Easy Beef Stew for Two
It’s cold out today! When it’s cold out I immediately think of warm, comforting food and this super easy full-bodied stew is perfect for cold days! This red wine-braised beef stew is the ultimate one-pot meal, loaded with tender potatoes and carrots. Don’t forget a loaf of crusty French bread for sopping up the rich sauce.
Many stew recipes call for cooking the meat and vegetables at the same time, leaving the vegetables overcooked and mushy. Instead, first braise the meat with onions in red wine and beef broth until a rich sauce develops. Then, after about an hour, add carrots, and potatoes. By the time the vegetables are cooked, the beef will be tender, then just stir in some peas if you like, for a little freshness and color. I sprinkle a little fresh parsley in at the end. You can also spoon the stew over buttered egg noodles. YUMMY!
- 1 pound beef stew meat or boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste (freeze leftover tomato paste in a ziploc bag)
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Yukon Gold potato (8 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 3/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium ovensafe saucepan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown beef on all sides, about 8 minutes; transfer to bowl.
- Add onion to fat left in saucepan and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in broth, bay leaf, and browned beef with any accumulated juices and bring to simmer. Cover, transfer saucepan to oven, and cook for 1 hour.
- Stir in potato and carrots and continue to cook in oven, covered, until beef and vegetables are tender, 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.
- Discard bay leaf. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of stew, if needed.
- Stir in peas and let sit until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat up!
- Serve with crusty bread or over buttered egg noodles.