beef chuck roast or similar, cut into large chunks
olive oil and salt
russet potato, peeled and cubed
large onion, peeled and chopped
medium carrots, chopped
large stalks celery, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
dry red wine
Preheat a soup pot to medium-high with 1/4 cup olive oil, or enough to make a smooth layer in the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle the beef chunks all over with salt.
When the oil is very hot, add the beef in a single layer (you may need to do two batches), and let it sear undisturbed for 4-5 minutes. When ready to flip, the meat should release easily from the pan; if it doesn't, let it sit until it doesn't stick. Brown the meat in this way on all sides, then remove the beef to a plate to rest.
Reduce the heat on the pot to medium, and add the potato, onion, celery, and carrot chunks. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes to soften the veggies slightly. Add the garlic, tomato paste, rosemary, and thyme to the pot. Stir the mixture together, and cook for 2 minutes more.
Pour the wine and broth into the pot. Stir to combine everything, and add a few pinches of salt to the pot. Add the seared beef chunks back to the pot.
Cover the stew and reduce the heat on the stovetop to medium-low. Simmer the soup covered for 90 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes more (or more if needed) until the stew is thick and the beef is very tender and can be cut with a fork.
If the stew is too thick, splash in some more stock as you go to maintain an even consistency. Taste the stew every once in awhile and add salt throughout the cooking process.
Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!