Saturday, January 18, 2014

Recipe | Provencal Beef Stew with Red Wine

First, I want to thank all of you for the kind words and topic suggestions you left after my post last week.  I loved your ideas and will try my best to cover many of them throughout the year.  I got a number of meal planning questions and I will try to share some of my process over several posts.  Meal planning is one of those tasks that I can love (when I'm brimming with ideas for new recipes to try) or I can dread (when I'm lacking inspiration or creativity).  I by no means have it mastered.  I'll get frustrated that I need to consult a recipe to confirm the ingredients on a dish I've made a million times or I dare to ask Jimmy what he's craving for dinner and he almost always he suggests tacos.  I so rarely make tacos, so I'm not sure why they are always top of mind for him.  I think I'd fall over if he said chicken picatta or penne vodka.  The point is, meal planning takes effort and some weeks you have it and others you don't.  There isn't a single perfect system, but the more organized my recipes are the better off I am. (They are rarely organized.)  I've been working on my pinterest boards and slowly moving all my recipes into better defined categories.  Up till recently everything was filed under "Yummy".  So creative. Ha.  The other thing I value greatly is having a set of go-to, staple menu items, like my Vegetable Soup or Ina's Spicy Turkey Meatballs or my Sunday Roast.  With each season I have a short list, maybe 10 recipes or so, that are on regular rotation, they help fill in the blanks when I can't think of what to make for dinner.  This stew recipe will be a new addition to that round up.

I made this stew on Friday, when it was bitterly cold and we were inside all afternoon.  The house smelled incredible (hello, 12 cloves of garlic!) and watching Jimmy take a deep inhale when he walked in the door after work was exactly the reaction I was hoping to get.  Everyone in my family licked their bowls clean (worthy of a victory dance because I have children that can occasionally be prone to pickiness.)  I think this might be my favorite stew recipe, ever. (Sorry Ina, I love your Beef Bourguignon so much, but the mushrooms and pearl onions aren't a favorite with my crew.)  My key is to use high quality meat (I like Fresh Market), especially in a stew where it cooks for hours and a great tasting wine, I like a dry red in stew, like a Pinot Noir.

This recipe was adapted from the Cooking Light recipe for Beef Daube, my biggest changes were in the preparation steps and the amount of seasoning.  Enjoy.  This is what I call "I love you food",  a slow, unhurried, earthy meal, that says I just want to take care of you.   It is one that I will make time and time again.

Recipe | Provencal Beef Stew with Red Wine
(adapted from here)

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (2.5 - 3 pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup beef broth

  • Preheat oven to 300.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, oven safe, saucepan or dutch oven.  Season meat with kosher salt
    and fresh cracked pepper (about 1-2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper).  Brown meat on all sides for 5 minutes in oil, then remove and set aside.   Add onions, carrots and garlic to the same pan and cook until onions are softened.  Add fresh herbs.  Cook for 1 more minute.  Return meat to pan and add red wine, scraping up any browned bits. Cook for 3 minutes, then add remaining ingredients through bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and place in preheated oven for 2.5 hours.  Season to taste.
  • Cook egg noodles according to package directions.  Serve stew alongside noodles and garnish with thyme if desired.
  • (serves 4-6)
  • Printable Recipe
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • egg noodles 
  • sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish


  1. Can't wait to try this, Tessa! Your menu planning sounds just like mine. It ebbs and flows as I try to create meals that nurture and nourish my guys. Keep the great recipes coming!

  2. Looks delicious! What do you use for beef broth?

    1. Any organic beef broth. I'm not too picky when it comes to broths.

  3. sorry, there was another comment that I accidentally deleted asking about reheating... yes, this stew re-heat perfectly. It is actually even better the next day! It will also be a great meal to freeze!!

  4. My (French) husband is going to love this…coming up for next Sunday's supper! Would you do a post on your favorite recipes? I'd love to know your others!

  5. Hi Tessa, I LOVE your blog and I'm so excited to make this recipe. I'm American, but I live in Ireland. The beef here is grass fed and so delicious. I will be able to find the rest of the ingredients which is not always the case when I'm making a recipe that originated in the US. I might serve mine over mashed potatoes… the Irish grow lovely potatoes!

  6. Hi Tessa. I love your blog. I can't wait to try this recipe. I'm American, but I live in West Cork, Ireland. The beef here is grass fed and so delicious. I will be able to find the rest of the ingredients which is not always the case when working with a recipe that originated in the US. I might serve this over mashed potatoes. The Irish grow lovely potatoes.

  7. Can't wait to try this - my husband will love this! Always love to see what you're cooking over in your house and your pictures are always great - I wish I could master the picture taking inside. Thanks Tessa!

  8. I'm making this now. The house smells divine! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. I made this for dinner and it was perfect. I believe I have a new go-to beef stew recipe!

  10. Made this for dinner last night. The house smelled amazing and the stew was delicious! Thank you!!

  11. Made this for dinner last night. The house smelled amazing and the stew was a hit with the family! Thank you!

  12. I made your recipe Monday night for dinner. My goodness it was delicious. The meat was tender like butter I say! My family loved it, and cleaned their plates. I made some mashed sweet potatoes the next day, and used the extra gravy over them. Yum! Will be making this again very soon.

  13. We made this for supper tonight and my oh my it was delish! My (French) husband actually cooked it because I'm under the weather, and he really enjoyed cooking it too-and my home smelled amazing. I'm going to make it for my inlaws when they come over to visit. Thank you! Next up, your chicken buffalo soup on Wednesday!

  14. I made this for supper tonight and it was delicious! We ate it all! Every drop. Perfect on this very cold January evening. Thank you!