Red Wine Beef Stew with Onion, Golden Raisins, and A Side of Carrots

Beef stews routinely include carrots in the mix. But for this rendition, already slightly sweet with golden raisins and tarragon, I prefer to cook and serve them on the side. The carrots remain integral to the whole, providing their “rooty,” dulcet taste, without cloying the savory stew sauce.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Almost everyone everywhere has carrots in house pretty much all the time. Without their tops, which should be removed for storing so the roots go dormant rather than continue to mature, they look somewhat homely, gnarly even. But appearances should not fool into overlooking their advantage as a splendid side dish. Simply poached in water with a few slivers of garlic, carrots can add just the touch of color and glamor and vegetable substance to round out a plate of hearty beef stew or many another dish.
16 to 20 1/4-inch, wide 3- to 4-inch long carrot sticks
2 cloves garlic, slivered
Water to cover
Place all the ingredients in a large saute pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to maintain a brisk simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain off the water and serve with the garlic slivers clinging to the carrots.

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch chunks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large yellow or white onion, halved lengthwise and sliced 3/8-inch thick

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 bottle dry red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 anchovy filets, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

Poached Carrot Sticks, for serving (see the sidebar with Rick’s photo taken at our Lakeshore Farmers’ Market, Oakland, CA in March)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  In uncrowded batches, brown the beef chunks all around, salting and peppering as you go. Transfer each batch to an oven dish as you go.

3. After the last batch, add the onions and raisins and sauté, stirring, until beginning to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tarragon. Add the wine, tomato paste, and anchovy, stir to mix, and bring to a boil over high heat. Transfer the contents of the saute pan to the oven dish, cover, and bake for 2 hours.

4. Turn off the oven. Carefully lift the lid, away from your face to avoid escaping steam, and stir the stew. Cover again and let rest in the oven for at least 1 hour to finish cooking to tenderness with residual heat.

5. When ready to serve, reheat the stew in a 325 degree F. oven. Serve with poached carrot sticks on the side.

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7 responses to “Red Wine Beef Stew with Onion, Golden Raisins, and A Side of Carrots

  1. deborah kashinsky

    The stew-I doubled the meat portion and doubled all the other ingredients and it worked wonderfully with lots of complements and the dish was cleaned out totally. As my dear mother used to say “they fell on it”. Thanks Dan

  2. deborah kashinsky

    Dear Victoria- made the stew and my mate gave it a 5/5. My mate is not prone to hyperbole so you can feel very good about yourself. The house “smelled great like on a holiday”. We have reused the remains in salads. How much fat should we leave on the meat? KK

  3. Dear Vic,
    Ok! We are making this tomorrow! Any veggie suggestions to go with? (besides the carrots, of course!)

  4. Dear Vic,
    This looks inviting! I couldn’t find the ‘sidebar’ with Rick’s picture?
    I was just wondering what to fix for Gracie next week-she’s a meat freak, so this should do it.

    • I guess you were looking at the email notification? Don’t know why the carrots sidebar didn’t show up, but you can see it if you go to the internet: It looks much better there anyway. Enjoy!

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