La Vie Dansante Wines

Pot o’ Gold Stew

Years ago I ran across this beef stew recipe in a magazine. They billed it as “the closest thing to happiness this sorry planet can offer” and they weren’t wrong. Use our 2015 Syrah – 2 cups for the stew, 2 glasses for the chef – and you achieve perfection.

WARNING: This is not a one-pot recipe and it has to cook for around three hours, but the results are well worth the effort. Searing the meat tenderizes it and seals in the juices. Roasting the vegetables in a separate pan brings out their flavor. When you’re done you’ll have a messy countertop and a sink full of dishes – and the most soul-satisfying stew you’ve ever eaten.


– For the Beef

  • 3 tbs Canola oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper for seasoning
  • 2 1/2 lbs beef chuck, cubed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of La Vie Dansante 2015 Syrah
  • 14 oz beef stock
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 bay leaf

– For the Vegetables

  • 2 cups of carrots, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 large russet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tbs Canola oil

– All the Rest

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 heaping tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs flour

Stage One – the Beef: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Heat the canola oil in an ovenproof pot, preferably cast iron, on the stove over moderate heat.  Blend the flour, salt, and pepper and lightly coat the beef cubes.  Brown a handful of the coated beef cubes on all sides in the oil, remove and set aside; repeat until all of the cubes have been browned.  Put the browned cubes back into the pot, add garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the wine, stock, parsley leaves, and bay leaf.  Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and bake for 2 hours.

Stage Two – the Vegetables: Combine all of the vegetables, salt, and oil in a large bowl, stirring to cover evenly.  Pour the vegetables into a shallow roasting pan and place beside the beef in the oven until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Stage Three – the Sautéing: Over moderate heat, sauté the bacon in a dry skillet until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Sauté the onion in the bacon fat for five minutes.  Crumble the bacon and add it back into the skillet with the onion.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes.

Stage Four – Putting It All Together: When the beef is done, stir in the bacon mixture, recover and roast in the oven and additional 30 minutes.  Melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms until browned.  Season the mushroom mixture with salt and pepper.  Remove the beef and veggies from the oven and set aside.  Mix 3/4 cup of the liquid from the beef with the heavy cream, whisk in the flour, and stir into the ovenproof pot.  Blend in the mushrooms and veggies and you’ve got stew.

Serves four lumberjacks

Initially discovered in Maxim Magazine circa early 2000’s