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Tuesday 5th January 2021.

January 5, 2021

Great to welcome back for the first time in the New Year our Feisty Foodie Sara still up there in the cold of Canada. So there is nothing better to warm the cockles of your heart than a good beef stew.

Comforting Beef Stew

Normally I’d use a Dutch oven or a slow cooker to make a stew, but I found myself with just one regular large soup pot.  It came out great, so rich and with great depth of flavour!  Serves 4




1.5 pounds boneless beef chuck (well-marbled), cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup dry red wine

1 ½ cups beef broth

½ cup water

1 bay leaf

1/3 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sugar

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into disks or on a diagonal in 1 inch chunks

1 pound small white boiling potatoes (baby yukons), whole

Fresh chopped parsley, for serving (optional)



  1. Pat the beef dry and season with the salt and pepper. In a heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown the meat in 2 batches, turning with tongs, for about 5 minutes per batch; add one tablespoon more oil for each batch. (To sear the meat properly, do not crowd the pan and let the meat develop a nice brown crust before turning with tongs.) Transfer the meat to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Add the beef with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir with wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, water, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and turn to low so it’s on a light simmer.  Check and stir every 30 minutes.
  3. After an hour and a half, add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and ensure they are covered mostly by liquid.  Simmer on low-medium heat for about 45 minutes more, or until the vegetables are cooked, the broth is thickened, and the meat is tender. Take out the bay leaf and discard, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve the stew warm with rice or mashed potatoes.

Storing tips:  Let it come to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. This stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead. Reheat, covered, over medium heat or in a 350°F oven or on the stove top on medium. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just omit the potatoes because they don’t freeze well. If you’d like, boil some potatoes separately when you defrost the stew and either add them into the stew or serve serve stew with mashed potatoes and don’t add them in. Before serving, defrost the stew in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat until hot.



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