As much as I love the Summer I’m always ready for the Fall by the time it rolls around with its dip in temperature. That’s in part because I can start cooking those wonderful cool weather comfort dishes, like hot stews. Here’s a beef stew with a delicious depth of flavor and a spicy kick.
My fridge has been stocked full of bell peppers lately. I’ve been finding great deals on them and it’s hard to pass them by without tossing a few in my shopping cart – they’re just so darn beautiful, don’t you think? I love their vibrant colors, crunchy flesh, and sweet-spicy flavors. So I put these beauties to good use and threw together a beef stew that my whole family enjoyed.
If you can resist the urge to dive in after it’s finished, this stew tastes even better the next day. I’ve always loved leftover beef stew – it’s much richer once the flavors have had time to meld.
So here’s another beef stew you can add to your beef stew recipes. The red and yellow bell peppers and tomato paste add a subtle sweetness while the freshly crushed peppercorns add a lovely flavor and spiciness to the soup without adding a lot of heat.
Let’s get started!
Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the cubes of beef.
Toss the beef with the flour to coat all sides.
Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef, a few cubes at a time and working in batches so as to not overcrowd. Generously brown the beef on all sides for maximum flavor.
Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.
Don’t be tempted to discard the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. This is the key to a flavor stew! So leave it all in there.
Look at those gorgeous bell peppers. We’re going to cook those in the Dutch oven with all those flavorful browned bits.
Add the bell peppers, onion, garlic and potatoes (if using) to the Dutch oven and cook until softened, 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
Return the beef to the Dutch oven.
Using whole peppercorns makes all the difference in flavor. Already ground black pepper lacks flavor. Get some whole peppercorns and crush them to contribute a really nice flavor to the soup along with some spiciness.
Add all remaining ingredients to the soup. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 90 minutes or until the beef is fork tender.
Dinner is served. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
- 2 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 large potato, cut into chunks (optional)
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups beef broth
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed whole peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- Sprinkle the cubes of beef with the salt, pepper and flour, toss briefly to thoroughly coat the beef.
- Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef, a few cubes at a time so as to not overcrowd. Brown the beef on all sides and transfer to a plate.
- Add the bell peppers, onions and garlic to the Dutch oven and cook for 5 minutes until softened, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine and bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes.
- Return the beef to the Dutch oven with the remaining ingredients. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 90 minutes until the beef is fork tender.
- Note: This stew is even better the next day.