Meat/ Recipe/ Soup

Saucy Slow Braised Beef Stew

Happy Christmas Eve Eve my loves! Are you ready for Christmas? I sure am.

Bring. It. On. Santa. Baby.

Speaking of bringing it on, there’s something infinitely beautiful about braising. Oh, yes.

I don’t care if your a carnivore, veggievore, pescatore or oxyvore (someone who eats air), braising is beautiful. Saucy Slow braised beef stew is beautiful. It’s also highly economical. Not as economical as eating air, which, for the time being is free, but still, it’s pretty darn close.

Braised Beef Stew Recipe

It’s true – as North Americans we eat far too much meat. For personal health reasons as well as the well being of the planet. It’s a fact: We eat too much meat. But let’s face it, those of us who like putting a giant piece of meat in our mouths, aren’t going to stop. It’s just too succulent. Too delicious. Too… well…. Meaty.

That being said, it doesn’t mean we can’t cut back. And when we do indulge, ensure the animals are pastured (eat grass = good for animals, good for planet, good for us) and do so in a way that makes use of the parts of the animal that are so under-rated, they’re cool. The cuts of meat that can benefit from a good, slow braise are in fact, hipster cuts: Too cool for school and just progressive enough to be considered counter-meats to more popular cuts like Strip-loin, Filet Mignon or Cheeks. Instead, using inexpensive cuts like chuck, shank or round (essentially, the shoulder or ass) can be transformed through slow cooking like braising or stewing into the most tender, delicate, hearty and insanely flavorsome dishes.

Braised Beef

The thing that I love most about braising is the tender, incredible texture that meat gets. Not to mention it smells damn good. But something happens to the meat as it slowly cooks through the course of the day. Early in the cooking the meat will tense up and hug the bone. But if left to its own devices, after a period of time it’ll release that tension, not unlike when you sink into a hot bath. If soaked long enough, everything tough melts away and you turn into a giant tub of relaxed, soft and tender meat. Not to objectify you, but you get the point. Of course you’re more than a piece of meat in the tub, and so is the stew. In slow cooking, the sum becomes greater than the individual parts. It becomes, epic.

Stew Recipe

I’m not gonna lie; I called this recipe “braised beef stew”, when really it’s “stewed beef stew”. The difference between the two can be read at The Kitchn but for brevity sake, let’s just say that stew = fully submerged in liquid while braised = mostly covered in liquid. I fully submerged everything for this, but calling a recipe “stewed stew” just seemed stupid. Maybe I should have just called it “Stew”. Well, it’s a little late for that now, isn’t it?

At this time of year, when we’re enveloped by warmth – family, cozy jammies, fireplaces and booze – it just makes sense to put something warm in our bellies as well. Because let’s face it, 3/4ths of the way through December, we probably all have a bit of a belly. Now fill it with something other than candy. Stew. Or, “stewed beef stew”, if you will.

Stewed Beef

Saucy Slow Braised Beef Stew




Yield 6 servings


  • 3 Lbs chuck beef, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 C carrots, chopped into 2" pieces
  • 3 medium-sized stalks of celery, chopped into ½” pieces
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled & chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ C dry red wine
  • 4 C good quality beef stock
  • 28 Oz. canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Lb waxy potatoes, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 C pearl barley
  • 1 ½ C frozen peas
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
  • Optional: Parmesan rind


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef pieces - you may have to do this in batches. Brown well all over, seasoning generously with coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. Once the beef is browned, turn the heat down to medium. Pour a couple glugs of olive oil to the pan if necessary and add the carrots, celery and onion. Stir well to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until just starting to get a bit of color on the vegetables, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the dry red wine to deglaze the pan – be sure to scrape up any bits stuck on there.  Allow the wine to reduce for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the beef stock, canned diced tomatoes, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Season well with salt and pepper. If you have a Parmesan rind on hand, now is the time to add that too. Place the beef back in the mixture.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and slow cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
  6. When there's 45 minutes left on the timer, uncover and add the waxy potatoes and pearl barley.
  7. In the final 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the frozen peas.
  8. Before serving, season to taste.

Do you braise? Stew? Tips on these cooking methods? Questions?


  • Ashley
    December 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    We’re having braised beef on Friday (in the crockpot, because it works and I’ll need a rest)!

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      Oooooh great idea Ashley! I love my crockpot but don’t use it nearly enough. This could be done in one of those as well for sure.

      P.S. Get lots of rest! Drink too much wine and lay around the house doing nothing.

  • Teresa, foodonfifth
    December 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Yummmmmmmy Kristy. I so love food that looks just like this! You have a happy holiday with your loved ones this season. Stay warm!

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 27, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Thank you Teresa! I hope your holidays are warm and cozy too. Stay safe and have a very merry new years!

  • Michelle Atkinson
    January 2, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    As you know I made this the other day. Love the addition of chard to the mix! I used kale (what I had) and it was lovely. I really want to send this to my mom to prove you can make stew good, not just a bunch of crap thrown in a pot and boiled… But I doubt she’ll change now lol.

    Look forward to trying out some more recipes!

    Note: You have celery in the instructions but not the ingredient list.

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 3, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      Michelle…. you are awesome. Thank you for the celery note – I’ve fixed it now! Sometimes I just get so excited about the final dish I forget to include the celery on the ingredient list! My mistake!

      PS. Kale would be great in here! That’s the beauty of stew – it’s a “whatever-you-have-on-hand” kinda thing. And I love me some kale!!!

      PPS. You should make it for her….. maybe that will help her come around 😉

  • Kirsten
    January 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    One of the things I love about getting a quarter of Butch is the tongue and tail–both of which like a nice hot bath (excellent writing, I don’t know why you say you want less words and more photos when your words are so awesome). This stew is right up our alley, and the family will eat it up.
    When I participated in the summer reading group last summer I didn’t get my copy of Cooked (Michael Pollan) until after the group had already begun, so I skipped the section on Water (braising) and jumped straight to Air (baking with yeast–wild or otherwise). However, I have cleverly manipulated my book group into reading Cooked this month, so I’ll get to cover Fire and Water (and serve a sourdough coffee cake at our meeting end of the month). Machiavellian? Why thanks!

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 3, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Oh em geeeeee!!! Can you send me a piece??? That sounds so good Kirsten!! I hope you like the rest of the book – the yeast/bread section was what really got me. But Water was really good too. I think that book may well have inspired my last 2 recipes! haha..

      PS. thank you my love. Can you tell me what you do with the tail and tongue?? I’ve had veal tongue once but it creeped me out. I’d love to know what to do with them in future!

  • Miz Helen
    January 12, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Hi Kristy,
    Your Saucy Slow Braised Beef Stew looks fantastic! There is nothing that brings out the flavor like the nice slow cooking and giving the ingredients and seasons a chance to come together. I would really enjoy a nice serving of this delicious stew. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 14, 2014 at 8:45 AM

      Thanks so much! I totally agree – slow cooking makes flavors develop in ways that “fast food” just can’t. Thank you for taking a few moments to stop by Miz Helen – always happy to see you 🙂

  • Jordan
    October 14, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    This dish is amazing! I made it over one week ago and everyone absolutely love it… thank you:)

    • Kristy Gardner
      February 26, 2015 at 11:58 AM

      Oh my gosh! Thank you so much Jordan – I’m glad you guys enjoyed it!! I wish I could have seen it 🙂

  • The FBC Soups & Stews Recipe Roundup: 2014 Edition | Food Bloggers of Canada
    November 12, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    […] How do you make stew sexy? You make it saucy!  Kristy at She Eats has it all under control with Saucy Slow Braised Beef Stew! […]