Red Wine Beef Stew

adapted from NY Times Recipes


Marinating Mixture

3 1/2 - 4 pounds beef stew. cut into large pieces

2 large sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

12 juniper berries

1/2 bottle red wine (red table wine or cabernet works well)


In the Pot

Salt and fresh ground pepper

4 garlic cloves  (1 smashed, 3 minced)

4 Tbsp vegetable oil

3 stalks celery

3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 1/2 onion, chopped

1 large Idaho potato, peeled and diced

3-4 slices bacon, cut into lardons

3 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp tomato paste


Bouquet garni (2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs rosemary and parsley, 2 bay leaves, 6 juniper berries, 4 whole cloves, 1 tsp dried orange peel, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied.


1/2 bottle

Chicken broth, as needed

3 Tbsp chopped parsley


In a large bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients.  Mix well.  Place the meat and marinade into a large zip lock bag or bowl and refrigerate.  Marinate for at least two hours or up to a day.


After the meat has marinated, strain off the marinade and reserve for cooking.  Drain the meat on paper towels and pat dry.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Prepare the vegetables:  cut the celery and carrots into large chunks.  Peel and dice the onion.  Peel and dice the potato. Set aside.


Prepare a large, heavy pot with a tight fitting lid by placing it on the stove and rubbing the bottom with the smashed and peeled garlic clove coating it with the garlic's oils.  Discard the garlic.


Heat 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pot until shimmering.  Add half of the meat and brown gently on both sides.  When browned, remove the meat to paper towels to drain.  Repeat with the remaining two tablespoons of oil and meat.  Then return the all the meat to the pot.


Heat the oven to 250° F. 


In a large skillet, cook the bacon lardons until crisp.  Cook gently until the fat renders.  When the bacon is close to finished, add the onions, celery, carrots, and minced garlic.  Cook stirring, until softened and golden, about ten minutes.  Increase the heat, add the tomato paste and cook, stirring until sizzling and fragrant.  Add the bouquet garni, reserved marinade and potato.  Let the mixture bubble rigorously for 5 to 10 minutes until the liquid is thickened and syrupy.  Transfer the mixture to the heavy pot with the meat.


Pour the remaining half bottle of red wine to the pot.  If needed, add enough chicken broth so that the ingredients are covered.  Stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Place the lid on the pot and bake four to five hours.  At four hours, test the meat for doneness.  It should be soft enough to eat with a spoon and the sauce should be thick.  If after four hours, the liquid appears thin, remove the lid from the pot and bake uncovered for the remaining time.


When done, let cool slightly.  Remove and discard the bouquet garni and the celery chunks.  To thicken the stew, smash some of the carrots and potatoes with a fork.  Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.


Garnish each serving with thyme leaves and chopped parsley.