I Fall To Pieces Beef Stew

January  6, 2010
6 Ratings
Photo by Ren Fuller
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

New Year Day my boyfriend and I had an epic fight, one of those fights that leave you emotionally bruised and battered and wondering if communicating via sock puppet is really as crazy as it sounds...I woke up melancholy and in need of comfort, which I so often find at the stove. I needed the simple steady even prep of making stew, the long wait for flavors to develop, homey nurturing smells wafting through our tiny apartment. I knew that leaving the stew on the stove simmering would lure him out of his fog of anger and into a better place. Cooked with love it was a gift to him and to us.

If you've got it in you.. this would be wonderful with buttery mashed potatoes...or you could add a few cubed potatoes in about 2 hours into the cooking time if you like. —Aliwaks

What You'll Need
  • Beef Stew
  • 3 pounds chuck roast, cubed
  • 2 beef shank with marrow
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup bacon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup carrots, brunoise
  • 1/4 cup celery, brunoise
  • 1/2 cup onions, bruinoise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 to 8 cippolini onions, peeled, halved
  • 1 cup carrots, large chunks
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 3 to 4 cups red wine (dry)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parsley Lemon Horseradish Gremolata
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tiny garlic clove, smashed to pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated horseradish
  • Squeeze, lemon juice
  • Fleur du sel
  1. Beef Stew
  2. Pat meat dry and season generously with salt, pepper, and Korean red pepper flakes—try not to weep as meat must be dry in order to brown properly.
  3. Fry bacon cubes till crisp, remove, pour off half the fat and set aside—resist the urge to do a shot of bacon fat with bacon bits, it will do you no good.
  4. Brown meat in bacon fat, do this in batches, you don't want to crowd the meat, it needs space (sob), set the browned meat in a bowl to catch any juices.
  5. Pour off a bit of the beef fat and add mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion), bay leaf, and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and sweat the vegetables.
  6. Add tomato paste, push the mirepoix off to the side of the pan and make a little solo area for the tomato paste, push and prod it a bit till it starts to turn rusty in color, when that happens, mix it all up together.
  7. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir that a bit to cook the flour.
  8. Add in carrot chunks, cippolini onions, and any bacon bits left over from your constant snacking. Stir that in as well.
  9. Pour a small bit of the beef stock into the pan, just enough to get all the fond, really get in deep to get to the bottom of it all.
  10. Add beef chunks along with all of the juice that may have seeped out.
  11. Add remaining beef stock and whatever wine you have not guzzled alongside the bits of bacon.
  12. Cover, put on back burner, and let it stew, simmer for about 3 hours on low. Go out and get your nails done or go to your best friend's house, do something constructive, do not stare at it willing it to be done whilst drinking more wine or eating bacon.
  13. It will be done when the meat is soft and welcoming, the marrow has oozed from the bones, and the onions have disintegrated into gooey sweet bits.
  1. Parsley Lemon Horseradish Gremolata
  2. Combine everything but the fleur du sel.
  3. Sprinkle a bit over bowl of warm stew, add flurry of fleur du sel..relax enjoy...
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12 Reviews

Granny S. August 9, 2021
LOVE, LOVE the story and the stew is amazing! I did swap cippolinis for pearl onions (probably didn't make a difference)... and added more carrots, celery and garlic. She is spot-on about the bacon-snacking and wine sipping! They all go together! This was so flavorful and fun to make! Especially when your "husband-sous chef" will prep all the veggies for you for a free bacon snack! LoL!
Lizzy S. January 31, 2021
Good recipe! We loved it. I used half the meat (just the beef chuck) and might have sought out more carrot and potato or some other starch to serve this with. Egg noodles maybe? That being said- still a 10/10 recipe and highly highly recommended
Sara L. February 8, 2018
I can't seem to find where the beef shanks go in. Do they get browned along with the beef cubes? This recipe sounds absolutely divine!
april February 20, 2015
Love the recipe (you know us bacon lovers!!). Hope you kissed and made up, or at least ate together...
Aliwaks February 20, 2015
April, we got married. Two years this past November. :)
Dearinger December 16, 2012
Making this today and I'm sure it will be fabulous! Love the story. Cooking with Love is the only way.
rayva March 25, 2012
it's one of the first real march (cool, rainy) days we've had so far in this crazy warm spring (my neighbors cherry tree is in full bloom). this recipe spoke to me for dinner with my close close friends on a Sunday night. made the gremolata with preserved meyer lemon! the house smells great, thank you!
DeArmasA November 21, 2011
just made it again tonight - and realized that I missed the garlic last time - when does that go in? still the best beef stew ever!
Chris H. January 25, 2019
Since your question didn’t get answered, my guess is with the other vegetables. That’s when I add the garlic.
DeArmasA November 14, 2010
Aliwaks - I made this tonight for my husband who came home after being away on a long trip, and it was DELICIOUS!!! Love the story, love the recipe, I'll make it again and again - thanks for sharing ;-)
Teri February 9, 2010
I love a recipe that starts with a poem.
Food B. February 1, 2010
Who knew beef stew could be so romantic?