Simple Beef Stew with Orange-Walnut Gremolata
Author: Charmian Christie
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 15 mins
Often when I prepare beef stew, I cook strips of orange peel along with the meat. Here, I've sprinkled grated orange zest in a bit of a gremolata over the finished stew. Browning the beef in a hot oven is easier and faster than doing it in batches on top of the stove. This method dramatically cuts down on the fat as well.
  • 2½ pounds (1.25 kg) stewing beef
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups (500 mL) beef stock
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) tomato paste
  • ½ pound (250 g) small mushrooms
  • ½ pound (250 g) baby carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) crushed dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine
  • ½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped fresh parsely
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) coarsely grated orange zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) walnut halves, toasted
  1. If the meat is not cubed, cut into 1½ inch cubes. In a sturdy plastic bag, toss the beef with the flour, ½ tsp (2 mL) salt and ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper. Spread beef cubes out in a large greased shallow roasting pan. Roast in 500°F (260°C) oven until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large flameproof casserole dish or Dutch oven, combine the stock, tomato paste, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, shallots, mustard, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil. Stir in the browned beef.
  3. Stir the wine into the browning pan. Bring to a boil, scraping down any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir the liquid into the meat mixture. Cover and bake in a 300°F (150°C) oven until the beef is fork-tender, about 3 hours. (The stew can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool uncovered; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes. Gently reheat on top of the stove or place in a 350°F / 180°C oven until hot throughout, 30 to 40 minutes.) Sprinkle some gremolata over each serving of stew.
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the parsley, orange zest and garlic; stir in the walnuts. (The gremolata, without the walnuts, can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Add the nuts just before serving.)
Excerpt published with permission from Rose Murray's A Taste of Canada (Whitecap, ©2008).
Recipe by The Messy Baker at