Comforting Beef Stew
Every fall, I dig out my most comforting soup and stew recipes and dust off my trusty French oven. During the warmer months, my favorite kitchen pot often goes unnoticed as I swap out thicker stews for lighter flavors, but when the first cool breeze of the fall wafts through my home, I reignite my love affair with my French oven, chopping up root veggies and whisking up rues to create thick meals that warm me from the inside out. This Comforting Beef Stew recipe is one of my fall favorites and helps me welcome fall into my kitchen with it’s warm aroma.
I start by frying up some diced bacon in my Staub French oven with about half a cup of water. The water will eventually evaporate, but helps to cook through all of the bacon fat leaving it nice and crispy.
After I remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat inside, I drop in some stewing beef that I coated with flour. I sear the beef for a couple of minutes, in two separate batches, on each side before removing it all from the pan.
Then I add some red wine to the pot to deglaze it, toss in some in some sliced mushrooms, and let it simmer for several minutes.
I transfer the beef and bacon back into the pot with the mushrooms and let it simmer together while I prepare a skillet with some olive oil.
In the skillet I add in some finely diced onion, sliced carrots, and garlic to sauté until the onions become translucent. Then I add in some tomato paste, incorporating it into the mixture.
I transfer the veggies to the pot with the beef and add in plenty of beef broth, a couple bay leaves, some thyme, and a bit of salt and pepper.
I let everything come to a low boil before adding in some potatoes, ensuring they’re covered completely in liquid before covering the pot and transferring it into my oven.
The stew cooks in a 325F degree oven for a almost two hours, completely marinating my home in the comforting aroma of fall veggies and rich beef broth.
Once this Comforting Beef Stew has finished it’s oven time, I pull it out and serve it with some crusty bread or rolls. I love soaking up the rich leftover broth with a piece of sourdough bread.
I’m a firm believer in using high quality tools in my kitchen. I never used to think that it mattered, but the first time I created this beef stew in a French oven, the flavor profile totally changed. The soup was richer, the flavors deeper, and the broth thicker. My Staub French oven is a fall staple in my kitchen and since I bought it from Wayfair, I saved money on my favorite pot. I’ve used this gorgeous pot everyday since receiving it a few weeks back (I purchased it to replace my older Dutch oven which broke). It allows my cooking to transition seamlessly from the stove to the oven, making it one of my more versatile pieces. I bought mine in white, but it’s also available in black, grendadine, dark blue, and cherry.
- 6-8 slices bacon, diced
- 2 pounds stewing beef
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups Pinot Noir
- 1pound mushrooms, sliced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
- In a large, French or Dutch oven, sauté bacon with half a cup of water until crisp.
- Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving fat in the pan, and set aside.
- While bacon fries, place beef in a large mixing bowl and add slat, pepper and flour, tossing to coat.
- Transfer beef in batches into pot with the leftover bacon fat and cook over medium heat, until beef is browned.
- Remove beef from pan and set aside with bacon.
- Add wine to the pot and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pot.
- Add mushrooms and simmer over medium heat for several minutes.
- Return beef and bacon to the pot with mushrooms and wine.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add carrots, onion, and garlic and saute for several minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add tomato paste and sautee another minute.
- Transfer veggies to the soup pot.
- Add beef broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot; stir to combine bringing to a low boil.
- Add potatoes, ensuring they are submerged in liquid and cover
- Transfer French oven to a 325F degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.