Beef Stew, in the style of Provence

This is a rich and delicious beef stew with olives, mushrooms, and vegetables with a hint of smokiness and orange zest. I have adapted the recipe from one in Cooks Illustrated, November 2005.


Yield: 6-8 servings

Soak mushrooms in hot tap water for about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from soaking liquid and chop coarsely; strain liquid and reserve.

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Dry beef thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 T. oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat; brown beef about 2 minutes at a time. Don't crowd the meat; do this in batches. Remove all the beef to a plate or bowl.

Reduce heat to medium and add the beef frye, carrots, onions, garlic, flour, and tomato powder or tomato paste. Stir occasionally and cook about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the entire bottle of wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add broth, water, beef, and any accumulated juices. Bring the mixture to a simmer at slightly higher heat. Add the mushrooms and their strained liquid, orange zest, 1/2 cup olives, Worchestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaves. Mix the entire stew, be sure that there is enough liquid to cover all the beef and vegetables (otherwise add a bit of water or broth). Cover the pot and put into the preheated oven. Cook until very, very tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Add the canned tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup of olives; warm until heated thoroughly, skim fat. Add parsley, and serve.

Back to Ruth's Kitchen