Best Beef Recipe. This classic French braised beef, red wine, and vegetable stew is simple and delicious. It stands above all of our other beef recipes because it offers the homey comfort and convenience of pot roast yet is versatile and sophisticated enough for entertaining. Garnish with chopped fresh thyme. --Recipe by Lia Huber (November 2004)
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
3 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles)
Chopped fresh thyme (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 300°.
Heat olive oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf) to pan; bring to a boil.
Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles. Garnish with chopped fresh thyme, if desired.
Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours.
Wine note: This satisfying beef stew deserves a rich, earthy, and soulful wine--one with a soft, thick texture. I love the complexity and juiciness of the Kuleto Estate Syrah 2004 from Napa Valley, California ($45), which elevates this stew into a princely dinner. --Karen MacNeil