December 17, 2020

Ina Garten’s Ultimate Beef Stew

Recipe: Ina Garten

Try this Ultimate Beef Stew recipe from Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food.

“Beef stew is the quintessential winter comfort food,” says Ina. “I’ve ramped up the flavors by using boneless short ribs instead of the usual chuck, plus lots of full-bodied red wine and cognac for the sauce. This is definitely the most satisfying beef stew I’ve ever made!”


  • 3 tbsp good olive oil
  • 4 oz. small-diced pancetta
  • 3 lbs. boneless short ribs, cut in 1½” chunks (4½ lbs. on the bone)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 cup hearty red wine, such as Côtes du Rhône or Chianti, divided
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups chopped fennel, trimmed and cored (1 large bulb)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 (14½ oz.) can diced tomatoes, including juices
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth, such as College Inn
  • 1 lb. carrots, scrubbed and cut ½”-thick diagonally
  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, 1″ diced
  • 10 oz. frozen peas


Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Cook Pancetta & Brown Meat

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat oil in large 11″–12″ Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until browned. With slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, season short ribs all over with 2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. Brown half the meat in Dutch oven over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned on all sides.
  3. Transfer meat to bowl and brown second batch. (Don’t cook them all in one batch or they won’t brown!) Transfer second batch to bowl and set aside.

Make Stew

  1. Off the heat, add cognac and ⅓ cup of wine to pot, scraping up any browned bits, then simmer over medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add onions and fennel and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir tomatoes and tomato paste into vegetables. Add remaining ⅔ cup of wine, beef broth, seared meat (and juices), 2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and bake for 1¼ hours, checking occasionally to be sure liquid is simmering.

Add Vegetables To Stew

  1. Degrease stew, if necessary. Stir in carrots and potatoes, cover and bake for 1 more hour, until vegetables and meat are very tender when tested with a fork.
  2. Just before serving, stir in the peas and pancetta, taste for seasonings, and serve hot in large, shallow bowls.

Quentin Bacon


Recipes excerpted from Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten. ©2020 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.