Make Ahead

Beef and Merlot

September 18, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
Author Notes

This has to be our absolutely favorite winter beef stew. It can be made ahead and actually tastes better the next day. It's perfect for winter holiday entertaining! —inpatskitchen

What You'll Need
  • 3 to 4 pounds beef chuck roast or boneless beef short ribs, cubed about 1 1/2 inches and seasoned well with salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 bottle Merlot (or other dry red wine)
  • Beef broth to cover the meat once browned
  • 10 ounces fresh pearl onions
  • 16 ounces white or brown mushrooms, halved if really large
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed into 1/2 cup water for a slurry to thicken the stew
  • Salt and black pepper to season
  • Thinly sliced green onions for garnish
  1. Brown the beef cubes in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a good size pot or Dutch oven. Do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the meat. You want the cubes well browned. Set the beef cubes aside in a bowl.
  2. Add the bacon to the pot along with the last tablespoon of olive oil and sauté untl the bacon crisps.
  3. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onion softens and the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir it around for about a minute or so.
  4. Add the bay leaf and wine, stirring to scrape up all those browned bits in the bottom of the pot.
  5. Return the meat to the pot along with any accumulated juices and then add enough beef broth to just cover the meat.
  6. Bring the stew up to a boil and then down to a simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat becomes very tender.
  7. Meanwhile, prep the pearl onions by cutting off the root ends and then placing them in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain, cool a bit and then slip off the onion peels.
  8. Once the meat is tender, add the pearl onions and mushrooms and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes, garnishing each serving with a few slices of green onion.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cynthia M. Taylor
    Cynthia M. Taylor
  • inpatskitchen
  • JulieG4355

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

3 Reviews

JulieG4355 March 26, 2023
Fixed this for a dinner meeting with 10 women. Everyone raved about it and asked for the recipe. Delicious!
Cynthia M. March 15, 2020
I can't believe I'm the only one rating us. Has nobody else tried it? It's outstanding and became a household favorite! I've learned that it's just as good without the bacon if you don't have it in hand and the only thing I modify is I sautee my mushrooms with garlic, salt, pepper, and wine and add them at the very end. SO GLAD I found this recipe, thank you for posting!!
inpatskitchen March 16, 2020
Thanks so much Cynthia!!! It's one of our favorites and is often served to company...