On February 2, 2017, Punxsutawney Phil declared another six weeks of chilly winter weather. I groaned when I heard the news. By February I’m counting down the days until Farmers’ Markets, salads with spring peas, and charred meat on the grill. The good news here is that 1) Punxsutawney Phil is only right 39 percent of the time, and 2) I still have a bit of time to share with you my favorite cold-weather red wine braised beef stew.
Yesterday, David and I took a long balmy stroll through our favorite Louisville park in short-sleeved shirts, and I got a hunch that maybe our favorite furry friend got it wrong this time. My fingers are crossed, but until we know for sure whether this 60-degree weather in February will usher in an early Spring, I rushed home to get started on one of our favorite comfort meals.
When you’re stuck inside and your melanin levels are plummeting, you need a hot, steaming bowl of stew, stat! Seasonal affective disorder is real, and short of buying a therapeutic Happy Lamp, making my red wine braised beef stew will make you feel all warm and cozy. Packed with tons of veggies and hearty pieces of tender short ribs, all simmered in a rich red wine and tomato sauce, this stew is the perfect complement to a chilly, lazy Sunday.
Here at Amy Burns the Recipe Book, we realize there are days better suited to simmering meat in a Dutch oven low and slow, and others that barely leave fifteen minutes to get something edible on your plate. My Red Wine Braised Beef Stew is best prepared when you’ve got a couple of hours to spare. Make a big batch like we do (there’s always plenty of leftovers), grab a glass of wine, and find your next Netflix binge. While this recipe takes a few hours from start to finish, the technique is simple, and the tender braised meat is totally worth the time.
If you’re reluctant to try out a new stew recipe when Spring keeps teasing us with small patches of green and warmer weather, I’ve got one more plug. My Red Wine Braised Beef Stew is pretty unique. It’s gluten-free and perfect for anyone who misses a thick, rich stew but can’t tolerate the flour usually used to make a viscous sauce. I solved that problem by pureeing the veggies used in the braising process with the stock and wine. The final product is thick, creamy, and full of healthy veggies, and meat that melts in your mouth. Serve it over a salt and pepper crusted baked sweet potato and you too will be more comfortable with Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction for a late Spring.
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My red wine braised beef stew will make you feel all warm and cozy. Packed with tons of veggies and hearty pieces of tender short ribs, all simmered in a rich red wine and tomato sauce, this stew is the perfect complement to a chilly, lazy Sunday.
- 4 lbs boneless beef chuck short ribs I get mine from Costco
- 2 tbsp grape seed oil you can substitute canola oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp granulated onion
- 4 celery stalks cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 carrots cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion cut into 2-inch pieces
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms cut in half or quarters, depending on mushroom size
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 2 sage sprigs
- 2 cups beef broth
- 3 cups tomato puree
- 1 1/2 cups red wine about half a bottle
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp rosemary finely chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme finely chopped
Heat a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven to medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, cut your short ribs in half and season on both sides with the Short Rib Seasoning ingredients. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and wait about a minute until it heats up and barely begins to smoke. Add the meat in batches to get a good sear and prevent steaming. I put four pieces in at a time and had three batches. Check out my Thursday’s Tips and Tricks: How to Sear Meat if you need more detailed instructions.
Sear each side of the meat for about 3 minutes or until it easily releases from the pan and is a deep, brown color. Transfer each batch of meat to a separate plate and set aside. You may need to add another tablespoon of oil to your pan after the first or second batch of searing. Don’t be alarmed if a thick dark brown crust develops at the bottom of your pan. It’s not burnt; its flavor!
Once you’ve seared the meat, add the Stew Vegetables to the pot. Cook the veggies for 5-7 minutes until they’ve started to release some moisture and are softened. Add the tomato paste and stir occasionally for about 2 minutes until the tomato paste becomes dark red.
Add the seared meat back into the pot, stir to combine with the veggies, and pour the Braising Liquids on top. Scrape the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan after adding the liquid.
Using kitchen twine, tie your Whole Herbs together into a little satchel and submerge into the cooking liquid. Add the bay leaf.
Turn the heat up to high and when the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.
When the meat is tender, remove the meat along with the bay leaf and the herb satchel from the braising liquid. Set the meat aside. Discard the bay leaf and herb satchel. Using a slotted spoon, remove the veggies and place in a large bowl. Pour the braising liquid into a separate large bowl.
Next, place half of the veggies and about 3 cups of the braising liquid into a blender. Blend until completely smooth and then add back to the pot. Do the same for the second half of the veggies. You’ll have about two cups leftover braising liquid at the end. Discard or save for later use.
Once the meat is cool enough to handle (I put mine in the freezer while I’m pureeing the sauce), pull it into large bite-sized pieces with two forks or your hands. Remove any fat or gristle that remains.
Add the pulled meat back into the pot with the veggie sauce and Stew Seasonings. Stir to combine and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.
Ladle the stew mixture over a baked sweet potato and enjoy!