Comfort Cabin Stew

Serves: 6


  • 1.5 kilograms boneless beef chuck, cut into 4 centimeter pieces
  • 2 tsp. (10g) Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. (5g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. (45mL) vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 2 centimeter chunks
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. (30mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp. (22mL) tomato paste
  • ¼ cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (1L) beef stock
  • 2 cups (500mL) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. (3g) fresh thyme
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into one-inch chunks
  • 450g small white boiling potatoes, cut in half
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle.
  • Pat beef dry and season salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour with a large bowl.
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown meat in 3 batches, turning with tongs, about 5-8 minutes per batch, adding one tablespoon more oil for each batch.
  • Transfer meat to a large plate and set aside.
  • Add onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape brown bits from bottom of pan, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and cook a few minutes more. Add beef with juices back to pan and sprinkle with flour; stir with wooden spoon until flour is dissolved, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add beef broth, water, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar; stir with wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from bottom of pan and bring to a boil.
  • Cover pot with lid, transfer to preheated oven and braise for 2 hours.
  • Remove pot from oven and add carrots and potatoes. Cover and place back in oven for 50-60 minutes more, or until vegetables are cooked and meat is very tender.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning (if necessary) and garnish with fresh parsley.

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