Beef Stew with Red Wine over Polenta

This deeply flavorful dish is as much a comfort food as it is a luscious meal to serve to guests. The stew may be made a day or two in advance and reheated, and it freezes well. The polenta is best made just before serving.

Servings: 6


  • For the Stew:
  • 2 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 ribs celery , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 6 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 5 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • For the Polenta:
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. For the stew, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the browned beef to a plate and repeat with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining beef.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are somewhat softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beef (and the juices from the plate), broth, wine, parsley, thyme, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  4. Start the polenta ten minutes before the stew finishes cooking. Combine the milk, water, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer; slowly whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until polenta is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until well combined. Serve stew over polenta.