beef stew with gremolata

beef stew

Growing up, Sunday suppers were a big deal in our house. The meal almost always revolved around meat (though once there was a poorly received tofu lasagna) and potatoes. She’d start preparing the meal early in the morning and when I’d wake up, she’d enlist my help to peel the potatoes and carrots, chop the onions or in the case of beef stew, flour and season the stewing beef. Beef stew is a huge comfort dish from my childhood and something that was prepared only once or twice a year, though I would have gladly eaten it once a week. We were all a huge fan of the boeuf bourguignon, which is how it was known in my household.

beef stew with gremolata

I don’t cook a lot of meat in our house, but when I spied some nice looking stewing beef at my local butcher, I figured that turning it into a comforting beef stew would make an ideal fall supper. Baby potatoes, local carrots, fresh herbs and a big ol’ onion melt down with the help of some good red wine and beef stock. It’s a dance of comforting proportions.

Slow cooker update: A lot of you asked in the comments about a slow cooker and I don’t have one, so I couldn’t advise. However, Nicole, who blogs at Dula Notes, says that this stew is great in a slow cooker cooked on low for 10 hours. Thanks Nicole for the great tip!

beef stew with gremolata

But the real kicker here is the gremolata. Now don’t get all uppity about gremolata because it’s simply a fancy word for some freshly chopped herbs, lemon zest, sea salt and a small drizzle of olive oil. It seems humble enough, but when scattered over top the hot bowl of stew, it releases some seriously delicious scents and flavours.

elsewhere: Pop on over to Poppytalk if you fancy a quick and hearty vegetarian meal – a golden lentil dal with ginger & orange.

beef stew

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32 comments to “beef stew with gremolata”

  1. 1
    Adventure Nell   October 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Heya, can this be made in a slower cooker while one is hiking and canoing?? thanks in advance!!!

  2. 2
    Deb   October 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Love beef stew–and this looks perfect! Thanks for sharing this recipe—I can’t wait to try it!

  3. 3
    Peggy   October 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Adventure Nell asked the very thing I was thinking!

  4. 4
    kickpleat   October 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Adventure Nell & Peggy, I don’t have a slow cooker nor have I ever cooked with one, so I can’t say for certain. Maybe you might need to increase the liquid, but I think it should work out all right. If you do try, please let me know!

  5. 5
    Mags   October 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I long for things like beef stew when the weather turns colder, and it finally FINALLY did today. Great timing!

  6. 6
    Joy   October 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    This looks absolutely delish.

  7. 7
    Joanne   October 28, 2011 at 3:26 am

    That gremolata sounds like a lovely way to add new life and vibrancy to a heavy stew!

  8. 8
    Wendy G. Ewurum   October 28, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Nigeria is hotter than the last chamber of hell but I really want to make this so I definitely look forward to it. Now to hunt for the ingredients……. Thank you this sounds delicious.

  9. 9
    Tina   October 28, 2011 at 5:46 am

    This sounds and looks so delicious! The addition of the gremolata sounds devine…
    It’s finally cooled down enough to start making a hearty meal like this. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Tina

  10. 10
    Nettie Moore   October 28, 2011 at 6:17 am

    It’s 34 degrees here this am and this would be perfect for Halloween weekend. Love your post. Great memories!

  11. 11
    Allison   October 28, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Adventure Nell and Peggy – This recipe is very very similar to the one I grew up with and my mom always did it in a slow cooker. Lid stays on, liquid doesn’t leave so you actually have to cut the liquid amounts in half. Happy Cooking Everyone!

  12. 12
    kickpleat   October 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Mags, perfect timing indeed. It’s awful here – total beef stew weather! Stay warm!

    Thanks Joy!

    Joanne, it totally does. Thanks.

    Oooh, I can imagine! Good luck on the search, Wendy!

    Thanks Tina & Nettie!

    Allison, thanks for the slow cooker tip! Good to know for the folks who asked!

  13. 13
    Adventure Nell   October 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks everyone! I am going to make on Sunday so will let ya’ll know how it works out with the tip that Allison provided.

  14. 14
    Michelle   October 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I am new to cooking and this sounds delicious, but I avoid flour. What function does the flour have, and can I substitute it with something else?

  15. 15
    kickpleat   October 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Hope it went well, Adventure Nell!

    Michelle, the flour helps to thicken the broth so it turns into gravy rather than soup. Browning the meat with it helps to cook the flour so it doesn’t have a flour-y taste. You could just add in a little cornstarch mixed with water or stock near the end to create gravy if you don’t eat flour.

  16. 16
    Lucy @ Lucyeats   October 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    That looks so delicious! I’m definitely saving this until it’s winter again in NZ =)

  17. 17
    Kasey   October 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I happen to believe that there’s nothing like a meaty stew to make you feel quite at home. Thanks for sharing!

  18. 18
    michelle Y.   October 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I’m making this right now and the whole house smells amazing. Jeannette, what kind of wine did you recommend using?

  19. 19
    kickpleat   October 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks Lucy – enjoy summer! This beef stew will wait for your winter :)

    Kasey, so true. Thanks!

    Michelle, so glad you’re giving this a try! I’m not much of a wine snob, so I think anything you like to drink would work well here. I think I used a good Spanish wine here, but go with what you’ve got!

  20. 20
    NicoleD   November 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I love the combination of this cozy comfort stew and the gremolata! Great idea! I can almost smell the herbs and lemon now. I MUST try this. My husband will be happy to see some beef on the menu :)

  21. 21
    Kathryn O   November 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Warm, hearty stews like this one are exactly why I love fall. Looks delicious, Jeannette! Definitely on my list of things to make asap.

  22. 22
    Bijoux   November 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I seldom buy beef and when I do it’s solely to put a smile on my husband’s face. I should make this stew and surprise him one day. I like the sound of the gremolata too. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  23. 23
    kickpleat   November 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    NicoleD, we rarely eat beef at home so it’s a nice change of pace – I’m sure your husband will appreciate it!

    Thanks so much for your sweet words, Kathryn! Hooray for fall!

    Hmmm, seems to be a beef + husband theme here, Bijoux! The gremolata is great here and if you have any leftover, it’s great in a salad too.

  24. 24
    Bijoux   November 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I made this tonight for dinner. I wasn’t planning on eating any but I just couldn’t resist. The aroma was intoxicating. And you’re right! The gremalata was superb. I added a garlic clove to it too for that extra punch. Wow!

  25. 25
    NicoleD   November 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    This was SUCH a fantastic recipe!! Thanks for sharing! Reheats nice for lunch, too!

  26. 26
    kickpleat   November 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Bijoux, so glad you tried this & loved it! I think the added garlic would have been awesome. Yay!

    I was so excited to see you making this on Instagram, NicoleD! Glad it worked out well :)

  27. 27
    Adventure Nell   November 10, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Success with the crock pot! Smelt divine and tasted wonderful. I seared the beef and cooked the onions before popping everything in the pot for a low cook of 8 hours and it turned out excellent. The potatoes and carrots did not disintegrate and the wine pushed it over the top. I did not add salt as I used beef/veggie stock, just added lots of fresh cracked pepper. Thanks!!!!!!!

  28. 28
    Charles   November 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Warm, hearty stews like this one are exactly why I love fall. Looks delicious, Jeannette! Definitely on my list of things to make asap.

  29. 29
    kickpleat   November 12, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Adventure Nell, glad to hear it held up well in the crock pot! Hooray!

    Thanks Charles, let me know how it goes!

  30. 30
    kickpleat   December 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    For all who have asked, the stew is wonderful in a slow cooker – 10 hours cooked on low. Thanks to Nicole for the tip!

  31. 31
    Robert F   December 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I made this. It had the deep beefy flavors of a “traditional” stew, but the gremolata added a much needed fresh contrast. My brother immediately identified the use of red wine. My wife appreciated the “comfort food” aspect. If I make this again, I’ll double the carrots and add parsnips and halve the potatoes, which seemed more like filler to me.

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