Aaahhh, the deep richness of stew that had been cooked in red wine. It’s incomparable. So perfect for the chilly nights that go hand-in-glove with the holiday season.
If you’re new at cooking with wine, and you’re not sure if buying the least expensive bottle will ruin the flavor of your stew, here’s a tip: choose a bottle of wine that you find good enough to drink. If it’s good enough to drink, it’s good enough to go into your pot of holiday beef stew.
Holiday Beef Stew
To brown the beef
- 1 kilogram stewing beef (short ribs, beef crest or beef brisket will all work), cut into two-inch cubes
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup butter
Mirepoix (flavor base)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped carrot
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- ¾ bottle Merlot
- meat broth as needed
To complete the beef stew
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
- ⅓ cup sweet peas
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- snipped parsley to garnish
Brown the beef
- Dry the beef cubes with paper towels.
- Toss the beef with the flour.
- Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan.
- Spread the beef in the hot butter and cook over high heat, turning the pieces occasionally, until all sides are browned.
- Scoop out the beef and move to a plate.
Make the mirepoix
- Reheat the remaining butter in the pan.
- Over medium heat, cook the onion, carrot and celery with a bit of salt and pepper until softened.
Stew the beef
- Add the browned beef to the mirepoix.
- Sprinkle in the rosemary, thyme and sage.
- Pour in the wine. Let boil for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Lower the heat, cover and simmer for two to two and a half hours or until the beef is tender.
- If the liquid dries up before the beef is done, pour in broth, half a cup at a time (see notes after the recipe).
- Taste every half hour so or, and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
Vegetables and sauce
- Stir in the potatoes and peas.
- Mix the softened butter and flour until smooth.
- Drop in the butter-flour mixture by teaspoonful.
- Stir everything together and continue to simmer, covered, until the vegetables are done.
Serve your hioliday beef stew
- Ladle the stew into a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve with bread or rice.