Red Wine Beef Stew

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • yield:

    8 to 10


Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

This is a basic recipe for a red wine stew without any garniture. Again, “garniture,” in French, refers to anything that’s added to a dish at the end and that isn’t necessarily a component of the braise itself. Hence, virtually any vegetable can be prepared and added to the stew at the end. Garnished with heart-shaped croutons (dipped in chopped parsley), sautéed mushrooms, pearl onions braised à brun (until lightly browned), and strips of bacon—lardons—this dish becomes boeuf bourguignon.


fatback, rind removed 8 oz 250 g
garlic cloves, chopped 2 2
cognac 2 tbsp 30 ml
beef shank (4 lb/1.8 kg when cut from the bone) 6 lb 3 kg
carrots, chopped 2 medium 2 medium
onions, chopped 2 medium 2 medium
garlic cloves, crushed 2 2
red wine 3 cups 750 ml
large bouquet garni 1 1
olive oil 6 tbsp 90 ml
butter oz 45 g
flour (optional) ¼ cup 40 g
brown beef or veal stock 3 cups 750 ml
liaison, such as beurre manié, arrowroot, vegetable purée, or hydrocolloid (optional)


  1. Cut the fatback into 2 × ⅜-inch (5 cm × 5 mm) strips. Marinate the fatback strips in the chopped garlic and Cognac for at least 3 hours.
  2. Cut the beef into 3-ounce (90 gram) cubes. Insert a strip of fatback into each beef cube using a larding needle or paring knife. Marinate the meat cubes for several hours with the carrots, onions, crushed garlic, red wine, and bouquet garni.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Drain the meat in a colander set over a bowl and separately reserve the marinade liquid, vegetables, and bouquet garni. Thoroughly dry the meat. Heat the olive oil in a straight-sided sauté pan and brown the meat.
  4. Transfer the meat to a clean bowl and discard the oil. Sweat the reserved vegetables and garlic in the butter. Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, if using, and cook gently for 5 minutes more.
  5. Add the reserved marinade liquid, stock, and the reserved bouquet garni to the vegetables and bring the mixture to a simmer while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  6. Transfer the contents of the sauté pan to a 4-quart (4 liter) pot. Add the meat. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, until the meat cubes are easily pierced with a fork.
  7. Strain the stewing liquid into a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan, reserving the solids. Spread the meat and vegetables on a baking sheet. Separate the meat from the chopped vegetables, which should be discarded or can be puréed for use as the liaison. Bring the liquid to a slow simmer and skim off any froth and fat that float to the surface. The stewing liquid can be reduced to the desired thickness or bound with beurre manié (the most traditional method), arrowroot, vegetable purées, or hydrocolloid liaisons. Remember that beurre manié is simply whisked into the hot sauce and the sauce allowed to boil. Arrowroot, cornstarch, and some hydrocolloids should be whisked up with an equal amount of water into a slurry. Most hydrocolloids will need to be sheared in with a blender. Work the hydrocolloid into a small amount of the stewing liquid. When it is thoroughly combined, whisk it into the rest of the liquid.
  8. Reheat the meat cubes in the stewing liquid. Serve with an appropriate garniture.