This is an ideal recipe for the slow cooker, where gentle, prolonged cooking turns tough beef into tender bites. Serve the stew over a mound of Fluffy Mashed Potatoes.
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
12 ounces cipollini onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine, divided
1 1/2 cups unsalted beef stock
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 thyme sprigs
8 ounces small button mushrooms
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
How to Make It
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of beef; cook 8 minutes or until well browned, turning to brown on all sides. Place browned beef in a 6-quart electric slow cooker; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining beef, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Add onions to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until browned. Add onions to slow cooker. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes or until half of liquid evaporates. Add stock and pepper; bring to a simmer. Carefully pour stock mixture into slow cooker; nestle thyme sprigs into liquid. Top beef mixture with mushrooms; scatter carrots over top.
Cover and cook on LOW for 7 1/2 hours.
Strain mixture through a colander over a Dutch oven or large skillet; discard thyme sprigs. Bring cooking liquid to a boil; cook 6 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons wine and flour, stirring with a whisk to form a slurry. Stir into cooking liquid; cook 1 minute or until bubbly and thickened, stirring constantly. Pour over beef mixture; toss gently to combine. Garnish with thyme sprigs.
Pressure Cooker: Using a 6- or 7-quart pressure cooker, follow instructions through step Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat (about 4 minutes). Adjust heat to medium-high or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Place cooker under cold running water to release pressure. Remove lid. Proceed with step
Dutch Oven: Using a large Dutch oven, follow instructions through step Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Proceed with step
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This recipe made a very high end beef stew. Even my husband who proclaims to not like beef stew ate this right up. I substituted pearl onions (brilliant suggestion - thanks!) I also added cornstarch mixed with a bit of beef broth to the crockpot during the last hour or so to thicken it. The whole process of draining the stew to thicken the sauce on the stove was way to much of a pain for me. I served the stew over mashed potatoes and honestly I think you could just skip the whole thickening of the stew all together as the potatoes are a great vehicle for the sauce.
For basic beef stew, it wasn't bad. Not something you throw in the crockpot in the morning before you head out the door. I think by the time I'd prepped out the vegetables (frozen pearl onions - no way I was peeling cippolini) and seared the meat, 30 minutes were down the drain. Then coming home, potato peeling/boiling/mashing and gravy-making killed another 30 or so, which isn't that bad except for the ton of cookware one has to wash for a slow-cooked stew.
I'm not sure the marsala was worth it. It did add a touch of sweetness that I think you could have gotten from using sweet onion instead, and a bit of tang that a bit of cider vinegar would have given you as well. But other than that, not much. If you're going the wine route in stew, I think a red wide gives a deeper flavor. I personally bumped up the seasoning, but would bump it up more if I were to make it again.
Excellent. As often happens, CL's 30min "hands-on" is way off (they start their clock only after any trimming, peeling, cutting, mincing) -- but the results were worth it. Made a beef stock from bones & trimmings and subbed fresh pearl onions for the sweeter cipollini, otherwise followed directions. Ours was fork-tender at 6hrs, so check for doneness earlier than they recommend. The recipe is good for guests but for a family dinner you could save time & money using chopped sweet onion or frozen pearls. Served with polenta & brussels sprouts.
This dish was hearty and flavorful - perfect for a cool evening. I prepared the recipe as written, including serving it over mashed potatoes. Yum, yum. But, I have to say the recipe called for a lot of prep work. No mention was made in the recipe about peeling the cipollinis, and that took time. I guess I could have dropped them in boiling water for 3 minutes and then slid them out of their outer peels, but, by the time I figured that out, I didn't want to wait for the water to boil. One more thing to note: the recipe uses a lot of pots: the slow cooker for the stew, the Dutch oven for reducing the sauce, plus the saucepan for the potatoes. However, the stew was so tasty that I'd consider making it again for company.
Made this on a cold autumn day ... definitely comfort food. Very easy to make. I followed the recipe exactly and used the slow cooker method, but it definitely didn't take the full 7 1/2 hours called for. After 6 hours the meat was falling apart so I strained the mixture and prepared the sauce. I served over mashed cauliflower (instead of potatoes) for a low carb meal. Very good. Husband loved it so will make again.
Takes time to get it all in the crock pot but the payoff is worth it. The whole family loved it. The beef was so tender. My changes: I used frozen pearl onions. I didn't add the carrots until the last 2 hours. I used cornstarch to thicken the sauce right in the crockpot. Total cooking time was about 6 hours. Will make again.
My daughter-in-law and I made this dish in her new pressure cooker. She's a busy mom and short on time at the end of the day. I do agree that the prep time is a consideration if you're in a hurry. If after adding the flour to the cooking liquid you have small lumps, use an emersion blender to smooth out. Very good dish. My son and the kids enjoyed the dish very much. They are not potato people so we made rice and used beef broth instead of water. Turned out great.
Here are my two tips. Make it at least a day before, without adding the last flour step. Separate the meat from the gravy, chill, and then degrease. When you re-heat, I think you will find that the gravy will be thick enough without the additional flour. The second tip is serve it over polenta. The corn meal beats mashed potatoes. Polenta and marsala wine go together so well. (I tried it both ways.)Oh, and, if you have a higher grade rice cooker, buy stone ground corn meal and make it at a 3 1/2 to 1 water/corn mix ratio with only a little salt. Cook it on the brown rice setting. Put it together in the cooker and forget it. If you don't remember to make a slurry of corn and water before putting it in the cooker - and it comes out a bit lumpy - it will smooth out with a bit of stirring and still taste great. Someday I will try it in the slow cooker. I did it in a dutch oven. Used 4 lbs. of meat, as it was too much work to justify only 2 lbs and the leftovers should freeze well. I can't believe they say that the 2 lb. recipe will feed 8 people. We must eat for two. Will make it again.
I have made this many times and always get requests for the recipe. I have used the frozen pearl onion and Vidalia and both work well.I, also, use cornstarch instead of the flour for thickening. It is wonderful!
I made the recipe exactly as stated, in the crock pot, with the cipollini onions, fresh thyme and all. Served over mashed potatoes. These are the changes I made.1) Needed more salt. I added a bit more salt to the sauce when I thicken it in the sauce pan.2) The adding flour to marsala to thicken just did not work. Left balls of dough in the sauce which I took out and instead thickened with cornstarch.My family actually loved it and I will definitely make it again. Seemed very french to me with the marsala and thyme. It was a nice change from my original stew that I make which is much more tomato based.It does take time to get it all set and in the crock pot, plus adding the time to make the sauce and the potatoes. But if you have the time, it is worth it for sure.My store actually has already peeled cipollini onions, so try looking for them in your store as well but I imagine pearl onions would do well too.
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