Updated: Mar 25, 2021
This simple, delicious French stew features, as you may have guessed, beef and carrots. This recipe (there are different variations) is very close to a bœuf bourguignon except without the lardons (thick bacon pieces) or mushrooms. Traditional French stews are meant to simmer on the stove for hours to let the sauce develop and they typically taste even better the next day.
This comforting recipe is very easy to make and is full of flavor. It simply requires patience to let the sauce cook. I, as do most French cooks apparently, add a little cornstarch to the sauce to thicken it because it is not as ‘thick’ as one might expect. The stew is typically served over tagliatelle, boiled potatoes or rice with a thick piece of bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
2 pounds (900 g) beef cheeks (or beef short ribs), at room temperature
¼ cup (20 g) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 large yellow onion
1 1-inch piece of ginger (or use ½ teaspoon ground ginger), peeled
1 tablespoon (30 g) salted butter
1 bouquet garni (substitute 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs of parsley and 4 small sprigs of thyme, tied
together with kitchen twine)
1 bottle (75 cl) of red wine (light such as from Burgundy)
3 cups (75 cl) beef broth
1 bunch of carrots (about 10 medium or a little under 2 pounds/1 kilo)
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch (Maizena in France)
Cut the beef into large cubes (2-3 inches). In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Lightly roll the beef cubes in the flour. Grate the garlic clove and piece of ginger. Roughly chop the onion.
In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the cubes of beef and cook for about 3 minutes to brown, turning occasionally. Add the grated ginger and garlic and the chopped onion. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring.
Pour in the red wine and beef broth and add the bouquet garni ( bundle of herbs). Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 3 hours.
Peel and cut your carrots into ¼-inch rounds. When the stew has cooked for 3 hours, add the carrots and about ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Cover and let simmer for another 45 minutes.
If you want to thicken the sauce, use a slotted spoon to remove the beef, carrots and onions from the Dutch oven. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch in 5 tablespoons of water. Add to the sauce and bring to a boil. Let boil for 3-4 minutes. Put the beef, carrots and onions back into the sauce.
Serve over tagliatelle, boiled potatoes or rice and with a piece of bread to soak up the sauce. Reheat in the Dutch oven over low heat for at least 45 minutes (the longer, the better).
And bon appétit!