Languedoc beef stew with red wine, herbs and olives

beef stew with red wineFrench daube (stew) is one of author Fiona Beckett’s favorite holiday dishes, and in this adaptation she uses a robust, fruity red wine to bring more vigor to the recipe. Beckett recommends adding a little extra wine right at the end of the cooking cycle to lift the heavy flavors of the beef.

4 lb. thickly sliced braising or stewing steak
3 Tbsp. plain/all-purpose flour
5–6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. tomato purée/paste
4 cups Faugères or other full-bodied fruity red wine
2 cups fresh beef stock
1 tsp. herbes de Provence
1 thin strip of orange zest
2 bay leaves
1 cup black olives
3 heaped Tbsp. roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the carrots:
18 oz. carrots
A pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
A cast-iron casserole
A large, shallow ovenproof dish

Trim any excess fat from the beef, then cut the meat into large cubes. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Dip the cubes of beef in the flour to coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan/skillet, add the beef and fry on all sides until it is browned – you will need to do this in batches, adding extra oil as you go. Transfer the beef to a cast-iron casserole.

Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan/skillet, add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and tomato purée/paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the wine, the stock, herbes de Provence, orange zest and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then pour the sauce into the casserole. Heat the casserole over a medium heat and bring the sauce back to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 2–3 hours until the meat is completely tender. Check the contents of the casserole occasionally to ensure there is enough liquid (add a little extra stock or water if it’s too dry).

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas 4. About two-thirds of the way through the cooking time, prepare the slow-roasted carrots. Cut the carrots into long, thick diagonal slices. Put the carrots, salt and cayenne pepper in a large ovenproof dish, pour over the oil and toss well. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the carrots are soft and their edges caramelized.

About 30 minutes before the stew is cooked, stir in the olives. Just before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and the remaining wine and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve with the slow-roasted carrots. Serves 4–6.

Reprinted with permission from Wine Lover’s Kitchen: Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Wine, copyright 2017 by Fiona Beckett. Published by Ryland Peters & Small.


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