Beef Stew with Fresh Horseradish


Martha’s rich beef stew is a crowd-pleasing dish. She uses beef chuck and builds flavor by browning the meat in bacon fat. The meat and vegetables cook in beef stock and red wine, then potatoes and cipollini onions are added and cooked until tender. A Martha-level touch is to warm the bowls you serve the stew in—and to garnish each portion with fresh grated horseradish.


For browning beef

  • 6 ounces slab bacon (or 6 thick strips bacon), cut into ½-inch lardons

  • 3 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup beef stock

For aromatics

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (1 ½ cups)

  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (2 tablespoons)

  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed, wiped clean, and halved

For the stew

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 cups beef stock

  • 2 cups red wine

  • 7 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 small dried bay leaves

For garnish vegetables

  • 1 pound new potatoes or fingerlings, halved lengthwise (quartered, if large)

  • 12 ounces cipollini onions, blanched and peeled

For serving

  • ½ cup grated horseradish root (grated on the small holes of a box grater)

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 pound egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions

  • 1 to 2 carrots, peeled and cut into fine julienne (about 1 tablespoon per serving)

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill


  1. In large stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon just turns crisp and brown, about 7 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

  2. Pat beef dry with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat pot over high heat and cook the meat in batches to avoid crowding the pot, leaving ample room between pieces, and turn it as it cooks so that all sides are browned. Each batch should take a total of 3 to 4 minutes; as soon as it's ready, transfer the batch to a large bowl and then continue with the next one. You may need to add more fat if the pot becomes too dry during cooking. Once all of the meat has been cooked, pour off the fat and reserve. Pour in 1 cup stock, and bring to a boil over high heat. Deglaze pot, scraping up browned bits from the bottom. Pour this over the meat in the bowl.

  3. Add olive oil to pot over low heat. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. (If the bottom of the pot is turning too dark, or the onions begin to stick, stir in about 1/4 cup stock.)

  4. Once the vegetables have softened, stir in the flour and mustard, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour in 2 cups stock. Return the beef to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Pour in 2 cups red wine. Add the herbs and bring the liquid to a full boil before reducing the heat so the stew is at a simmer. Cover pot, and simmer until the meat is tender (it should pull apart easily with a fork), about 1

  5. Put the potatoes and cipollini onions in the pot. If necessary add more stock so everything is covered for even cooking. Simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes. You'll need to give the pot a good stir every now and then. Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the lardons.

  6. Stir together the grated horseradish and vinegar. Place egg noodles in wide shallow bowls, then ladle the stew on top and garnish with carrots, the horseradish mixture, and dill.

    David M. Russell
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