This post has been sponsored by Grocery Outlet, but the content and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. The following content is for readers 21+.
FANCY ENOUGH TO FEED A CROWD AND EASY ENOUGH TO MAKE DURING THE WEEK, THIS DELICIOUS AND HEARTY SLOW COOKER STEW COMES PACKED WITH JUICY CHUNKS OF BEEF, TENDER VEGETABLES AND HAPPY BELLIES ALL AROUND.
I don’t make beef often. It’s not that I don’t love the stuff because I do. I mean, my mom is from Iowa and my dad is from Illinois, that practically guarantees a kid will be raised on meat and (butter-filled) potatoes. I was and it was good. However, at some point in my teenage years and early twenties I phased out red meat. Between periods of being a vegetarian or vegan, I just stopped buying the stuff.
That was, of course, until my child was born. If you’re new here, you should know that my kid is a total and complete meat (and berry) fiend. Carbs? not his thing. But meat! He can’t get enough.
And it just so happens that beef stew is his favorite.
Shockingly, however, I realized I had never made him beef stew before. In fact, the last time I had made beef stew was way back in college during the honeymoon period of my husband and my relationship. I was very new to cooking and I could tell that my beef stew didn’t quite live up to his moms.
So I didn’t make it again.
No longer new to cooking, it was time to try again. Knowing that my mother-in-laws beef stew is both my husband and my child’s favorite, I knew I had my work cut out for me.
My stew, unlike my dear mother in laws, has a secret ingredient…
but it gets better!
It actually has TWO KINDS OF WINE!
When I originally made this stew I only added red wine. It was delicious, yes. Did everyone eat it? yes. In fact, it was so good that I made it again (which rarely happens in my house since I’m always making new things).
Anywho, since I can never follow a recipe exactly (even my own recipes that I know are good), I had to make some changes.
This time, in ADDITION to the red wine (don’t forget that!), I also added sweet marsala wine. I had leftover wine from a chicken marsala dish I had made a few weeks back (it will be posted soon!) and saw it just sitting there.
YOU GUYS! Add the wine! Of course, marsala wine has a much more distinct flavor than red wine, so I wouldn’t recommend ditching the red wine and using just marsala wine, BUT, use the wine!
And, don’t worry, you won’t get buzzed from eating this meal. All the alcohol cooks off (unfortunately). If you love not only cooking, but drinking wine with your meal, reds are the way to go with this meal- try a Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz or Burgundy.
Lately, my favorite place to get all my wine had been Grocery Outlet.
Here’s just a few of the many reasons why Grocery Outlet is my go-to for all my beverage essentials–
- Legit wine for half the price. So serious right now.
- Awesome organic section.
- Cleaning supplies for cheap!
- It’s right next to the gym which is basically the most convenient thing ever.
If you’re sitting there thinking, ok, but is it better than your mother-in-laws?
The report from my husband was that this stew is much more refined and elegant tasting. I mean, it’s still a beef stew, but perhaps a more “sophisticated” beef stew (compared to his moms). Of course he preferred mine (ha!)…seriously.
As for Octavian, he gobbled the beef right up. And he loves the “gravy” that comes with it (aka the sauce). The vegetables, on the other hand, “mama, leave out the carrots”.
Whatever, more for me.
So, there you have it, my version of Beef Bourguignon. A definite family favorite and a great excuse to pop open a bottle of wine.
Speaking of…the holidays are coming up. Don’t pay full price for wine when you get get (literally) the same thing for half the price from Grocery Outlet. ALSO, this beef stew. It’s everything you need in your life and so much more.
Just don’t forget the buttery mashed potatoes that go with it. It makes for one super awesome dreamy combo!
Best Ever Beef Bourguignon (beef stew)
prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 5 hours (on high) – 8 hours (on low)
total time: 5-8 hours
yield: 8 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 pounds lean chuck roast, cut into 1″ cubes and patted dry
salt + pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups red wine (I used pinot noir)
1/2 cup sweet marsala wine
1 cup beef stock
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
6 large carrots, chopped into cubes
20 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved
4 stalks celery, diced
10 ounces pearl onions
fresh parsley, diced
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (to thicken)
Gently pat chuck roast dry and season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the chuck roast cubes to the skillet and cook each side for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned (no need to fully cook the meat, just brown the sides).
Transfer seared chuck roast to the slow cooker.
Tie the fresh thyme and rosemary bunches together using cooking string and place in the slow cooker on top of the chuck roast.
Return the skillet to medium high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion are translucent and starting to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
Transfer to the onions and garlic to the slow cooker.
For a final time, return the skillet to medium heat. Add the red wine and use a wood spoon to gently scrape off any brown bits that may have stuck to the pan. Whisk in the marsala wine, beef broth and tomato paste. Heat just until mixture is warmed through- no need to boil.
Add the chopped carrots, mushrooms and celery to the slow cooker and carefully pour the red wine mixture over the vegetables.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Approximately 15 minutes before serving, add the frozen pearl onions and stir in the cornstarch mixed with water (optional)*
Garnish with fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.
*The cornstarch will thicken the broth, or gravy, of the stew. It is not a necessary step as it is purely personal preference.