Preparing a savory and hearty beef stew with red wine is a culinary adventure that promises rich flavors and comforting aromas. This step-by-step guide will help you create a delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
Step 1: Begin by combining flour and pepper in a bowl. Add beef and toss to ensure it’s well coated. In a large pot, heat 3 teaspoons of oil and cook the beef in batches. It’s crucial not to overcrowd the pot. Cook each batch for about 5 minutes, ensuring the beef is browned on all sides. Add more oil as needed between batches.
Step 2: Next, add a bottle of dry red wine to the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Incorporate 1 cup of low-sodium beef broth, 5 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 dried bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Return the beef, bacon, and any accumulated juices to the pot, stirring to combine.
Step 3: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or wide-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Cook the meat in batches until well browned on all sides, for about 6 to 8 minutes.
Step 4: For a deep flavor, preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt butter with olive oil. Arrange the meat in a single layer, seasoning with salt and pepper. Brown the meat for about 2 minutes on each side.
Step 5: Add onions to the pot and cook until softened. Stir in 1/4 cup of the wine, simmering and scraping up the browned bits. This step ensures that all the rich flavors are incorporated into the stew.
Step 6: After the initial cooking, pour in the wine and, if needed, enough broth to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover tightly, and bake for 4 to 5 hours. The meat should be tender enough to eat with a spoon, and the sauce rich and thick. If the liquid seems thin after 4 hours, uncover the pot for the remainder of the cooking time.
Step 7: Finally, add the carrots and potatoes to the stew, returning it to the oven. Continue cooking for one more hour or until the meat is fork-tender.