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Slow-Cooked French Beef Stew with Red Wine

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Easy slow-cooking at its best in this red wine beef stew – tender beef in a rich sauce with aromatic herbs and vegetables.

Slow-Cooked French Beef Stew with Red Wine

This Provencal-inspired beef stew is chock-full of classic beef stew ingredients.

Think fork-tender braised beef, vegetables, hearty red wine and aromatic herbs.

When life gives you a tiny bit more time to think about the day ahead — on weekends, for example — nothing seems more luxurious than getting dinner underway hours in advance.

For me, that means putting on something comfy and turning the oven on to start slow-cooking.

Sliding a Dutch oven full of meat, vegetables and wine-rich broth into the oven for a few hours not only fills the house with amazing smells, but leaves you hands-free to do other things.

While dinner is bubbling away in the oven, all you’ll need to do later is slice some bread and toss mixed greens for a salad. Win!

Slow-Cooked French Beef Stew with Red Wine

Best pot for slow cooking

Along with the pasta pots and cast iron skillets, my enameled cast iron Le Creuset Dutch ovens are my most cherished kitchen tools.

I know some of you are thinking – hasn’t this girl ever heard of a Crock-Pot?!

Here’s the truth: I used to own a few electric slow cookers, but I gave them away a few years ago during a big move from one city to another.

And you know what? So far I haven’t missed them one bit!

Maybe I never developed enough of a relationship with one to ever consider having a full-blown affair with an appliance in the first place.

Why a Dutch oven is the best slow-cooker:

  • A good enameled cast iron pot is an investment, but it’s beautiful and will last a long, long time.
  • It’s heavy-duty and reliably retains even heat distribution over long, slow cooking times.
  • For slow-cooker recipes, a Dutch oven is a true one-pot vessel — sear meats and sauté vegetables on top of the stove, and place in the oven to slow-cook.
  • You can cook dinner in the oven while doing other things. Nothing is cozier than a warm kitchen in the cooler months.
French Red Wine Beef Stew

This beef stew recipe is based on a French-style beef daube, which is just a fancy name for you guessed it – beef stew.

Traditionally made in a very large earthenware dish called a daubiere, it’s slow-cooking at its best – rich with tender beef, herbs and red wine.

What’s the best red wine to use for French beef stew:

Why add red wine to beef stew?

Because when you slow-cook tough cuts of meat like beef chuck, the acid present in the wine eventually helps to break the meat down, making it more tender.

Red wine in beef stew also adds depth of flavor — some of the liquid evaporates in the oven, which concentrates the flavors going on in the pot.

So, which red wine should you use?

If you’re a regular red wine drinker, a good rule of thumb is to cook with wine that you already love to drink.

But you don’t need to spend big bucks on a bottle of wine for beef stew.

There are lots of affordable, tasty dry red wines that are both delicious to drink and cook with.

Here’s some good value (usually under $10 for a 750 ml bottle) red wines to pour into your beef stew pot:

  • California Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, “Bordeaux-style” blends
  • French Cotes du Rhone, Bourgogne (pinot noir), Syrah
  • Italian Chianti, Barbera D’Asti, Montepulciano
  • South American/Australian Malbec, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon

The best beef cuts for French beef stew:

Boneless chuck is my first pick for beef stew.

Beef chuck: The chuck comes from the shoulder portion of the cow between the ribs and the brisket.

This heavily exercised muscle contains a lot of connective tissue and fat marbling, which makes for a tastier piece of meat.

Look for chuck roasts labeled blade roast, chuck shoulder, top chuck or shoulder clod roast.

What do you add to flavor beef stew

Next to using a piece of beef that becomes tasty and fork tender after slow-cooking, I like to throw in aromatic herbs like thyme and rosemary.

I like to use a fresh fennel bulb in place of celery for a little Provencal twist, but celery works just as well in its place.

I also prefer to cook most of the vegetables separately from the stew.

That way they retain their color, texture and flavor, rather than becoming overcooked, beige mush.

What to serve with beef stew

This stew is delicious served over wide pasta noodles like pappardelle or cheesy polenta.

And because it tastes even better for days afterward, it’s really the perfect thing to cook on a relaxed weekend. You will get the reward of delicious leftovers during the week.

Slow-Cooked Provencal Beef Stew

Slow-Cooked Red Wine Beef Stew

Familystyle Food
A rich French-style beef stew with red wine and vegetables. You'll love the intense flavor and it's so easy to make in a Dutch oven, low and slow! Serve this stew with wide egg noodles or simply with crusty bread and a salad.
Print Pin
4.61 from 48 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 55 mins
Course Slow Cooked
Cuisine French
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1350 g) beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt, Diamond brand
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) tomato paste
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • Black peppercorns in a peppermill
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) hearty red wine, such as syrah, merlot or Cotes-du-Rhone
  • 1 – 2 cups (250-500 ml) beef or chicken broth or water
  • 2 bay leaves and 4 sprigs each thyme and rosemary, tied into a bundle with string
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 fennel bulb, stems and tough outer layers trimmed, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Grated fresh orange zest, optional

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.
  • Trim the beef of excess fat and slice into 3-inch chunks. Season the beef evenly with 2 teaspoons salt.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Sear the beef in batches until browned. Remove to a platter.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the shallot to the pot. Cook 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until it’s softened. Return the beef to the pot and sprinkle with flour. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, wine, 1 teaspoon salt and 15 turns of the pepper mill.
  • Bring to a simmer, then add enough broth to just cover the beef. Toss in the herb bundle. Cover the pot with a sheet of parchment or foil, then top with the pot lid.
  • Place in the oven to braise for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. The cooking liquid will be slightly reduced and the meat should fall apart when prodded with a fork.
  • Put the carrots, leeks and fennel in a large skillet with 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place over high heat until the water boils. Cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender but still colorful, about 10 minutes.
  • Just before serving, stir the vegetables into the stew. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle with the parsley and about a teaspoon fresh orange zest. Serve the stew over wide egg noodles, parmesan polenta or with crusty bread alongside.

Notes

  • Use a 5-6 quart capacity pot.
  • When reheating, add a bit more stock or water to the stew as the sauce will thicken when refrigerated.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 613kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 1184mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3776IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 6mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram!!

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food!

23 Comments

  1. Making this for my New Year’s Eve dinner! Been looking for a recipe with deep rich savory flavors& I think I found it!! My kitchen smells divine already & it just went in the oven;) Now to attempt making creamy polenta!!!

  2. So I have no idea what went wrong but mine came out so dry. I did everything by the book, the temp, and had plenty of juice, and even decided to keep the fat on for flavor. What I think made it dry out what cutting the beef into 3 in chunks. I’m so disappointed.

    1. Sorry to hear that – did you use a chuck roast? Also, it could be that your oven might run a little higher than the set temperature. You can check with an oven thermometer.

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      You can make this in your crock pot cooker on low for 6 hours. Add an extra tablespoon of flour, and reduce the amount of broth and red wine to 1 cup each. Hope you enjoy!

  3. I too have an unhealthy relationship with my Le Crueset…I clean it to within an inch of its life, every time I use it. It’s bright orange and has its own shelf!

    Karen, I remember my mom making beef stew and adding the bay leaf. Was a pleasant memory while I made your recipe, with the herb bundle. Brought me back…..3 hours of bliss.

    Thank you!

  4. Not that I need another beef stew recipe….but now I must try yours!
    I have a nice bottle of wine and some chuck stew meat in the freezer…..next cold day this is on the menu!

  5. We loved this-especially the crisp veggies with the soft beef. My husband rated it 5 out of 5. I will make it again! So tasty. Thanks! Gillian

  6. Cheesemonger’s Wife, I couldn’t agree more – what a treasure you have on your hands! Thanks for visiting…

    Chuck – happy stewing to you.

  7. I too have an unhealthy affection for my Le Crueset dutch oven. We received a crock pot for the wedding this year and I have only used it once. For some reason, I feel that if it’s not cooked in my beloved le crueset dutch oven from Simon’s grandmother it just won’t taste good. 😉

  8. Emiline, yes beef bourguignon is a type of braise – usually with bacon and mushrooms in it, too.
    Try braising – you’ll like it.

    Hi Jenny – thanks!
    Oh, no, I haven’t heard the SL cookoff rumour – too bad because it’s a good one.

  9. Yum Karen!
    This stew sounds so good this time of year! Soup, stew, I love it all! Have a great week! Did you hear SL might not be having the cook-off this year?

  10. Is this kind of like beef bourguignon? I’ve seen several recipes lately, for that. I really want to try braising something. I don’t think I’ve ever braised a thing in my life.

    It looks delicious!

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