Comfort Essentials: Heartwarming Beef Stew

Andy Anderson !


It is a cold Winter’s eve… the winds are howling, and low-grey clouds scutter overhead with the promise of more snow to come. It is a cold, bleak, and dreary kind of day, and Springtime is so far down the road that you cannot even see it.

What do you need… You need a hearty, comforting stew.

This recipe began as one that I picked up while studying in France, and over the years, it has morphed into something of my own creation. It is comfort food to the max.

So, you ready… let’s get into the kitchen.


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1 Hr 20 Min
2 Hr



  • 4 c
    chicken stock, not broth
  • 8 oz
    white or brown button mushrooms, cleaned stemmed, and quartered or thickly sliced (reserve stems)
  • 4 - 6 slice
    bacon, diced
  • 1 large
    yellow onion, diced
  • ·
    sweet butter, unsalted, or duck fat, as needed
  • 2 lb
    chuck roast, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes
  • 1/4 c
    flour, all-purpose variety
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • ·
    white pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1/2 c
  • 1/2 c
    dijon mustard, i prefer grey poupon
  • 1/4 c
    red wine

  • ·
    carrots, thick cut on the diagonal
  • ·
    baby red potatoes, halved
  • ·
    additional veggies of your choice
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp
    freshly squeezed orange juice, added at the end with the wine

How to Make Comfort Essentials: Heartwarming Beef Stew


  2. Chef’s Note: This is the kind of recipe that you make when you want to spend a bit of time in the kitchen. I can spend a day in the kitchen any season; however, I especially love being in the kitchen in the cold days of Winter… I will make hearty stews and soups, and bake lots of bread. Let the winds howl, and the snows come, I am comfortably ensconced in my secure kitchen.
  3. Chef’s Tip: To give the beef a bit more depth, place the cubed beef in a small bowl and add a bit of red wine, then cover, and place in the fridge for an hour or two. It really makes a big difference.
  4. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  5. Add the chicken stock to a saucepan.
  6. Chop up the mushroom stems, and add to the stock.
  7. Lightly simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Strain out the mushroom stems, and reserve.
  9. Add the diced bacon to a heavy-bottomed pot, over medium-low heat.
  10. Cook until the bacon begins to crisp and renders out all its fat, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  11. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and reserve in a large bowl.
  12. Raise the heat to medium, add the onions to the pot, and cook in the bacon grease until softened (not browned), about 5 – 6 minutes.
  13. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon, and add to the bowl with the bacon.
  14. Add the mushrooms to the pot, and cook until they begin to soften, and start to brown, about 15 – 18 minutes.
  15. Remove from the pot, and add to the bowl with the other reserved ingredients.
  16. Place a rack in the bottom position, and preheat the oven to 265f (130c).
  17. Add a bit of salt and pepper to the flour, and coat the beef cubes with the mixture.
  18. Chef’s Note: If needed, add a tablespoon or two of sweet, unsalted, butter (or duck fat) to the pot, to supplement the bacon grease.
  19. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the beef cubes in two batches, until nicely browned on all sides, about 6 – 10 minutes per batch.
  20. Chef’s Note: On the second batch, if the pot needs more fat, add another tablespoon or two of sweet, unsalted, butter, or duck fat.
  21. Add the beef to the bowl with the onions, bacon, and mushrooms.
  22. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sherry, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the fonds that developed while browning the beef.
  23. Add the stock and mustard, and mix to combine.
  24. Return the bacon, onions, mushrooms, and beef to the pan, then stir to combine.
  25. Bring the pot to the boil, and then place, covered, into the preheated oven.
  26. Cook until the beef is fork tender, about 1.5 – 2 hours.
  27. Chef’s Note: If you are adding additional veggies, like carrots, add them to the pot about 45 – 60 minutes before fully cooked. If you are adding potatoes, place them in the pot about 30 minutes before the beef is fully cooked.
  28. Open the oven, stir in the red wine, then cover, and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  29. Do not forget to taste, and adjust for proper seasoning.
  31. Serve while nice and hot. Enjoy.
  32. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Comfort Essentials: Heartwarming Beef Stew

Course/Dish: Beef
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Dietary Needs: Soy Free

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