Hearty Beef Stew

Serves 4 to 6

This simple stew should be a fixture on your winter table. If looking to jazz things up, add parsnips, turnips, or potatoes to the mix for an even heartier main course.

2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups homemade or less-sodium store-bought beef broth

1 Turkish bay leaf

1 fresh thyme sprig

Garnish: chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat the beef cubes dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the oil to the pot. Brown the beef in two batches, cooking each batch for about 6 to 8 minutes, and turning the beef as needed to brown each side. Once browned, remove the beef from the pot using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the carrot pieces, sliced celery and chopped onion to the pot. Cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Carefully add the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring the wine to a strong simmer and let simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste.

Return the browned beef and any accumulated juices to the pan and add the beef broth, bay leaf and thyme sprig. Bring the stew to a simmer. Stir once and then cover and simmer gently for 2 hours or until the beef is fork tender (easily comes apart with a fork).

Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig and season the stew to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley and then enjoy!