A Beef Stew

For the second Sunday in a row, there’s a pot of this stew in the oven. That’s a picture of how colorful it looks when it goes in. When the timer beeps, four hours later, the greens and oranges have caramelized into the height of flavor.

It’s based off of the very famous (in my world) and very good Silver Palate short rib recipe. But there were a few stoppers in that recipe for me, namely beef stock, which I never have. I decided that any liquid would do, there are so many vegetables in the pot anyway, that flavor emerges inevitably. So far I’ve used: chicken stock, red wine, tomato juice from the can, and water. The stews are a little different each time, but always tasty, and the recipe is easy enough to make just for yourself, though also a fancy main dish for parties.

The original short ribs contribute plenty of flavor and fat, and they have one more perk: Since they’re bigger, you brown fewer. Pieces of chuck roast work just as well, you’ll just be browning a few minutes longer. After that step, the rest of the ingredients get piled into the pot and hoisted into the oven. For four hours, you do whatever you need to do on Sundays, and then you eat.

Here’s the recipe.

Easy and Adaptable Beef Stew
Author: adapted from the Silver Palate
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Delicious, pretty simple beef stew. For the liquid, use stock, wine, beer, tomato juice from the can, or just water.
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds bone-in short ribs or about 1 1/2 pounds chuck roast, in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato (from a can is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Additional liquid to make 2 cups (see above)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. In a 5-quart Dutch oven with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. Grind pepper over the meat, then brown well on all sides, about 4 minutes a side. Remove the meat to a plate and turn off the heat.
  3. (While you’re browning the meat you can prep all the vegetables and stir together the sauce.)
  4. Toss the onion, carrots, parsley, garlic, and tomato together in a bowl. Place about half in the bottom of the pot, then return the meat, then pile on the rest of the veggies.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the salt, sugar, cayenne, red wine vinegar, and tomato paste. Pour in enough additional liquid to make 2 cups. You can mix and match..if you have a little wine, say, use it and then fill ‘er up with stock or water.
  6. Pour the sauce into the pan and cover the pot. Place in the oven for 2 hours. Take off the cover, then cook for another 2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the top of the stew is brown. Serve with mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, or good bread.