Looking for a recipe to impress your guests at the Thanksgiving dinner you are hosting this year? Consider this meltingly tender beef stew recipe with a refreshing touch – spearmint tea! It will either leave them satiated or craving for another bowl.
Preheat oven to 300°. Place 2½ lb. beef on a cutting board and cut into 2″ cubes – just try to cut them in relatively evenly-sized pieces so they will cook at the same rate. Transfer beef to a large bowl, season with 1 tsp. pepper and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, and toss to coat.
Moving on to veg prep – remember to start on a clean cutting board or flip it over so you don’t contaminate your vegetables with meat stuff – cut root ends off 3 onions, then cut each onion in half through the cut ends. Remove and discard peels, then cut each in half again (you should have 12 quarters total). Transfer to a medium bowl.
Continue to scrub 3 carrots, then peel. Cut off and discard tops. Cut carrots in half diagonally in relatively evenly-sized pieces. Transfer carrots to another medium bowl.
Smash 8 garlic cloves with the side of chef’s knife to release its flavor. Peel off and discard skins. Add all but 1 garlic clove to bowl with carrots, reserving clove for later.
Add a splash of oil to a large casserole pan and place it over a medium heat. When it’s hot, add the beef using tongs and let it cook, undisturbed, for 5-7 minutes. Turn and cook until the meat is browned all over. Patience is key—browning the beef well will contribute tons of flavor to the stew. Transfer to a plate and leave to one side.
Add onions to pot cut side down and let them cook until golden brown on one side, 2–3 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the other side, 2–3 minutes longer.
Bring in the carrots, garlic, 3 tbsp. loose mint tea leaves, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick,
4 sprigs thyme, and 2 Tbsp. red miso—miso adds that extra umami depth to your stew; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is just beginning to turn golden and miso coats bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. flour evenly over vegetables and cook, stirring, until veggies are coated, about 30 seconds. This will help to thicken the braising liquid.
Now pop open that red wine — pour yourself a glass — and add it to the pot, scraping bottom of pot with a wooden spoon to get up any residual bits of that extra flavor, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until you can no longer smell the alcohol, then add your can of crushed tomatoes and continue to let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Return the beef to the pan, then stir through the tomatoes and wine. Cover pot with lid, then transfer to the oven to let it cook evenly. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Uncover pot, giving everything a good stir, and remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Taste to season with salt and black pepper, and continue to cook the stew on the stovetop until beef is very tender, 30–60 minutes longer.
Pour yourself that second glass of red wine, pat yourself on the back for a job well done and get ready to serve.