Beef Stew with Red Wine

This beef stew with red wine, made with beef chuck roast and a rich red wine sauce, can be made in your Instant Pot or braised in the oven.

Pieces of beef stew with red wine and mashed potatoes in a white bowl with a fork nestled inside.

The simple, generously peppered beef stew known as peposo alla fornacina is said to have been created by 15th century kiln (fornacina) workers in Tuscany, Italy. Chianti is the best-known wine produced in that region and is the traditional choice for peposo, but any dry, medium-bodied red wine works. The stew keeps well, so it can be made up to three days ahead and reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan over low. It’s especially delicious with soft polenta or buttery mashed potatoes.

Don’t use finely ground black pepper. Coarsely ground pepper has more presence in this braise and gives it character. For best flavor and aroma, it’s best to start with whole peppercorns and pulse them in an electric spice grinder until coarsely cracked.–Christopher Kimball

What type of red wine do you use for beef stew?

Any dry red wine will work, such as Syrah, pinot noir, even a blend of red varietals. It’s traditional in wine-making lands to use a style of wine from the region in which a recipe originated, which means you really can’t go wrong with any Tuscan red in this recipe.

Beef Stew with Red Wine

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 40 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Ingredients


Directions

Grab your 6-quart Instant Pot and select More/High Sauté. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the red wine and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 12 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, rosemary, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Stir in the beef and 2 teaspoons salt and then distribute in an even layer.

Press Cancel, lock the lid in place, and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 25 minutes.

When pressure cooking is complete, let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.

Tester tip: If your beef isn’t as tender as you’d like, go ahead and pop that lid back on and bring up to high pressure for 10 to 15 minutes more, then use quick release to vent the steam.

Using a large spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid.

Tester tip: If you prefer only a minimal amount of fat in your stew—keep in mind, fat has flavor—use that gravy separator you otherwise use only at Thanksgiving or refrigerate or freeze your pan juices until the fat congeals on top and can easily be skimmed.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour with 6 tablespoons of the cooking liquid until smooth, then whisk it into the pot. Select Normal/Medium Sauté. Stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Press Cancel to turn off the pot, then stir in the minced rosemary and 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons pepper. Taste and season with salt.

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    Oven-Braised Method

    • No Instant Pot? No worries! This stew can easily be made in your oven. In a Dutch oven, brown the meat in batches, set the meat aside, and follow the recipe above. After returning the meat to the Dutch oven, cover and cook at 325°F (163°C) until tender, checking occasionally and adding a little beef stock or water if the liquid level is low, 90 to 110 minutes. Continue the recipe from step 5 on your stovetop.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Oh, my. This is a fabulous dish, and might just be my go-to beef stew from now on. The ingredients are so humble, but the result is superb. The pressure-cooked meat was perfectly tender, falling apart, juicy, and imbued with aromatics.

    I used a Bordeaux. The minimal seasonings let excellent quality meat shine here. It took a full 18 minutes to come to pressure and I was anxious that it was never going to get there. I would recommend to add a bit more liquid next time. Perhaps 1/2 cup of the reduced wine just wasn't enough for the large quantity of meat.

    Also, the leftovers are wonderful and are sustaining us through the declining temperatures. This will be a go-to dish during the winter months, paired with mashed potatoes or homemade biscuits.

    We served it with:
    Night 1: Biscuits and roasted Brussels sprouts
    The stew is wonderful to dip homemade biscuits in!
    Night 2: Mashed potatoes—fabulous!

    The dish is not particularly beautiful; I would garnish it with parsley next time.

    This is a wonderful, thick, full flavored stew. I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe that uses pepper in this way…why?! It created such wonderful flavor in this dish! It was reminiscent of something familiar, but I can’t recall a dish I’ve made that produces this unique flavor. (If I could guess, maybe I had something with a similar flavor in Italy?!) This surprised me, because the ingredients are not anything new, yet all together, with that amount of black pepper, it was totally different. This is not a sharp pepper, but a deep, round, in your entire mouth spiciness. I love spicy, but I don’t want my taste buds to be numb—I like to be able to taste other flavors. This is that kind of pepper! As you can tell, the flavor totally surprised me in the best way.

    I made this in a Le Creuset enameled cast-iron dutch oven. I used a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I followed the slow method pretty closely. When I first added the meat, there wasn’t much liquid in the casserole and I thought I would have to keep a close watch and add more liquid. After about 20 minutes, I added 1/3 cup water. I checked after another 20 minutes and the ingredients had exuded enough liquid that I did not add more. I checked after another 15 minutes, and no extra liquid was needed—and it never needed any extra after the first 1/3 cup. I do recommend adding the 1/3 cup, though, right at the start of the long cooking to prevent any initial scorching.

    After 7 1/2 hours, the meat was beautiful and tender, and some pieces were falling apart, so if cooking in a Dutch oven, I would recommend checking it after about 5-6 hours for tenderness. It actually produced a nice combination of whole pieces and some meat falling apart, but with subsequent reheating, there were few large pieces.

    I added the initial 1 tablespoon pepper, and at the end, I added 1 tablespoon more, (as opposed to 1 1/2 tablespoons), (so 2 tablespoons total in the recipe for me) and the flavor was perfect for my taste—this yields a deep, pleasant, warming, peppery taste. Maybe I’d add the extra 1/2 tablespoons next time, but the pepper was so wonderful with 2 tablespoons total I’m not sure I would change a thing.

    We had it with polenta and it was amazing. We had some leftovers over pasta, like a ragu! I agree, as the recipe notes, it would also work with mashed potatoes. Rosemary complements well and should not be skipped—it adds further deep woody flavor. Red wine went perfectly with it. This is for a homey, warm, feel like you’re in Italy during wild boar season recipe!

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