Easy Red wine Beef Stew

We all like stew, we eat it with rice, yam, potatoes, gari, kenkey, the list goes on and on. So this is how it all started.... I was running out of food and there's no way I can study with little food (was preparing for an exam), I was on a clean bulking diet trying to get buff meaning I needed my calories but it had to healthy too and I just didn't want an ordinary tasting stew it had to be very tasty because I was gonna eat it as long as it could last, so for about a week (#studentlife)

Vegetable beef stew was the first on the list but I needed more oomph so I went searching for oomph and came across several beef stews. At first I taught they were ordinary until I saw the myriad of ingredients and my heart was stolen :D. There were some recipes which had ingredients that I liked and others stuff I wouldn't find anywhere. Solution: have the best of all recipes....so you can see I have a long list of ingredients which give this stew the 'vim' it needs

Let's play with some knives and fire ;). The wine is for cooking the food not for you to drink but if you do drink, please do so responsibly :P and if you below 18 years of age please don't try this recipe, hehe, just kidding.


4 strips thick-cut bacon (or more :D)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp red chilli pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
3 pound beef, chopped into large 1-2 inch chunks
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) dry red wine
½ cup Brandy (optional, didn't have it so didn't use it)
28 oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
4 cups low-sodium beef broth (I used chicken because that's what I had actually made it myself, remember I am a DIY guy)
1 Bouquet Garni*
1 tsp Rosemary
4 medium carrots
about 10-15 potatoes quartered
1 cup frozen peas


1) Place bacon strips in a large (5 to 6 quart), heavy-bottomed pot. Set the heat to medium high and cook the bacon until much of the fat has been rendered. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.

2) While the bacon is cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, red chilli pepper, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour mixture.

3) Heat the oil in the heavy-bottomed pot (do not clean) over medium heat until shimmering. Add the beef to the pot, taking care to not crowd the pot (work in batches if necessary). Brown on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. If you want to get good browning, do not stir the beef unless to turn. While the beef are browning, chop the bacon and set aside.

4) Add the onion to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine, brandy, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.

5) Add tomatoes and their juices and reserved bacon. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Return the meat and any accumulated juices in the bowl to the pot. Add the broth, bay leaves, Bouquet garni and rosemary and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

6) Cut the carrots into large dice and potatoes quartered and add them to the pot (peel the carrots and potatoes first). Stir to combine, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and meat are knife tender, about 1 hour more.

7) Remove and discard the bay leaves and bouquet garni (that is if you used fresh version*). Stir in the peas and simmer uncovered until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Notes: Bouquet Garni (French meaning garnished bouquet). It consists of a collection of herbs, gathered together and tied into a bundle or sachet in cheesecloth, or directly tied together when using fresh herbs. There are two versions - a dried version and a fresh version.

- Fresh version: For a traditional bouquet garni, the herbs should consist of 3 sprigs of parsley, 2 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf. Tie the bunch together with kitchen twine and leave a tail that you can use to haul the bunch in and out of your pot.

- Dried version: Mix together 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 teaspoon thyme and 2 bay leaves. Wrap in a cheesecloth or gauze and tie with kitchen twine, again leaving some length for hauling in and out of the pot.

HA! Now I can eat, study and bulk in peace. This stew is very filling on it own but you remember I said I was bulking so I had mine with rice and sometimes pasta, I prefer pasta most of the time. You should try it, it's really good and the meat is really tender I just loved it. Enjoy!