Marsala Beef Stew

This rich stew is good served over mashed potatoes, polenta, or cooked rice alongside a tossed salad. Top things off with some warm dinner rolls or whole-grain country bread.

INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 (2-pound) English-cut chuck roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Add the oil and butter or ghee to a large nonstick skillet and bring it to temperature over medium-high heat.

  2. Put the beef pieces and flour in a large plastic food-safe bag; close and toss to coat the meat in the flour. Add as many pieces of beef that will comfortably fit in the pan without crowding it and brown for 10 minutes or until the meat takes on a rich dark outer color. Transfer the browned meat to the slow cooker.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrot and celery; sauté for 3–5 minutes, or until soft. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is transparent. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the mushrooms; sauté until tender. Transfer the sautéed vegetables and mushrooms to the slow cooker.

  4. Add the remaining flour-coated beef to the slow cooker; stir to mix.

  5. Add the wines to the skillet, and stir to pick up any browned bits sticking to the pan. Pour into the slow cooker. Add the rosemary, oregano, basil, broth, water, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker.

  6. Cover and cook on low for 6–8 hours or until the meat is tender. (You may need to allow the stew to cook uncovered for an hour or so to evaporate any extra liquid to thicken the sauce.)

  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. The taste of the stew will benefit if you allow it to rest, uncovered, off of the heat for a half hour, and then put the crock back in the slow cooker over low heat long enough to bring it back to temperature, but that step isn't necessary; you can serve it immediately if you prefer.

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