First time beef stew with a balsamic lettuce/spinach side salad

served over a bed of Couscous

Prep Time:30 min
Cook Time:1 1/2 Hrs
People Count:3
Total Cost:$24

So today we decided to finally make a real beef stew. We have been thinking of making one for months and today we finally did it…In the end it took us aprox 30Min prep time and 3 1/2 hours of cook time…And it was delicious!

First time beef stew with a balsamic side salad

First time beef stew with a balsamic side salad

This dish took a long time but it was a lazy NFL Sunday so time was on our side….


  • 1 1/2 lb of cubed beef stew meat. We had nice large cubes with just a tiny bit of veining
  • 1/2 Cup of flour
  • aprox 1/4 cup of Select Olive oil and
  • aprox 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 bottle of Burgundy wine (though ill be honest we used pinot grigio, yup why not!)
  • 2 cups of boxed beef stock (Alright we fess up, we had no beef stock so instead we used what we did have and that was 1 can of chicken stock and 1 can of French onion soup)
  • 1 1/2 lb of small finger potatoes some cut up into squares the small ones left whole
  • a couple of carrots cut up into aprox 1/2 inch sections
  • Thyme, Basil Leaf, Clover, Salt and Pepper

Side Salad:

  • 1 Green leaf lettuce from local farm shop
  • aprox 8 oz of spinach leaves
  • Ariston ‘Shake n Serve’ 2/3 Olive oil 1/3 Balsamic salad toping
  • Croutons
  • A little fresh ground pepper and a small pinch of salt

  • First find a nice large pot coat the bottom with equal parts of butter and Select olive oil, bring to high temp. TIP:By mixing equal parts of olive oil and butter together it brings up the burn temperature of the butter so it doesn’t burn. We always mix butter and olive oil together when browning/frying…Meantime while the pot is coming up to temp put the flour into a bowl then season with salt n pepper.
  • Dredge each piece of cubed beef in flour and place into the pot. Here high temp is your friend. What we really wanted was a nice sear. You don’t want to place too many pieces at once or they won’t brown properly. We did our beef in 2 rounds. After all the cubes are seared put them aside for now..and start working on those yummy brown bits left in the pot
  • Add the bottle of wine into the pot and bring to a rolling boil while scraping the bottom…at the end there should be nothing left on the bottom
  • At this point re-introduce the seared beef back into the pot along with the stock, a little thyme (fresh stalks if you have them) add a couple of basil leaves and 3-6 cloves
  • Bring up to a rolling boil then cover and bring down the heat to low. You want a nice slow simmer for the next 2 1/2 hours..Occasionally stir this till the beef is nice and tender
  • Now its aprox 3 hours later. You can now add the potatoes and carrots and continues to simmer for another 30-45 minutes. We were worried about overcooking the potatoes as mushy potatoes in a stew aren’t that pleasant.
  • Now on to the side salad, this was a no brainer..Wash the lettuce, add the spinach leaves with croutons, salt and pepper then toss. Add the Ariston ‘Shake n Serve’ Olive oil/Balsamic mixture and your done here..

It seems like it’s hard to make stew…but really once the cubes were browned it basically cooks itself..The browning did create an olive oil/butter droplets all over the stove top so cleanup was mandatory..and i won’t mention the mess that flour makes especially when you spill it all over the place like we did :) …Nothing a good sponge didn’t take care of…

In the end it came out just absolutely perfect, the meat was super tender! I was a tiny bit worried about our substitutions, especially since they were quite large. I mean white wine for red wine and chicken stock for beef stock and a soup can? Yup we use what we have and never look back..if your ingredients are yummy then the end product will also be yummy (most of the time anyway).
We plated our stew over tiny bead type egg noodles, though i personally wasn’t to crazy about the noodles. I personally would have preferred plain white rice…Double Yummy!