Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mahogany Beef Stew

If I had to choose my favorite thing about Sundays besides having my family around, it would be cooking. Sunday is a day when I can spend some time in the kitchen creating something comforting and delicious for my family to enjoy.

So this Sunday I decided to make beef stew, but wanted something different than my favorite Guinness Beef Stew (which was my absolute favorite beef stew until about 4 hours ago...).

I came across a recipe for Mahogany Beef Stew on the Epicurious site and was intrigued by the use of tomatoes with Italian herbs along side hoisin sauce. I love both ingredients, so read the recipe, made a few changes, changed the cooking method a bit, and created the most amazing stew.

Some changes I made - I seared the beef in one pan and the onions in another, then deglazed the beef pan with the red wine. I used half the wine required by the recipe and replaced the other half with beef broth. I added some cayenne pepper to cut the sweetness because sweet-spicy works great with hoisin and a spicy ingredient, like in this hoisin steak sauce (red pepper flakes would work very well too). I also doubled the amount of tomatoes, increased the cooking time, and kept it low and slow all day. So if you make this recipe, give yourself about 4-5 hours of cooking time before you plan to eat it.


  • 3.5 to 4 pounds chuck roast cut into 2 inch cubes
  • For the beef: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for your pans
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 c Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, and the juices
  • 6 oz hoisin sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 carrots, sliced into one inch pieces
  • 1 c beef broth (1/2 c, and 1/2 c mixed with 2 tsp cornstarch)
  • Equipment: one large stainless saute pan for searing the beef and one large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot for cooking the stew


  • Toss meat with the olive oil, salt, pepper, flour, and cayenne/red pepper flakes
  • Heat olive oil in both the saute pan and Dutch oven, both over medium-high heat
  • Add meat to the saute pan, brown on all sides
  • At the same time, add onions to the Dutch oven and saute 8-10 minutes
  • Transfer the beef to the Dutch oven
  • Add wine to the saute pan where you cooked the beef, bring to a simmer and scrape up all the brown bits. Transfer the wine to the beef/onion mixture in the Dutch oven.
  • Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, and hoisin to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then let simmer over medium/low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  • Two hours before you are ready to eat, add the 1/2 c beef broth, the 1/2 c beef broth mixed with cornstarch, and the carrots to the pot.
  • Let simmer until you are ready to eat, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves and serve.

The flavors in this stew were so intense and delicious. I served it with mashed potatoes and LOVED the gravy over the potatoes. I will absolutely make this one again - I'm already excited for leftovers tomorrow!!

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  1. Good food and family, there really isn't anything better than that. Your recipe sounds like the perfect Sunday dinner.

  2. Yum! This sounds fantastic. Printing it out now to make soon.

  3. We really enjoyed this stew! We always have hoisin on hand, but I've never combined it with tomatoes. I like how it cut the acidity and gave just a slightly sweet flavor.

    I'm having fun trying new stew recipes in my Dutch Oven vs. making them in the Crockpot. I'm finding stews are much tastier made in the Dutch Oven and this recipe did not disappoint!