Light and Bright Beef Stew

Light and Bright Beef Stew
Photo: Con Poulos
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins

With leeks, parsnips, dill, and white wine rather than red, this is not your typical beef stew. It's fresher and brighter and altogether brothier, an early spring recipe that's still comfort food but just right for shoulder season when the promise of warmer days is right around the corner.


  • 2 pounds beef chuck (preferably grass-fed), cut into 2-inch pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped and rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • ¾ cup dry white wine

  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4 parsnips (8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

  • 2 sweet potatoes (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

  • Chopped fresh dill, for serving


  1. Generously season beef with salt and pepper. Dust with flour and shake off excess. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high, and swirl in 2 tablespoons oil.

  2. Add half of beef in a single layer and cook, turning a few times, until browned in places, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving fat in pot. Brown remaining beef; transfer to plate.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Swirl remaining 1 tablespoon oil into pot, still over medium-high heat. Add leeks and thyme and cook until leeks are golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce and wine; boil until mostly evaporated.

  4. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot along with broth. Bring to a boil. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook 1 1/2 hours. Remove pot from oven and stir parsnips and sweet potatoes into stew. Cover and continue cooking in oven until beef is fork-tender and vegetables are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour.

  5. Ladle stew into shallow bowls, sprinkle with dill, and serve. Cooled stew can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated up to 2 days, or frozen up to 3 months.

Cook's Notes

Beef chuck is our preferred cut for this recipe because of its marbling; the fat imbues the broth with a buttery taste as it melts. Lamb or pork shoulder are also delicious substitutes for the beef in this recipe.

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