And now the recipe . . .

Rachel Bruton’s version of Cook’s Illustrated Modern Beef Stew

Use a good-quality, medium-bodied wine, such as a Cotes du Rhone or Pinot Noir, for this stew. Try to find beef that is well marbled white white veins of fat. Meat that is too lean will come out slightly dry. You can use 4 pounds of blade steaks, trimmed, instead of chuck-eye roast. While the blade steak will yield slightly thinner pieces after trimming, it should still be cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Look for salt pork that is roughly 75 percent lean. NOTE: I used just stew meat that was pre-cut and I used a bone in pork chop.

2 garlic cloves, minced
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced (DO NOT SKIP THIS INGREDIENT)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2- inch pieces (or prepackaged stew meat)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/8 inch thick
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used beef stock)
4 ounces salt pork, rinsed (I used a bone in pork chop cut into pieces)
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme (I used 1 tablespoon dried)
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 – cups frozen pearl onions, thawed (I hate these and didn’t include them)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (once again, I didn’t use these but do so if you feel so inclined)
1 pound of quartered white mushrooms

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine garlic and anchovies in small bowl; press with back of fork to form paste. Stir in tomato past and set aside.
  3. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Place flour and 1 tablespoon kosher salt into a large zip-lock bag. Cut meat into bite size pieces and shake in bag until fully coated. Brown the meat as directed above.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and return first batch of beef to pot. Stir in onion and carrots and cook, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits, until onion is softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly add wine, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to high and simmer until wine is thickened and slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining beef, broth, pork, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to simmer, cover, transfer to oven, and cook for 1 1/2 hours.


I had this ready several hours before needing to serve. After the first 1 1/2 hours I turned the heat down to 225 and cooked for another 1 1/2 hours.

  1. Remove pot from oven, remove and discard bay leaves and salt pork (or bones). Stir in potatoes, cover, return to oven, and cook until potatoes are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of stew. Stir in mushrooms, and pearl onions, and peas, if using; cook over medium heat until potatoes and onions are cooked through and fork slips easily in and out of beef (meat should not be falling apart unless you cook it as long as I did in which case it probably will, mine did), about 15 minutes.

If you have questions about this email me and I’ll help you out. Enjoy!

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