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French Beef Stew with Red Wine

4.85 from 121 community reviews

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Rich and delicious French 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.

Photo of a pot and a ladle full of beef stew with red wine, chunks of carrots and vegetables.

This is my version of a Provencal-inspired French beef stew, chock-full of classic beef stew ingredients. Think fork-tender braised beef, beef broth, chunky vegetables, hearty red wine and aromatic fresh rosemary and other herbs.

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

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

Slow-cooking beef stew

Make this stew when life gives you a tiny bit more time.

The prep work is mostly (all) up front, so it’s perfect to make on relaxed day or on the weekend. Put on something comfy to wear and turn on the oven! Because the flavors meld for days, you’ll be rewarded with very tasty leftovers during the week.

Image of a bowl of red wine beef stew with a spoon and a napkin on the side.

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 for a couple hours.

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

A Dutch oven is the best slow-cooker!

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

I know some of you are thinking – hasn’t this girl ever heard of a Crock-Pot?! I l-o-v-e my pressure cooker and slow cookers, and I have so many great recipes for them.

Photo of a white Dutch oven with red wine broth, beef chunks and herbs for beef stew.

It just that there’s something special about a an old-fashioned braised beef stew that cooks for hours in the oven.

  • 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.

The best beef cuts for cooking beef stew:

When you shop for meat for beef stew, I recommend avoiding the shrink-wrapped packages of meat labeled “stew meat”.

The meat in those is often a mixture of trimmings from a variety of beef cuts, which means they vary widely in fat content and tenderness.

  • Beef chuck: Boneless chuck is my top choice for beef stew. 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. If you don’t want to bother cutting up the meat yourself, ask the staff behind the meat department to do it for you.

Basic steps:

Vegetables in stew

It’s not traditional, but I prefer to cook the vegetables separately from the stew. It’s a tip I learned when I worked in restaurants. The method is a great way to keep the vibrant color, texture and flavor intact.

I like to use a fresh fennel bulb in place of celery for a little Provencal twist, along with the traditional celery. You can use more celery instead of the fennel (3-4 stalks total).

It’s probably not the way your mom or grandmother made stew, but I think it’s an improvement. The veggies in my mom’s stew were boiled to a gray mush — not very appetizing to a kid like me!

Image of a white Dutch oven on a cutting board, with beef stew and carrots, leeks and parsley and a serving ladle.
Stir the vegetables into the slow-cooked beef stew and serve!

Red wine in French beef stew:

Why add red wine to beef stew?

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.

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.


good value (under $15) red Wines for COQ AU VIN

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

What to serve with it:

This stew is delicious as is, but we also love it served over wide pasta noodles like pappardelle or cheesy polenta.

Keeping leftovers:

The stew will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. When reheating, add a bit more stock or water to the stew as the sauce will thicken as it cools.

Slow-Cooked Red Wine Beef Stew

Karen Tedesco
A rich French-style beef stew with red wine and vegetables. You'll love the hearty flavors and it's so easy to make in a Dutch oven, low and slow! Serve the stew over wide egg noodles, parmesan polenta or with crusty bread alongside for hearty meal.
Print Pin
4.85 from 121 community reviews
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Course Meat
Cuisine French
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

Stew

  • 3 pounds (1350 g) beef chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) olive oil
  • 2-3 shallots, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) tomato paste
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups (375 ml) hearty dry red wine, such as syrah, merlot or Cotes-du-Rhone
  • 1-2 cups (250-500 ml) chicken broth, or beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves and 4 sprigs each thyme and rosemary, tied into a bundle with string

Vegetables

  • 1 pound (459 g) carrots, peeled and sliced into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, stems and tough outer layers trimmed, sliced into ½-inch wedges (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350 (175C) degrees with the rack in the center.
  • Prep the beef: Trim the meat of excess fat and slice into 3-inch chunks. Season evenly on all sides 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 on all sides, turning with a pair of tongs. Tip: To get the best sear, try not to crowd the pan. Remove the meat to a platter as you go.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the shallot to the pot. Cook 5 minutes in the pan fat, stirring every now and then, until softened. Return the beef and all the reserved juices that have collected on the plate to the pot. Sprinkle the flour over the beef and stir to coat. Add the tomato paste, garlic, wine, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the browned bits.
  • 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 ½-3 hours. The cooking liquid will be slightly reduced and the meat should fall apart when prodded with a fork.

Cook the vegetables

  • While the beef is in the oven, put the carrots, leeks, celery and fennel in a large skillet with ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Place over high heat until the water boils. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender but still colorful, about 10-12 minutes. If there's liquid left in the pan, simmer uncovered until it's mostly evaporated. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside.
  • To serve: Stir the vegetables into the stew. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as desired. Pick out and remove the bay leaf and herb bundle stems. Sprinkle with the parsley and ladle into bowls.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Use a 5-6 quart capacity heavy pot or Dutch oven for the best results.
  • The stew will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in a saucepan on the stovetop, adding a bit more broth or water to the stew as the liquid will thicken as it cools.

Nutrition

Calories: 631kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 786mg | Potassium: 1329mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 13470IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

You might also enjoy:

Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

4.85 from 121 votes (112 ratings without comment)

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40 Comments

  1. Christine says:

    Definitely amazing. I’ve made this a few times, always to rave reviews.

  2. This is the strangest way to cook stew. Why cook the vegetables separately? Why not add them into the pot with the meat toward the end of the cooking process?

    1. Hello – As I wrote in the post, cooking the vegetables separately helps to retain their beautiful color and texture, rather than overcooked mushy vegetables. Give it a try!

  3. Sylvia C. says:

    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!!!

  4. HI Karen – giving this a try! Looks Delish and I don’t use my Le Crueset enough!

  5. 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.

  6. I don’t have the dish you described and or needs to cook while I am at work. Do you know a time for crock pot?

    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!

  7. Carl Lauro says:

    5 stars
    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!

    1. Carl that is SO beautiful to hear! I love that such a simple detail brought back sweet memories.

  8. 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!

    1. Sounds like you’re good to go – hope you enjoy!

  9. 5 stars
    id eat this for all 3 meals for the rest of my life

  10. OMG. This looks SO good. Seriously, this dish right here is the solution for all of my cold weather needs!

  11. At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming over again to read more news.

  12. Foodiaddict says:

    It does looks good.. Will give it a try =)

  13. 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

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

    Chuck – happy stewing to you.

  15. OMG, that stew looks amazing. I have to give it a try.

    Thank you!

  16. The Cheesemonger's Wife says:

    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. 😉

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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!