Ina Garten’s Unforgettable Beef Stew

October 21, 2017
Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew - One of the classics that is just good to have in your back pocket. With salad and crusty, bread it's so very, good.

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”     ~ Nora Ephron | I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

(This post may contain affiliate links)

Not long ago I went to visit my daughter and her family

As it turns out .. the Airbnb I rented was in a small subdivision known to the locals as Whoville. The houses were quite cute .. terribly close together .. and painted all sorts of bright colors. Once there I found it to be cozy despite the owner's minimalism. In the upstairs bedroom was a twin bed with an oversized down comforter .. next to a window onto which a little person had stuck two unicorn decals

My first night in town .. it turned out she'd cleared her schedule and so we celebrated .. just the two of us at a family-run cafe of sorts. The kind where meals are abundant .. and the food is spectacularly good.

We were seated by an impeccably dressed older gentleman who watched over the place from a corner table. In between tasks he snacked on cherries out of a pink flowery bowl that his wife topped off when it looked like it was getting low. He always picked his way through them before choosing the one he wanted

An elderly lady with dyed jet black hair .. a walking stick .. and polyester pants came in shortly after we did and the gentleman seated her at the next table over. They exchanged greetings in German and he helped her out of her coat. Then he brought her a glass of red wine .. filled precariously to the rim .. and the partially finished crossword from the day's New York Times

Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew - One of the classics that is just good to have in your back pocket. With salad and crusty, bread it's so very, good.Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew - One of the classics that is just good to have in your back pocket. With salad and crusty, bread it's so very, good.

It wasn't long before he came bearing a cup of beef stew. She was so quiet and careful .. deftly angling her spoon to slice the raft of potatoes and carrots that had floated to the top. Watching her .. we decided to order two cups of the same.

“Mom? Do you remember the beef stew you used to make when we lived on North Russell?”

So we ate that .. and then we shared a plate of stuffed cabbage rolls on a bed of sauerkraut

“Mom? Do you remember when Granny came to visit every summer? She'd fill Grandma and Grandpa's freezer with all of those cabbage rolls?”

And an order of chicken strips

“Do you think you'll ever going to outgrow your love of chicken strips? With the extra side of ranch?”

And two bites from the big slice of chocolate cake that neither of us could resist .. nor bring ourselves to finish

“I wish you lived closer. Remember the birthday cakes you used to make for us?”

Never before in the history of Billings .. were there two more contented people. Then I drove her home .. climed into bed and tried to fall asleep while looking at the moon and dreaming of pink unicorns

Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew - One of the classics that is just good to have in your back pocket. With salad and crusty, bread it's so very, good.Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew - One of the classics that is just good to have in your back pocket. With salad and crusty, bread it's so very, good.

I was introduced to Ina Garten's beef stew by a co-worker .. way back when I still worked in an office. She had four boys at home and during the colder months .. made big pots of it on the weekends.

“Like good chili or chicken noodle soup .. homemade beef stew is one of those recipes that's good to have in your back pocket. It's one that will serve you well through long winters nights .. family visits .. and other small moments of need”  ~ a friend

She died of breast cancer a few years ago and I'm so thankful to have the hand-written “Thou Shalts  she gave me along with the oversized recipe card

You must sear the meat .. not simply brown the sides. This will have to be done in batches because the beef cubes need to sizzle in a hot pan for a good five minutes before nudging them. Only when the bottoms have a dark crust and come away easily from the pan can you move on to the other sides

Whatever you do, please don't scrimp on the time. Stew meat takes a good long stretch of cooking before it becomes tender. Cook it low and slow for at least two hours

Use chicken stock instead of beef. That is .. unless you make your own beef stock (or in my case bone broth)  Cook's Illustrated gave her permission years ago. She always found that store-bought beef stock gave her soups and stews an odd tinny flavor

For seasonings .. Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and a good red wine. Substituting a good dark beer for the wine is usually a great choice. Keep the seasonings fairly simple. If you've seared the meat well and cooked it long enough .. a good stew can really stand on its own without much else

Enjoy!

xoxo

Pin For Later

 

~ Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

4.9 from 35 reviews
Ina Garten's Unforgettable Beef Stew
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2½ pounds good quality chuck beef, cubed into ~ 1½-inch cubes
  • 1 bottle of good red wine
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 2 cups flour (I've used all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, and oat with success)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1½-inch chunks
  • ½ pound white mushrooms, stems discarded and cut in ½
  • 1 lb small potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (~ 3 cloves)
  • 2 cups or 1 (14½-ounce can) chicken stock or broth (I use homemade bone broth)
  • 1 large (or 2 small) branches fresh rosemary
  • ½ - 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
Instructions
  1. Marinate the Beef
  2. Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, garlic, and bay leaves.
  3. Refrigerate to marinate overnight

  4. Brown the Beef
  5. The next day, preheat the oven to 300 deg F
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, 1 Tbsp salt, and pepper, and combine
  7. Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, discard the bay leaves and garlic, saving
  8. the marinade.
  9. In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mix before shaking off the excess.
  10. Heat glug of olive oil in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly (see the notes above)
  11. Place the beef in a large oven-proof Dutch oven and continue to brown the remaining beef,
  12. adding oil as necessary. (If the beef is very lean, you'll need more oil.)
  13. Place all the beef in the Dutch oven

  14. Prep the Veggies
  15. In a large pot, heat another glug of oil before adding the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes
  16. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally
  17. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes

  18. Finish the Soup
  19. Place all the vegetables into the Dutch oven over the beef.
  20. Add 2½ cups of the reserved marinade to the empty pot and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon
  21. Add the chicken stock, rosemary, sundried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tbsp salt, and 2 tsp pepper
  22. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven and bring
  23. to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove.
  24. Cover the pot and place it in the oven to bake it for about 2 hours, or until all of the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking
  25. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250 or 275 degrees F
  26. Before serving, stir in the frozen peas, season to taste, and serve hot

You Might Also Like

132 Comments

  • Reply Lisa October 21, 2017 at 9:27 am

    This stew is on my weekend list and I’m really excited. Thought I’d add my two cents regarding the stock. I’m lazy and almost always use soybean miso instead of stock. For everything!

  • Reply eliza October 21, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Oh that was truly unforgettable recipe, specially if being taught personally by someone who did it best. Being serve on memorable events and enjoyed with friends. By the way Beef Stew is one of my mother’s specialty too. Maybe quite difference version here in our country, but I’m gonna try the version of your recipe. Thanks!

  • Reply Danielle October 21, 2017 at 9:57 am

    That looks so good! Beef stew is one of my favorite dishes to make in the fall and winter. It’s so hearty and warm. I can’t wait to try this.

  • Reply Charli October 21, 2017 at 10:56 am

    This looks so very yummy. I may need to try it tomorrow night as the weather here is so cold, damp and blustery right now.

    C x

  • Reply candy October 21, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Trying out the local cafe is always a favorite thing to do, usually have such great down-home cooking. I would love to have watch that couple. The meal looks delicious.

  • Reply Aduke Schulist October 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Yumm! This looks delicious. It isn’t the typical kind of stew I make, but I must make this one soon.

  • Reply Hannah October 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Ali, this looks wonderful. I just made a beef stew with a similar technique taken from one of the Frugal Gourmet’s cookbooks. However, I love to add bacon bits and always leave out any additional salt. Next, I’ll throw the whole thing into the slow cooker on high for about five hours, adding sauteed onions and mushrooms in for about the last hour. One of my husband’s favorite meals of all-time.

  • Reply Aitza B October 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    This is such a timely autumn/winter recipe. There is nothing like have a recipe from the creator in her own words. She may be gone, but her memory will live on every time someone makes her hearty stew on a cold winter day.

  • Reply Liz October 21, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I love Airbnb – I always have such unique experiences. It’s nice that you and your daughter share so many memories together, too.

  • Reply Sharon Koenig October 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I LOVE the idea of sundried tomatoes. When I saw that, you had me. This is such a wholesome recipe and a nice twist. You gave me some ideas of my own. Love the pictures by the way. 😉

  • Reply Jenn and Ed Coleman October 21, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    I love your food photography. I also love the savory flavors of red wine and Worcestershire sauce. For another month, we are living in the “real” whoville, that is to say Pacific Beach California. Mount Crumpit, where the Grinch lives, is Mount Soledad up the road from us in La Jolla. Suess wrote the book while living in San Diego after all.

  • Reply Cheryl October 21, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    This reminds me of something similar I made this past weekend for our supper club, using more wine (of course). The recipe was from America’s Test Kitchen and a riff on Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon. Their process is a bit more streamlined because of all the browning, as well as baking, happens in the oven. Much easier and far less messy. They had some great tricks for getting that great depth of flavor and everyone loved it! If you have time, you’ll have to watch the video on their website.

  • Reply Laura October 21, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    My husband and I grew up with crockpot roasts, and remember how tough and boring the meat, potatoes, and carrots could be. Luckily, we’re able to do a little better now. Looking forward to giving “pot roast” another chance. Love your recipes!

  • Reply Shana October 21, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    This looks wonderful! I love a good hearty stew on a chilly day! Definitely going to bookmark this one!

  • Reply Adaleta October 21, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    There really isn’t anything that makes you feel warm and cozy like a good stew! This recipe sounds amazing!

  • Reply Akamatra October 22, 2017 at 1:30 am

    I wish I could spend some quality time with my mom like you do with your daughter. Between looking after my kid when I work and looking after herself and my dad there seems to be no time for going out just the two of us. The stew is mouthwatering but my stomach can’t hold anything that has been browned. I make it in the slow cooker instead.

  • Reply Tescha Chetty October 22, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Wow. such a comforting meal. I love food that cn be made in batches and kept in the fridge to eat during the week

  • Reply five little doves October 22, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Ahh I love that your daughter has such lovely memories of the tasty dishes you used to make, this looks amazing!! I often remind my Mum of things she used to cook for us and the birthday cakes she used to make!

  • Reply olivia October 22, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Ali,
    I made this for our forty-second wedding anniversary dinner last night. I can’t even tell you how much we loved it and will definitely be making it again. I started on it Friday night after I got home from work and reheated it through last night, so wonderful! Thanks again. x

    • Reply Danielle November 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      I made it and the red wine was a bit sour. What wine did you use?

  • Reply Jen Temcio October 22, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Oh my goodness I loved reading this. I think that the .. Worcestershire, red wine and fresh spices really make this recipe a “MUST TRY”. It really looks and sounds incredible.

  • Reply Jessica m October 22, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Ok so I’m reading this after eating a small breakfast… Now I want to eat this like now… It sounds and looks delicious! I may just have to go buy ingredients to make some for dinner. Thanks!

  • Reply kirsty October 22, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I really love the colours and vibrancy of this beef stew as mine and more darker with the gravy and potato! This would be so welcoming in our house particularly with the addition of spice.

  • Reply Lynne Harper October 22, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I have just been searching good old google for a beef stew recipe. its that time of year when I yearn for comfort foods. I will definitely be trying this out yum x

  • Reply Kim October 22, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I want to visit Whoville!!! That stew looks so yummy and a great fall/winter meal for a cold day.

  • Reply Tonya October 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    lol I love that quote in the beginning about teenagers and needing a dog! That is so funny. I might need to steal it for one of my quotes. I love beef stew. It’s such a yummy dish.

  • Reply Paula Bendfeldt October 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    That stew looks amazing, and this looks like the perfect beef stew to have in hand for those winter nights. There is nothing better than sharing a meal with loved ones, it’s amazing how food brings back memories and is such an important part of family history.

  • Reply Jodi Horsley October 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, that stew even looks unbelievable. I’m trying to build up my list of great Paleo recipes…I have a feeling this one will be making that list. Plus with the colder Fall weather hitting, this makes a perfect meal.

  • Reply Athena Ng October 22, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Okay girl you got my today’s dinner down- I am going to get my grocery list and try this tonight!

  • Reply Thu Nguyen October 22, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Sometimes, the planets are aligned in your favor, and good things happen. I have been searching for a beef stew recipe forever. Most have been bland, with tough meat, rubbery and overcooked veggies. This one though! I adore Ina Garten and am so excited to make her version.

  • Reply Eloise October 23, 2017 at 3:35 am

    I sometimes wonder if recipes sometimes taste better because there’s a story full of great memories behind them…! Your presentation, both of the written recipes and of the meal itself on the photos, is perfect 🙂

  • Reply Ami Rose October 23, 2017 at 4:18 am

    What a lovely recipe. It looks so simple to make. I love the big chunks of vegetables. A perfect warming dish for this cooler weather.

    Ami xxx

  • Reply Viki Marden October 23, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I haven’t made it yet, but it is with nine exclamation marks at number 1 of my to-do-list. xo

  • Reply Sreekar October 23, 2017 at 6:07 am

    I wish you lived closer. That’s exactly what I’m saying to the stew!
    I hate it when you take those close-ups of your amazing dishes. Makes my pupils dilated and drool:)

  • Reply MihaBalan October 23, 2017 at 6:32 am

    I am not much of a cooker but this looks like an amazing recipe. I will most certainly try it in the weekend. Thanks for sharing your memories with us 🙂

  • Reply Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels October 23, 2017 at 6:55 am

    This looks super delicious. A perfect dish for winter. I am looking at Airbnb properties as we speak! Kaz

  • Reply Tina Butler October 23, 2017 at 6:56 am

    What a lovely story. When I read your post you made me miss my mothers Cabbage Rolls. She has passed now, but was a fabulous cook and made the best Cabbage Rolls. I have yet to find a beef stew recipe that’s a keep, so I can’t wait to try this recipe. I agree searing the meat is a must. It really add’s such a great flavor to dishes.

  • Reply Jeanine October 23, 2017 at 7:32 am

    This looks and sounds just incredible. I haven’t had a good stew in a long time, I am going to make this during the week this week. My family will love it!

  • Reply Jessan October 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Made this over the weekend and it was amazing! I too have been frustrated with mediocre beef stews over the years; this will be my go-to beef stew now! Hubby said it was his favorite stew ever.

  • Reply Made Adayasa October 23, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I’m due in 6 weeks so mom and I have been making a bunch of meals for the freezer as well as for 2 sets of friends with newborns. This is in the last simmer and ohemgee — wow. Divine — so good. Thanks for this Ali, lots of new parents and one pregnant lady are very, very happy!

  • Reply Jenn @ Moms Travel Diary October 23, 2017 at 8:43 am

    My family is from Belgium and one of the ‘national dishes’ is beef stew. You know what my grandma’s secret ingredient is? A slice of bread, smothered in mustard. I kid you not, the bread acts as a binding agent. If you let simmer in the stew long enough, the bread completely dissolves and you are left with a nicely thickened stew. xx

  • Reply Amy Smith October 23, 2017 at 8:49 am

    I love a great beef stew on a cooler or cold day! We are still in the 70’s and 80’s here but it wont be long before the weather is cooler. I am bookmarking this recipe!!

  • Reply Aileen Adalid October 23, 2017 at 10:27 am

    That is such a wonderful story. Not only does the story warm the heart, but this dish seemingly does so too. 😀 It looks simple to make but I can imagine how delicious it will taste. Thank you for sharing this with us. It’s a great comfort food, for sure!

  • Reply Shannon Sawicki October 23, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I just love Ina Garten and made this recipe for my boyfriend a couple of years ago. Our reaction was exactly the same. Never having been much of a beef stew fan, I was completely and utterly floored. It’s incredible, and your tips will make it even more so the next time I fire up the Dutch oven! Thanks, Ali, as always, love checking in with your blog. x

  • Reply Roberta October 23, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Wondering if this could be made the day before a dinner party—would it make sense to complete the recipe through cooking the meat until tender, then finish the day of the party? Or would you just make it straight through and reheat the next day?

    • Reply Veggies By Candlelight October 24, 2017 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Roberta .. I’d just reheat the stew because it tastes just as great on the second day. x

  • Reply Emma October 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I’m at work eating my leftovers after making this stew last night – yum! My husband and 2 kids (10 and 7) loved it as well. My daughter was wondering if it could be a little thinner. What do you think? Add more wine? more broth? Thank you so much for this recipe. My husband loves beef stew and to date, I mostly found them to be boring – not anymore!

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus October 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    What a beautiful evening that you had, I am so happy that you were able to order bowls of stew that reminded you of food from your past. It is great that you and your companions were able to feel content with your meal and ending up dreaming of pink unicorns. That sounds like a blissful evening and it is great that you were able to see your family as well. We all need some family time to recuperate!

  • Reply Elizabeth October 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    WOW! This looks absolutely delicious. I loved the story of having dinner with your daughter. Also, that you’re now sharing a beef stew from a friend who has passed away…such sweet memories. I will have to try this out!

  • Reply Ruth I. October 23, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    The night spent with your daughter sounds amazing. Good food and stories are just perfect. I would love to try this recipe, I can’t remember the last time I ate beef stew,

  • Reply Emily October 23, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I must try this! Two questions: Would this be good with homemade dumplings, and if one wanted to add potatoes, at which point would you recommend doing so? Thank you!

  • Reply Mike October 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    This looks so amazing! Gives me flashbacks to my Great Grandmother’s stew she would make us when I was little. I am saving this one.

  • Reply Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh October 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    The love of Christmas in me wants to visit this place that you stayed at! This beef stew looks simply amazing. Perfect for the upcoming cool/cold weather.

  • Reply Athena October 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    My family loves beef stew and as we head into Fall weather in New England this would be the perfect recipe for me to try in my new pressure cooker!Pinning for later – thank you

  • Reply Mei October 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    My grandma used to make something similar to this when we were younger, your recipe made me miss the old day that’s why I decided to stop being lazy and head on to the kitchen to make it, but I have a problem here, two actually:
    – What can I use instead of red wine?
    – I can’t find Worcestershire sauce anywhere near me, can I use something else? or maybe do you have a homemade recipe of this sauce?
    Thank you, and great recipe like always.

  • Reply Nina Larsen Reed October 23, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    This beef stew truly does look unforgettable! I love the specific set of instructions as well – I’m always too impatient to leave the beef to sear unless someone reminds me of the rewards that come with waiting 😉

  • Reply Melissa October 23, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Oh my gosh Ali, this looks so hearty and comforting. I almost wish it wasn’t 80 degrees here in Austin. I’m always up for an excuse to open up a bottle of wine!!

  • Reply Khushboo October 23, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    It is with much fondness that I remember all the special meals that I have had at my grandparents place especially the lovely desserts my grand mom would make 🙂 That is a lovely story and a great recipe 🙂

  • Reply Via Bella October 23, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    First off, it is definitely a comfort food. But the hear about the remembering of times past was like I was there. Well written and such a good reminder to start traditions that will be something one day! XO.

  • Reply Soonjoo October 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Stew is something that I would love to make cold winter dinner meal! This recipe is must try! On my next grocery trip I need to make sure I get all the ingredients!

  • Reply Flor October 23, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Over the weekend my husband made a lovely beef stew in the Instant Pot. It’s highly recommended for speeding up the process. Start (pulling things from the pantry/fridge) to finish (eating) was only an hour, and it was great. We served it over polenta with a bit of cheese and some cornbread on the side. x

  • Reply Laura October 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Goodness all these winter stews and soups look so good. I wish I had a few more options as a soup/stew loving vegetation. I’ll pass it along to my meat-eating friends. I could “smell” the yummy.

  • Reply Emily Moore October 23, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Ohhh my goshhh….this looks amazing!! It’s seriously making me really hungry right now. I’m pinning this recipe and you can bet I’ll be making it this week! Thanks, Ali, love your site.

  • Reply jhilmil October 23, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Wow, what a great time you mom daughter must have had, I remembered the same of last week, when I drove to my native place and me and mom went off to have a dinner just for ourselves. I’m sure Ina’s recipe rocked then and is still rocking !

  • Reply Hilary October 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    What a perfect fall dish! I’m so glad you shared this; I’ve been needing some new things to make! This looks delicious and the narrative with it is so cool

  • Reply David Elliott October 23, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Sounds like it was such a beautiful moment with your daughter. I definitely hope to have moments like that when she gets older. It is a beautiful moment of shared memories. That’s so awesome. And the beef stew by Ina Garten is good. Every one of her recipes looks delicious. I will have to try it this “winter” when it cools off. Although winter in Southern California feels like a bit of an Oxymoron.

  • Reply Zulema Nall October 24, 2017 at 12:08 am

    I don’t eat meat much anymore, but when I was younger I remember my mom making a number of amazing stews from the book Staff Meals from Chanterelle. Truth? Those stews were my primary hesitation in becoming a vegetarian and now they are the only meals that still tempt me. I specifically remember the Lamb Tagine and Tripe Stew as favorites.

  • Reply Mayuri October 24, 2017 at 1:59 am

    This is such a beautiful story! This looks dee-licious and it reminds me of my Grandmother’s chicken stew (We don’t eat beef)…I am going to share this recipe with her as she loves cooking.

  • Reply Sarah Holladay October 24, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Wow! A whole bottle of red wine? This is my kind of beed stew recipe! I love that you got to spend some quality time with you daughter and that food brought up so many wonderful memories. Praying I have moments like that with my own girls around the dinner table when they are older. 🙂

  • Reply Catherine October 24, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Mmm I love a good stew! I’m definitely going to have to make this for my boyfriend. But it was 90 degrees today, so it might have to wait a little bit until it cools down.

  • Reply Thomas Blake October 24, 2017 at 4:17 am

    The smell was heavenly and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My 9-year old let it cool and then separated the components but seemed to enjoy it all none-the-less. I felt like I’d done something a little gourmet but still completely soul comforting.

  • Reply Pooja Shama October 24, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Headed out to dinner with friends soon, and I want to lick my iPad for an appetizer! I think I found this weekend’s dish. Thank you, thank you, thank you .. xx

  • Reply Jenni October 24, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Wanna hear a French butcher’s secret? Instead of using beef chuck, try making the stew with a lesser known cut, the rump tail (French: aiguillette de rumsteak). You won’t find this at the grocery, but any good butcher should be able to prepare that for you.
    Rump tail cubes will keep their shape when braised AND will become extremely tender. I highly recommend it!

  • Reply Rhian Westbury October 24, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Sounds like a lovely place you got food in for your trip away. And the beef stew looks amazing x

  • Reply Anna October 24, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Been raining here in so Colorado .. so I’m going to run to the store to pick up what I need – then staying inside today and making this incredible dish! ps: Beautiful photos!

  • Reply robin rue October 24, 2017 at 5:16 am

    I don’t watch many shows on the Food Network, but Ina’s in one that I never miss. Her recipes are pure comfort food and this beef stew sounds phenomenal.

  • Reply Amber Myers October 24, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I love this story. You reminded me that I need to try out Airbnb one day.

    I’ll have to make this stew soon. It’s starting to get chilly and this is perfect on cold nights.

  • Reply Jajwalya October 24, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Oh no! I saw your blog title Veggies by Candlelight and got really excited with the pictures thinking it is a vegetarian curry but nope- it turned out to be beef curry and now I am sorely disappointed.
    Never mind, I loved your narration of the old man and the lady finishing up their crossword puzzle drinking red wine.

  • Reply Jeanette October 24, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I love recipes that have stories attached to them. It makes them more special and it makes the food taste that much better. This looks like a great stew. And I definitely think I will try it.

  • Reply Alyssa Bouma October 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

    i loved reading this story. what a lovely visit with your daughter. and i think cooking would be so much more fun if stories like these were attached to the recipes more often!

  • Reply Tiina A October 24, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Good old recipes! It’s amazing how food can connect and create memories. Just the other day I suddenly remembered those meat pies my mother used to make when I was a child and when I moved out home I always asked her to make one when I was coming for a visit.

  • Reply Jenn @ EngineerMommy October 24, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I just love Ina’s recipes and know this stew all too well. I always make a double batch for St. Patrick’s day and there’s never any left. Everyone loves it. We always serve it on top of mashed potatoes, with warm chocolate stout cake for dessert. I wish you lived closer, we’d love to have you stop by! xo

  • Reply candy October 24, 2017 at 10:20 am

    What a wonderful memory of someone that was so special to you. Making this would be so warm and satisfying. We love our beef stew around my house.

  • Reply Stephanie Sherlock October 24, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I love beef stew, especially when paired with crunchy crusted french bread. Fall is the perfect time of year for this dish, and just think of all the fresh veggies you can sneak into this dish.

  • Reply Tomi C October 24, 2017 at 11:51 am

    My mom and I went shopping and then stopped for brunch this past weekend. Nothing like a little mother daughter time to reflect and reconnect. I relish these times and look forward to them when my daughter is older.

  • Reply 1stopmom October 24, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    My mother used to make Beef Stew when I was younger. I haven’t had it years. Yours looks delicious and hearty. This is perfect for these cooler months.

  • Reply GiGi Eats October 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    my tongue fell out of my mouth because it wants to slurp this baby up! I have a feeling my taste buds would never ever forget it – Ina named it right! haha!

  • Reply Anita Anderson October 24, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I made this over the weekend when my visiting twenty-something sons begged me for “something that tastes like home, please Mom.” (One starving student and one not-quite- starving-thank-God-he-got-a-job). I’m usually not a beef fan, but this turned out so damnably delicious I was scraping sauce out of the pot. The chuck I used needed more cooking time, but became silky and totally embedded with all of the other flavors. Thanks, Ali, for a definite winner!

  • Reply Sarah Bailey October 24, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Now this sounds like the perfect meal for this time of year. Wonderfully warming, I wonder if my other half would like it.

  • Reply Ali Horner October 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Have you tried this without the flour? Do you think it truly adds a lot? My husband is gluten-free so I’m always searching for good flourless recipes.

    • Reply Veggies By Candlelight October 24, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Ali, Hi. You could definitely use a gluten-free flour blend, or you could skip it all together. What I’ve found is the flour, aside from making the bits of stew meat crustier when they’re browned, is it forms something of a roux, (i.e. you have fat, you add a little flour, then you add liquid and this combination thickens the sauce behind the stew a bit) Without it, you’ll have the same flavor, but without the body it adds to the sauce. I really hope you enjoy it. xo

  • Reply ashley October 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I love all of her recipes! I have in fact made this recipe a few times and every single time I’ve made it, it comes out spectacular. I love beef stew all year round, even in the summer. I think I’ve had it twice this month already!

  • Reply Our Family World October 24, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I guess I should be proud to say that I inherited my mom’s cooking skills. I guess it was because I was the eldest that the responsibility of making dinner for the family was “forced” upon me when my parents were out working late hours. My mom and I still sit down and talk about recipes and cooking tips, although now she is old and sometimes her memory escapes her but when she is in the kitchen, everything is fine. She makes a mean beef stew too. I will try your recipe and take some over to my mom’s house.

  • Reply Sue Reddel October 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    What a wonderful story. One of my saddest moments was when I discovered that my Mom’s recipe book had been lost in a move years ago. All those family recipes were gone. It’s so nice to read about you and your daughter reminiscing about foods from her childhood. Such great memories.

  • Reply Ayesha Farhad October 24, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    For some very odd reason, I have never made beef stew! Which makes me want to try it even more! have to give this a go sometime!

  • Reply Victoria Heckstall October 24, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    That was a wonderful story! I’ve never tried to make a beef stew! But I’m pretty sure that my family would love that! Saving this recipe!

  • Reply Joely Smith October 24, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    What an absolutely endearing story! What a fun read! I really felt like I was swept away there – to a Whoville-esque place – with you and your daughter.
    This stew I have to say does look also as if it could take me away somewhere inviting and warm!

  • Reply Lian October 24, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I LOVE beef Stew! It is perfect to eat on cold nights in fall and winter. This recipe looks especially yummy. The chunks of beef and veggies are so appetizing, I would grab a spoon and eat it through my screen if I could. I’m glad that gentleman inspired you to order beef stew or else you may not have shared this post with us!

  • Reply Liz Mays October 24, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    It’s really cool that your friend passed this along to you! Those ingredients definitely have me interested. I’m curious to see how the red wine flavors the beef and how that tastes with the stew. It sounds really good!

  • Reply Melanie October 24, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I like your quote at the beginning of the post. My husband is a youth minister to teenagers, and that is definitely true! By the way, the recipe looks tasty and flavorful.

  • Reply Pam October 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Drooling but busy? My mom used to make a version of this recipe in the slow-cooker. She always layered it, with the beef on the bottom, veggies in the middle, spices on top overlaid with a few strips of bacon. Pour in all the liquids, go to work, come back for dinner. Thanks, Ali, for saving us from boring dinners.

  • Reply Franc Ramon October 24, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    The beef stew does make a good meal on winter days with its hot soup and sumptuous taste. Your beef stew looks really good and no wonder, there’s a huge clamor for it within the family.

  • Reply Tiffany Haywood October 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    This stew looks absolutely delicious! I’ve always loved Ina Garten and this recipe just goes to show why!

  • Reply Censie Sawyer October 24, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time visiting. That AirBnb sounds fun, small but fun. I love finding new areas to explore, especially local places to eat. This recipe looks great. My husband is a big fan of beef stew and we like trying new versions of our recipe. This one is going to be added to our meal plan for sure.

  • Reply Adaleta October 24, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    There really is nothing better than a warm stew to come home to when its cold out! So awesome!!

  • Reply Debra October 25, 2017 at 12:31 am

    I kind of wish I could see that air bnb. Whoville sounds adorable! This stew looks delicious.

  • Reply Sajad October 25, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Imagine it is a rainy night in 1937, and you order the beef stew at your neighborhood blue plate special restaurant. This is it – the best. I like to use sirloin tip roast cut into stew chunks, so the meat is extra tender. Also, I like to use the paper bag method for dusting meat. Put flour and seasonings and meat, chicken, etc in a paper bag, fold closed and shake. One less utensil to clean and even coating.

    This will be a regular for me

  • Reply Dash | Mode Lily October 25, 2017 at 2:37 am

    Aww this is such a lovely nostalgic post. My granny collects recipes and I tend to keep them so I can cook these for my family and children. Your beef stew looks delicious!

  • Reply ricci October 25, 2017 at 4:13 am

    I love a good stew recipe and this one sounds and looks amazing!! I need to try this ASAP!!

  • Reply fashionandstylepolice October 25, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Growing up my Mom made stew. She was a great cook and I didn’t appreciate this meal until my palate matured, by then she passed and the stew recipe went with her. Ina’s recipes are very similar to my Mom’s. This popped up in my Instagram feed and I thought I’d give it a try. It was excellent, with rich, deep flavors. Rendered a bit of pancetta to brown the meat and veggies in, removed it after rendering and added it back in with the meat and vegetables. Sun-dried tomatoes were a wonderful addition!

  • Reply Marysa October 25, 2017 at 6:57 am

    This sounds like such a hearty stew! I would love to make a big batch of this and save a bunch in the freezer for those busy winter nights. How lovely that you saved your special moments to remember later.

  • Reply Shelley King October 25, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I am one of the rare people who have a meat allergy and can not eat red meat. The reciepe looks amazing and my family will love it But what i love most about this article is the story. It brings back memeories for me as I read it. Thank you for the extra smile this morning.

  • Reply Heather Scott October 25, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I love Ina’s recipes and remember my grandma making something similar in the slow cooker. It was absolutely DELICIOUS. She always cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks (as they take a long time to cook). Also in her recipe notes, she mentions to cook it on high for about 4 hours and then low for 8 to 9 hours. And always add the frozen peas at the very end. x

  • Reply Angie October 25, 2017 at 9:34 am

    This looks AMAZING! I totally pinned it so I can try it later, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Kallia October 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

    I love Ina Garten! I watch her show and I laugh every time she says something like, oh you need the best grade vanilla but if you cannot afford it, store bought is fine haha! I bet her beef stew would taste awesome! I would love to try this fall!

  • Reply Charlotte October 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    This looks like the perfect winter warmer recipe! I love a good stew but I’ve never tried myself, I will have to give this a go!

  • Reply Hayley October 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I just love Ina. No matter what she cooks, she makes you believe you can do it too. Her directions are right to the point, she uses ingredients that are easy to find. She always makes you feel like you could come right over and have a cup of coffee, because she talks to viewers like they’re her next-door neighbors.

  • Reply Tami Qualls October 25, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    I have scrimped on the time once before, unfortunately. The stew meat was not tender and my husband was not pleased. I do use chicken stock instead of beef. At least I got that part right.

  • Reply Crystal Lopez October 25, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Any Ina Garten recipe is a win at my house. She has an amazing Bolognese recipe that I love.

    Your friend was so sweet to share this with you. I am so sorry for your loss She is right, slow and steady when cooking beef. And I never thought about it until you mentioned it, but I always grab chicken broth, eve if I am cooking beef.

  • Reply Sandra Lopes October 26, 2017 at 1:30 am

    The best Winter warmer and comforter, stews. Love eating stews in winter and your recipe sounds so delicious. I also replace beef stock with chicken and I make my own. Agree with you on the “slow and steady”, beef requires that. I am going to try this one out as it is different to one I was taught. Thank-you so much for sharing it with us.

  • Reply Sheri October 26, 2017 at 2:13 am

    I love spicy beef stews, especially with the cold weather at the moment. I always loved making different foods with my mom, but I am more of a baker.

  • Reply Blair villanueva October 26, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Long weekends is coming and am looking for new recipe to try. This is perfect! Thanks for your generosity.

  • Reply Leigh Anne Borders October 26, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I made this stew a number of years ago for a potluck at work and it was delicious! I like to add more herbs (thyme, rosemary, herbs de Provence, and even a little ground all-spice). I also chop the onion and along with a few tablespoons of oil and tomato paste, microwave it with the herbs in a bowl for about a minute on high (a trick I learnd from a Cook’s Illustrated slow cooker recipe book). Then I add this mix to the pot.

  • Reply Debra J Hawkins October 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I would love to visit this place you call whoville. It sounds darling! That stew sounds absolutely incredible too!

  • Reply christy October 27, 2017 at 4:06 am

    I have not had an incredible looking stew in a LONG time! thanks for this, I thoroughly enjoyed your stories and the details. I love your passion for cooking and how each post is so inspiring, makes you think you can have fun with food! This is a perfect autumn/winter post so thanks for showing the simples can be fun again!! xx

  • Reply Madelain October 27, 2017 at 4:22 am

    My grandma taught me the key to a killer stew. She always said that too many recipes call for stew meat, which is often a too-lean mystery cut. Chuck or another fatter cut is much more flavorful and will solve the problem of dry and tasteless. But, if you really want to jazz up a stew? Add rutabaga and a couple of large oxtails (shred before serving). ps: Hers was the best I’ve ever had! xx

  • Reply Jake Ferrer October 27, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I have to second Madelain’s comment about the rutabaga. It adds so much flavor. Parsnips and mushrooms are also good, maybe as a partial replacement for the carrots? But truly, a little rutabaga goes a long way. I usually add one or at most two slices (about half-inch thick), chopped into smaller bite-sized pieces. So, so, good!

  • Reply Libertad November 2, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    This looks and sounds so good! I need to try this on these upcoming cold, fall days!

  • Reply Laura Dove February 26, 2018 at 6:18 am

    This is literally my idea of the perfect dish. My mum taught me to make the best dish, we have “Lancashire hot pot” which is basically lamb, potatoes, carrots and onions, and a pastry crust. It’s AMAZING! At this time of year this is just the kind of thing I want to be tucking into!

  • Reply Barbara Layton October 22, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Can I use veal chunks instead of beef ???????

  • Leave a Reply

    Rate this recipe: