French Country Beef Stew

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 7h 30m

8 servings, 3/4 cup each

In France, this classic stew made with beef, vegetables and red wine would be known as a daube. Slow-cooking the surprisingly lean beef shanks melts and softens the connective tissue, producing succulent results. If you prefer, use nonalcoholic wine. Serve with barley to soak up the delicious sauce.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, if necessary, and reheat on the stovetop, in a microwave or in the oven.


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices turkey bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots (2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (1 stalk)
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine, such as merlot or zinfandel
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Two 2 1/2-inch-long strips orange zest
  • 3 1/2-3 3/4 pounds sliced beef shank (see note), trimmed
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped watercress or parsley
  • Tip: If you cannot find beef shank, substitute cubed stewing beef.


Heat the oil in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Add the broth, wine, thyme, bay leaves and orange zest. Bring to a boil.

Rinse the beef with cool water to remove any bone bits. Place the beef in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker and turn heat to high. Carefully pour the hot vegetable mixture over the beef. Put the lid on and cook until the beef is falling-apart tender when prodded with a fork, 6-7 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked beef to a bowl. Lift out the bones. Scoop the marrow out and add to the meat, if desired; discard the bones. Break the meat into 2- to 3-inch chunks with a spoon. Cover and keep warm.

Discard the bay leaves and orange zest from the sauce; skim fat. Pour the sauce into a large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, skimming froth from time to time, for about 20 minutes, to intensify flavors and thicken slightly. Season with pepper. Add the beef and heat through. To serve, ladle the stew into bowls and sprinkle with watercress (or parsley).

Baked Beef Stew variation:

Total: 4 1/4 hours

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In Step 1, use only 1 1/2 cups broth and 1 1/2 cups red wine. In Step 2, place the beef and vegetables in a Dutch oven, cover and bake for 3 - 3 1/2 hours. Skim fat. Discard the bay leaves and orange zest. Lift out the bones, scoop marrow and add, if desired; discard the bones. Break the meat into chunks. Blend 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup water; stir into the stew. Return the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until bubbling, 25-30 minutes.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 7406

nutrition information per serving

255 calories; 8g total fat; 2g total saturated fat; 65mg cholesterol; 287mg sodium; 8g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 26g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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