This simple one-pot braised beef with carrots delivers a Sunday supper sorta meal that’s French-inspired. It’s made with a cheap cut of beef—chuck roast— that’s slowly coaxed to fall-apart tenderness along with red wine, carrots, onions, and raisins for sweetness. Mound it atop buttery mashed potatoes and you’ll hear nothing but sighs.–Angie Zoobkoff
Braised Beef with Carrots
- One (2-pound) chuck roast, cut into about 12 pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil, plus more if needed
- 2 medium yellow onions, thickly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 4 anchovy filets, minced (optional)
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for serving
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25-mm) pieces
- 2 cups canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a medium bowl and dredge the meat in the flour, shaking off any excess.
- In a heavy large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a lid over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pot, add the meat in a single layer and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a large plate.
- If the pot seems dry, add a little more oil. Stir in the onions, garlic, and anchovies, if using, and cook until the onions are softened and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Bring to a boil, and cook until the wine has reduced slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Return the beef to the pot and add the raisins, parsley, carrots, and stock. Bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, put it in the oven, and cook until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to a bowl or plate.
- Reduce the sauce left in the pot over medium-high heat until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot, taste, and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley, if desired.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This beef stew is very simple to pull together and pop into the oven yet delivered a savory Sunday-special dinner.
The chuck roast that I was able to buy was in 2 pieces which made it easy to divide into 12 pieces and later to easily portion into servings of 2 pieces of beef per person. The seasoning is straightforward (though I think if you were inclined to use a more traditional bouquet garni that would make it even more delicious). I used a zinfandel from Paso Robles in the stew and to accompany dinner.
At 2 hours, the meat was perfectly tender without falling apart. I reduced the liquid slightly and served it over mashed red potatoes. Although this is not as fancy-sounding as a bœuf bourguignon (this is closer to a daube), it stands right up there with flavor and elegance. The anchovies deliver an invisible umami (no one would even guess they are there) and with a dry red wine the result was spot on. The carrots were very tender without being overcooked.
While the beef was cooking in the oven I prepared small red potatoes for mashing so they would be ready before the beef was ready to serve. I delegated mashing the potatoes while I reduced the sauce, adding the beef and vegetables back in to reheat. I divided the remainder after serving 2 of us with one portion for two to freeze and another in the fridge for a meal in the next day or two. This also would work well with polenta or a simple risotto or rice.
This is a very easy and yet versatile recipe for the home cook to prepare. I made sure all my prep work was completed before starting the recipe.
One must also take care with the stovetop heat. Medium-high on my unit runs very hot, so I tended to use medium heat throughout the saute of beef and onions. As my carrots were very large on the top end, after cutting my carrot into 1-inch pieces, I also cut the larger ends in half so I had more uniform pieces to avoid mushy carrots.
The braised beef becomes very tender and melts in your mouth as the raisins add a subtle sweetness that melds very well with the carrots and onions. The braise results in a light sauce rather than a thick gravy. I actually added a tablespoon of butter at the end to give it a nice shiny appearance. I think it paired well with a baked potato and sautéed haricot verts.