Beef Marsala Stew

Thanks to Linda Stephan for this recipe!

Photo by Anna Kurzaeva/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Anna Kurzaeva/iStock / Getty Images

I like to do something really fancy and invite friends over for a New Years feast. One year I ran all over town to collect very pricy ingredients for a Daube of Venison stew. It took SO long to cook, and it cost a TON. But the payoff was worth it. Even better, though, when I found this gem in Cooking Light magazine. Festive, yummy, not too expensive, and easy to make. Let me know if you give it a whirl! Serve it over mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
12 ounces cipollini onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine, divided (For a little dryer taste, I did a Merlot).
1 1/2 cups unsalted beef stock
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 thyme sprigs
8 ounces small button mushrooms
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Thyme sprigs

Instructions:

  1. Brown beef in a couple of batches with a little oil, over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 t. salt and place in slow cooker.
  2. Brown onions in the pan, add to cooker.
  3. Add garlic to pan and saute a minute, then add tomato paste. Cook another minute. Stir constantly. Add 1/2 wine & cook 2 minutes, until half the liquid evaporates. Add stock, pepper & simmer. Add to slow cooker with thyme springs (you can either take the leaves off the sprig, or strain them out later). Top with mushrooms & carrots.
  4. Cook on LOW 7-8 hours.
    *The next step is a nice touch, but not necessary. It just thickens the stew. I don’t think skipping it  hurts the flavor at all. Don’t let the extra work stop you from making this dish!
  5. Strain through a colander over a Dutch oven (or large pot), so that you collect the cooking liquid. Boil and cook 6 minutes so that it’s reduced to 2 cups. Add remaining 3/4 t salt. Combine remaining 2 T wine & flour (whisk into a slurry) and add to pot. Cook one minute until bubbly and thickened. Pour over beef mixture.
    Serve with mashed potatoes.

Additional comments: Can easily be gluten free. Just omit the final step, or use a different thickening agent, and be sure the stock and all other packaged ingredients are gluten free.