After a long summer of grilling, I’m excited to switch gears and lean in to comfort foods like beef stew. There’s something nostalgic about walking into the kitchen and smelling a stew that’s been simmering all day — it reminds me of my childhood.
Braised Beef Stew with Red Wine and Vegetables is a savory and satisfying dish that’s cooked from start to finish in just one pot, making clean-up a breeze. Stew gets better the longer it sits, so I like to make this recipe the day before I plan to eat it.
Browning the meat first intensifies the flavors of the final stew, elevating a dish from good to outstanding. I find that wine, although not essential, adds some acidity to the stew, which in turn enhances flavors in the final dish. Red wines such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon are good choices. But you can use whatever you have around that you like to drink — and then serve the rest of the bottle with dinner!
As we head into fall, I’m excited to focus on seasonal root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, and turnips. They’re great in a stew because they retain texture and flavor despite cooking for hours
Homemade Old-Fashioned Southern Biscuits are a classic pairing with stew and perfect for sopping up any leftovers in your bowl.
The secret to great stew? Patience. Don’t rush the process. The melt-in-your-mouth results are well worth the wait.
Braised Beef Stew with Red Wine and Vegetables
(Makes 6 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 2 1/4-pound lean beef shoulder, cut into large bite-size cubes
2 onions, each cut into 8 pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large rosemary sprig
1 large thyme sprig
1 1/4 cups dry red wine
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium beef stock
2 parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 turnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
In large heavy casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper to taste and, working in two batches to avoid overcrowding, add beef to pot and cook for about 6 minutes, or until beef is brown. Transfer beef to bowl.
To same pot, add onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add wine and tomatoes, stirring to scrape up browned bits on bottom of pot. Simmer for about 8 minutes, or until wine has reduced by about half. Return beef and accumulated juices in bowl to pot. Add stock and bring to gentle simmer. The beef should be just covered with cooking liquid. Decrease heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, simmering very gently and stirring occasionally, for about 1 ½ hours. Add parsnips, carrot, and turnip and return lid to pot. Simmer gently for about 1 hour longer, or until vegetables are tender and beef is tender enough to cut with spoon.
Using slotted spoon, transfer beef and vegetables to bowl. Boil cooking liquid over high heat for about 20 minutes, or until it is reduced by half. Return beef and vegetables to pot and simmer gently just until they are heated through. Spoon beef stew into 6 serving bowls and serve.
Make-Ahead: The stew can be made up to 1 day ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Rewarm the stew, covered, over medium heat.
Per serving: Calories: 498
Total Fat: 22 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g
Sodium: 659 mg; Carbohydrate: 14 g
Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 48 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 0.4 starch,
1.5 vegetable, 0.5 fat, 7 lean meat
This is an American recipe, biscuits being much more like savory scones than cookie-style biscuits as we know them in Australia. They are delicious served as an accompaniment at meal times, especially when you need something to sop up gravy or a savory sauce.
Old-Fashioned Southern Biscuits
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 dash salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces (1/2 stick) cold unsalted
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Onto sheet of wax paper, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, then sift flour mixture again into bowl. Using your fingertips, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir with fork until mixture is moistened (do not overmix dough).
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead gently just until dough holds together loosely. Pat out dough on floured surface to about an 8×5-inch rectangle. Using 2 ½-inch-diameter biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits, flouring cutter between each cut.
Transfer biscuits to heavy large baking sheet, arranging biscuits about 2 inches apart. Brush tops of biscuits with milk or cream. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until biscuits are puffed and pale golden. Serve warm.
Make-Ahead: Biscuits are best eaten warm from the oven, but can be made up to 1 day ahead, cooled, and stored airtight at room temperature. To rewarm them, wrap the biscuits in foil and bake them at 350°F for about 10 minutes, or until they are heated through.
Per serving: Calories: 318; Total Fat: 13 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g
Sodium: 522 mg; Carbohydrate: 44 g; Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 7 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 2.5 starch, 2.5 fat
Looking for something with a little more kick … or a lot less red meat? Try Curtis Stone’s Spicy Black Bean Soup with Crème Fraîche and Cilantro, which you can find at saturdayeveningpost.com/bbsoup.
This article is featured in the November/December 2022 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.
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