Hearty Beef Stew with Red Wine

Perfect for a cold winter’s night, this hearty stew takes about 30 minutes to prep and then cooks all day (or part of the day, depending on your method).  The addition of red wine makes it quite similar to beef bourginon, but this version also includes potatoes.  It can be made in the slow cooker or in the oven.

Time: 30 minutes (active prep), 4-8 hours (in the slow cooker), 4 hours in the oven.
Level: Easy
Cost: About $4 per plate
Serves: 4- 6


  1. 3 lbs chuck roast (to be cubed after browning it; more on that later)
  2. 1-2 TBSP olive oil or clarified butter
  3. 4-60z bacon, sliced into lardons
  4. Salt and Pepper to taste
  5. 2 lbs white potatoes, cubed
  6. 1 yellow onion, diced
  7. 4-5 celery stocks, chopped into 1.5 inch pieces
  8. 2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped into 1.5 inch pieces
  9. 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  10. 8 oz Crimini or Baby Bella mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on their size
  11. 1/4 brandy (optional, for flambé)
  12. 1 cup sturdy red wine (such as Cabernet, Shiraz, or Zinfandel)
  13. 1/2 cup concentrated beef stock
  14. 3 TBSP all purpose flour
  15. 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  16. 1 TBSP Soy Sauce
  17. 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on how much zing you want to add, optional


Note:  If going the slow cooker route, every time the instructions say “Remove and reserve” you can just dump whatever it is into the slow cooker.

Preheat oven to 275°F (or if using slow cooker, coat the bottom of the slow cooker with cooking spray).

Begin by heating bacon and 1 TBSP olive oil or clarified butter in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Sauté bacon until fairly crispy and most of the fat has rendered.  Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Next, pat the roast dry with paper towels and season aggressively with salt and pepper on all sides.  Sear the roast on all sides until golden brown.  Remove roast and allow to rest on a cutting board while continuing to the next steps.

Add onion, celery and carrots to the pot and sauté until onions are translucent and vegetables begin to soften, 5- 7 minutes, scraping up any brown bits that may begin to loosen as the onions begin to sweat.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 more minutes.  Remove all items from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Add mushrooms to the pan and sauté until lightly caramelized and they have absorbed most of the fat/liquid in the pan (mushrooms are like little flavor sponges).  Once the pan is beginning to look a bit dry on the bottom, add 1/4 cup brandy and flambé.

Add bacon, onions, celery, carrots and garlic back into the pan with the mushrooms.  Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.

Add red wine and beef stock and bring to a boil, continuing to stir to scrape up anything that might still be on the bottom of the pan.  Stir in flour.  Reduce heat and allow liquid to simmer, reducing by about 1/3 to 1/2.

Meanwhile, while the liquid in the pan is reducing, cube the beef on the cutting board and add it directly back into the pot.  Add potatoes.

If finishing in the oven, give everything a good stir to combine and then cover and place in a 275 degree oven for 3-4 hours.

If finishing in a slow-cooker, dump the whole mess into the slow-cooker, give everything a good stir to combine, and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for four hours.  Personally, I have found the low, slow 8 hour cook in the slow cooker to yield the best results.



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