Welcome to my kitchen and to one of my favorite recipes – Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce. This recipe has been passed down for generations in my family and is one that always warms the soul and leaves us feeling satisfied after every bite. If you’re looking for a hearty dish to prepare for your family or want to impress guests at your next dinner party, then you’ve come to the right place.
There are a few things that make this beef stew stand out from the rest. Firstly, the tender chunks of beef chuck are slow-cooked for hours until they become melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Secondly, the red wine sauce adds a depth of flavor that cannot be matched by any ordinary stew recipe. Finally, the combination of fresh thyme, bay leaves, and cremini mushrooms gives it a fragrant and earthy taste.
I must admit that making this beef stew requires considerable preparation and attention to detail but I promise you that following this recipe will reward you with a world-class dish worth every bit of effort. In this article, I’ll take you through everything you need to know about creating this unforgettable Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce. So roll up your sleeves, sharpen your cooking skills, and let’s get started!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you are looking for a hearty and comforting meal that is rich in flavor, then this Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce recipe has got you covered. This recipe will not disappoint – it is perfect for any occasion, from a cozy night in to a fancy dinner party.
Firstly, this stew recipe has been created by culinary genius Jacques Pepin, so you know it’s going to be good. Pepin’s beef stew recipe is beloved by home cooks and food enthusiasts alike. The recipe is packed with fresh thyme, bay leaves, succulent beef chunks, pancetta, and cremini mushrooms to create the perfect depth of flavor.
Another reason why this beef stew in red wine sauce is perfect for any occasion is its versatility. You can easily customize this dish by adding your own personal touch with ingredients like hoisin sauce or garlic breadcrumbs. It’s also incredibly simple to adjust the spiciness of the dish by simply adding more or less pepper.
Additionally, the slow-cooking process ensures that even tough cuts of meat like beef chuck become tender and juicy with time. And let’s not forget about the star of the show – the wine beef sauce! The addition of dry red wine helps in breaking down the acid present in the meat, resulting in a truly mouth-watering dish.
Finally, this Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce recipe is an excellent excuse to uncork a bottle of red wine! The flavors of the wine and tender beef are perfectly combined to make an addiction-inducing red wine sauce that you won’t be able to get enough of.
In conclusion, whether you’re cooking for one or hosting a dinner party, this savory Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce Recipe should definitely be on your list of go-to dishes. Its rich flavor and versatility make it hard to not love!
To make this delicious beef stew in red wine sauce recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Beef Stew Meat: 2 pounds, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. I recommend using beef chuck (also known as blade roast) for its rich flavor.
- Flour: 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to coat the beef.
- Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons to brown the beef.
- Butter: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to cook the onions, garlic, and mushrooms.
- Pancetta or Bacon: 4 ounces chopped for extra smokiness and depth of flavor (optional).
- Onion: One medium onion, chopped.
- Garlic: Four cloves garlic, minced.
- Cremini Mushrooms: One pound sliced cremini mushrooms (also known as baby bella mushrooms).
- Tomato Paste: Two tablespoons of tomato paste to add richness and depth of flavor.
- Red Wine: One bottle (750 ml) dry red wine. Choose one that you would enjoy drinking, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.
- Beef Broth: Two cups beef broth to add richness and meaty flavor to the stew.
- Bay Leaves: Two bay leaves to infuse the stew with herbal notes.
- Fresh Thyme: One sprig of fresh thyme to add a floral note.
- Salt and Pepper: One teaspoon salt and half teaspoon black pepper for seasoning. Add more if desired.
- Fresh Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley for garnish.
These ingredients may seem like a lot, but each one plays an important role in creating the robust flavors that make this beef stew so delightful. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Brown the Beef
Get out a large pot or Dutch oven and heat it up over medium-high heat. Add in some olive oil until heated before you sear the 2 pounds of trimmed beef chuck cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once nicely browned on all sides, remove from the pot and set aside.
Step 2: Sauté the Pancetta and Vegetables
In the same pot, lower the heat to medium and cook 4 ounces of diced pancetta for a few minutes until crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Then, add in some more olive oil if needed, then sauté 3 cloves of minced garlic and one diced onion for about 5 minutes until softened. Toss in about 2-3 cups of sliced Cremini mushrooms and cook for several minutes until they start releasing their liquid.
Step 3: Flour Roux
Add in some flour, about 1 tablespoon, to form a roux with the veggies. Cook the roux for about 2 minutes before adding in tomato paste, stirring constantly.
Step 4: Add Red Wine and Broth
Finally, it’s time to add in some cooking liquid. Pour in one bottle of red wine (like a cabernet sauvignon) into the pot and bring it up to a boil, scraping off any bits that are stuck at the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon – this step is crucial for flavoring your stew! Then stir in 1 teaspoon sugar, followed by 2 cups beef broth.
Step 5: Add Beef Back In And Simmer
Once everything is combined well, add your browned beef back into the pot along with any of its reserved juices. Add in 2 bay leaves, 1 sprig fresh thyme, and a few pinches of salt and pepper to season it up. Bring everything to a boil again, then reduce the heat so the stew is simmering. Simmer for about 2-3 hours while allowing the flavors to meld together.
Step 6: Finish Up
Once your stew has cooked for several hours, check that your beef is tender by poking it with a fork – if it falls apart easily, you’re good to go! Otherwise, cook for an additional hour. Once tender, remove the thyme stem and bay leaves from the pot, then stir in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to create a rich finish. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top before serving alongside rice or crusty bread.
Substitutions and Variations
Beef stew in red wine sauce is a classic recipe that has been loved by many for centuries. If you want to add more depth and complexity to your dish, try experimenting with the ingredients. You can make some substitutions and variations to give your beef stew a unique flavor and texture.
Instead of using pancetta, you can use bacon or smoked ham hock to add a smoky flavor to the beef stew. If you’re a vegetarian or prefer not to use meat-based ingredients, you can skip the pancetta altogether.
Cremini mushrooms give this dish a lot of earthiness and umami flavor, but if you don’t have them on hand, you can use white button mushrooms instead. You can also use sliced shiitake or portobello mushrooms for a heartier taste.
Fresh herbs like thyme and parsley are integral to this recipe, but if you don’t have them, you can substitute with dried herbs. When substituting with dried herbs, use a third of the amount the recipe calls for.
If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can replace red wine with beef broth or tomato juice. However, wine adds acidity and tannins that help tenderize the beef and bring out rich flavors in the stew. If you choose not to use alcohol, consider adding two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar for acidity.
To provide extra richness to the sauce, add one tablespoon of tomato paste when sautéing onions and garlic. This will give the sauce more depth and color.
By experimenting with these substitutions and variations you’ll be able to tailor this traditional recipe to better fit your personal taste preferences. Just remember that every ingredient plays an important role in creating the final dish’s signature taste.
Serving and Pairing
This beef stew in red wine sauce is a hearty and comforting dish that deserves to be served and paired accordingly. The stew is a perfect centerpiece for a cozy family dinner or a special occasion. The rich flavors of the beef, red wine sauce, and vegetables make for a satisfying meal.
To serve, garnish the beef stew with some fresh parsley for an extra pop of color and flavor. The parsley adds brightness to the otherwise heavy dish, and it makes the stew visually appealing. You can also sprinkle some sugar over the top of the stew before serving, which will balance out the acidity from the red wine sauce.
When it comes to pairing, red wine is an obvious choice. Use the same bottle of red wine that you used in the recipe to serve alongside the dish. This will complement the flavors of the stew and enhance your overall dining experience.
If you prefer beer over wine, try pairing the beef stew with a malty beer like a stout or porter. The roasted malts in these beers pair exceptionally well with slow-cooked beef dishes.
For sides, consider serving crusty bread or mashed potatoes to soak up all that delicious sauce. The bread can be used to make sandwiches with leftover beef and veggies for lunch the next day.
In summary, this beef stew in red wine sauce is a classic comfort food that pairs well with simple sides and a glass of red wine or beer. Serve it at your next dinner party or make it for your family on a cold winter night. Either way, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
This beef stew in red wine sauce recipe is perfect for making ahead of time for a busy weeknight. After cooking, let it cool completely and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheating is easy, simply reheat it on low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally until heated through.
If you have leftovers, this recipe freezes well too. Transfer the cooled stew into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then heat it over low heat on the stove or microwave it until heated through.
Keep in mind that when freezing liquids such as this stew, they will expand as they freeze, so be sure to leave enough room at the top of your container or bag to prevent it from bursting.
This stew also lends itself well to slow cooking if you’re looking to prep ahead of time. Cook everything as per the recipe but instead of simmering on the stove, transfer it to your slow cooker and cook it on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. The slow-cooking process will result in tender beef and more concentrated flavors.
Overall, this recipe is not only delicious but also convenient for those who need to plan ahead without compromising flavor and texture.
Tips for Perfect Results
To ensure perfect results when making Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Here are some tips that I found helpful:
Firstly, use fresh ingredients. The flavors of the stew will depend largely on the quality of your ingredients. Fresh parsley, thyme, and cremini mushrooms can make a big difference in the overall taste of the dish.
Secondly, brown your beef properly. This step is crucial to developing the depth of flavor in the stew. Take the time to brown each piece of meat completely and avoid overcrowding the pan. This will help to create the Maillard reaction which enhances the flavor.
Thirdly, cut your beef into equally sized pieces. By doing so, you’ll ensure that each piece cooks evenly and will be tender and succulent.
Fourthly, use a dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. While it doesn’t have to be an expensive bottle of wine, it’s best to avoid sweet or fruity wines like Zinfandel or Pinot Noir as they may clash with the rich flavors in the sauce.
Fifthly, don’t skip the tomato paste. Adding tomato paste will deepen and enrich the color of the sauce while also adding some slight sweetness to counteract some of the bitterness from the red wine.
Finally, take your time simmering the stew over low heat for at least two hours or more. This will allow all of the flavors to meld together and produce a deeply flavored stew with tender beef that falls apart with each bite.
If you follow these tips, I’m confident you’ll make an incredibly flavorful Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce that would make even Jacques Pepin smile!
Now that you have a clear understanding of the ingredients and steps involved in preparing the beef stew in red wine sauce, it’s time to address some frequently asked questions. Here are some answers to help you get through the recipe with ease and confidence.
What does red wine do to beef stew?
Pairing wine with beef stew can transform a simple dish into a savory masterpiece. The acidic properties of red wine help to tenderize tough cuts of beef, such as chuck, during the slow-cooking process. As the stew simmers, the wine blends with the other flavors and ingredients, resulting in a rich and complex taste. The liquid in the pot gradually evaporates in the oven, intensifying the flavors of the wine and enhancing the overall depth of the dish.
What red wine to use in beef stew?
If you’re serving a delicious beef stew as your main course, I’d strongly recommend pairing it with a classic and robust red wine like cabernet sauvignon. Its dry taste is attributed to the presence of tannins, which complement the flavors of the beef quite well without getting dominated by the heavy flavors of the stew. The tannins in the wine also heighten the taste of the meat, making every sip and bite more enjoyable.
What is the secret to tender beef stew?
Achieving a tender texture for stew meat is crucial, and this requires a significant amount of cooking time. To attain the desirable softness of beef, low heat cooking methods, such as using a Dutch oven on the stove or a slow cooker, need to be employed for several hours.
Can you put too much red wine in stew?
Adding more wine than required in a sauce may alter the intended outcome, but it is still possible to achieve an equally delightful taste. When making a stew or a braised dish, extra wine can be countered by letting it cook for a longer duration, according to Alejandra Ramos, a culinary instructor and the proprietor of the Alejandra Ramos Culinary and Lifestyle concierge service in New York City.
After following the steps of this recipe, you’ll be amazed at how tender and delicious your beef stew in red wine sauce will turn out. The depth of flavor that the red wine adds to the beef is something truly special, making this a dish that stands out from the rest.
I highly recommend serving this dish with some crusty bread, mashed potatoes or polenta to soak up all that savory goodness. And don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley on top for an added touch of elegance.
Trust me, this beef stew in red wine sauce recipe will not disappoint. So next time you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or just want to treat yourself to a truly delicious meal, give it a try. You won’t regret it!
Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce Recipe
- 2 lbs beef flat iron steaks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 15 white pearl onions (or cippollini)
- 15 cremini mushrooms
- 15 baby carrots
- 5 ounces piece pancetta
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 dash sugar
- chopped fresh parsley
- Cut the meat into 8 pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron pot that is attractive enough for the table. Arrange the meat in one layer in the pot, and season it with salt and pepper. Cook on top of the stove over high heat for about 8 minutes, browning the meat on all sides.
- Add 1 cup of finely chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic. Cook over moderate heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix in well so that the flour doesn’t form lumps. Stir in 1 bottle of red wine. Add 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well and cover.
- Place the pot in the oven and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours; the meat should be soft and tender and the liquid properly reduced. The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead.
- For the garnishes, peel 15 cipollini or pearl onions, wash 15 cremini mushrooms and peel 15 baby carrots. For the lardons, you will need one 5-ounce piece of pancetta. Bring the pancetta and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes; drain. Cut the pancetta into 1/2-inch slices and then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.
- Combine the onions, mushrooms, carrots and pancetta in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a good dash each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes; at this point, there should be practically no water left. Uncover and cook over high heat, sautéing the vegetables until nicely browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.
- To serve, mix some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and sprinkle the rest on top as a garnish. Add a little chopped fresh parsley and serve.