different yet equally delicious character to the meat, ensuring a great sear and enhancing the stew’s taste. To achieve the perfect sear, employ a heavy-bottomed pan preheated to a high temperature before adding the beef. Avoid overcrowding the pan to prevent steaming, ensuring a flavorful, caramelized crust forms on the beef, whether using olive oil for a lighter touch or embracing the depth of flavor from the bacon fat. Both methods promise a delicious outcome in this hearty stew.

  • Cooking Method

    Perfecting the cooking method is essential for a truly exceptional stew. Ensure you simmer the stew gently and cover it to trap the flavors and moisture. Experiment with using a slow or pressure cooker for convenience, or even consider transferring the dish to the oven for a more hands-off approach. Each method can yield slightly different results, so choose the one that suits your schedule and kitchen equipment.

  • Bouquet Garni How-To

    Collect fresh thyme sprigs to craft a simple bouquet garni using thyme and butcher twine. Thoroughly rinse the sprigs to remove any debris. Bundle the thyme sprigs together, ensuring they're secure and intact. Use butcher twine to tie the bundle tightly, creating a compact package. Drop this bundle into the stew while cooking to infuse it with the essence of thyme. Remember to remove the bouquet garni before serving the stew.

FAQs

What is braising, and how does it affect the beef?

What is the best red wine for braising beef?

Why do you braise with red wine?

What's the difference between beef stew and beef bourguignon?

Can I make this red wine beef stew into a slow cooker recipe?

Prep time 20mins
Cook time 2hrs 35mins
Serves or Makes: 8-10

Recipe Card

ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, thick cut, chopped
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 sprigs thyme, tied with butcher’s twine
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Method

  • Step 1

    Begin by placing the thick-cut bacon in a large Dutch oven heated over medium-high heat.

  • Step 2

    Cook the bacon for approximately 8 minutes until it becomes crispy and golden brown. Once done, use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

  • Step 3

    Season the beef chuck pieces generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • Step 4

    Sear the beef in the remaining bacon fat in the Dutch oven in two separate batches. Ensure each piece is turned and seared until it becomes a rich golden brown, typically taking about 8 to 10 minutes per batch.

  • Step 5

    Transfer the beef to the plate alongside the crispy bacon once seared.

  • Step 6

    Add the diced yellow onion to the same Dutch oven. Cook the onions for approximately 4 to 5 minutes until they soften and caramelize.

  • Step 7

    Next, pour in the red wine and stir, making sure to scrape up any browned bits that have developed on the bottom of the pot.

  • Step 8

    Simmer the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, letting the wine reduce slightly.

  • Step 9

    Return the seared beef and the rendered bacon back into the Dutch oven. Add the beef stock, halved baby potatoes, 2-inch pieces of carrots, quartered cremini mushrooms, and the bunch of tied thyme.

  • Step 10

    Bring the entire mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

  • Step 11

    Cover the Dutch oven and cook for approximately 2 hours. The goal is to cook everything until the beef becomes incredibly tender and the flavors meld together

  • Step 12

    Whisk 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with equal water in a small bowl until it forms a smooth mixture.

  • Step 13

    Stir this cornstarch mixture into the stew and simmer it for about 5 minutes.

  • Step 14

    Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.

  • Step 15

    Portion the stew into individual bowls and serve it alongside mashed potatoes if desired.