French Country Beef Stew

Stewing Basics

The best part about stewing is it does all the work for you. This comforting cooking method takes cubes of beef mixed with vegetables and other ingredients in enough liquid to cover them all to create a delicious, hearty meal.

Stewing Basics

This is a slow-cooking method, similar to braising, with the key difference being the beef is covered in liquid. Stewing is best done in a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven on the stovetop or in the oven, or in a slow-cooker.

CUT & DREDGE

If you're using pre-packaged (or cutting your own) chunks, make sure they're not too small to prevent overcooking. Aim for cubes about the size of a golf ball. Many stew recipes call for dredging the beef in seasoned flour before browning.

BROWN THE BEEF

Heat a drizzle of oil in the pan over medium heat and brown the meat on all sides, and drain (unless your recipe says to leave the drippings). You may need to work in batches if using a smaller pan. If you're using a slow cooker, transfer it over.

ALL TOGETHER NOW

Depending on your recipe, now's the time to add seasonings, vegetables and liquid — such as beef broth, wine, beer, juice or even water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

SIMMER & STEW

Follow your recipe for timing guidelines. Don't lift the lid — unless your recipe calls for adding vegetables or other ingredients later on. You’ll know it’s done when the beef is fork tender.

Cooking TIp

Use a tight-fitting lid and keep it on while stewing to prevent moisture and heat loss, which can impact cooking time.

Glossary

Dredging

This describes the process of coating the meat — usually with seasoned flour or bread crumbs — before cooking. Dredging not only seals in moisture and adds flavor, but also helps keep the meat from sticking to the pan while browning.

Identified by the 7-shaped bone it contains. Rich and flavorful, it’s ideal for the slow-cooker.

Meaty, boneless ribs that work best in a slow-cooker or slow-cooked and finished on the grill.

A lean, flavorful cut often used for roast beef at the deli. Can be roasted or slow-cooked at home for an everyday meal.

Good value and ideal to slow-cook for the most tender finish.

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Pairing Beef and Alcohol

While it all comes down to personal preference, we have compiled some general guidelines to finding the perfect beef and alcohol pairing.

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