dijon-and-cognac-beef-stew Recipes

dijon and cognac beef stew

I don’t mean to shock you, I mean, I do hope you’re sitting down for this, but it turns out that when I asked my husband to choose between a caramelized cabbage dish, mushroom tacos, or a beef stew whose ante had been upped with butter, bacon, Dijon, cognac and a splash of red wine as his ideal homemade Valentine’s meal, he chose the beef stew. I could hardly believe it either. I mean, between my delivered flowers, his cufflinks and the kid’s heart-shaped candies, I might have to mix things up next year just to rage against predictability.

what you'll need
rendering the bacon fat

This isn’t just any beef stew, however. This stew is fancy. It’s luxe and lush and so intensely flavored, if you’re anything like me, after one bite you’ll forget every crock pot attempt that yielded thin broths, tough meat, weak flavor and, always, unevenly cooked vegetables (potato mush and still-rubbery carrots, sigh), or at least I did. It will an excellent consolation prize for a winter you’re totally ready to be done with, pretty as it can occasionally be.

snowy february

Comfort is indeed the central theme. The New York Times published this recipe one week after 9/11 as part of a piece by Regina Schrambling about the meditative aspects of long-cooking dishes with layers upon layers of flavor. These days, and in this city especially, there’s usually so little reason to cook. If you’re hungry, soup dumplings or Thai curry is always just a Seamless order away. But if you’re feeling hollow, Schrambling writes, you can bake pumpkin bread or molasses cookies; you can lose yourself inside a recipe for a while and build something delicious where you thought there wasn’t much at all. It’s the act of cooking, not the egg noodle-draped result, that feeds us.

flouring the chuck
browning the chuck
beef stew: not pretty when it cooks
so much dijon
dijon and cognac beef stew

One year ago: My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits
Two years ago: Carrot Cake Pancakes
Three years ago: Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil
Four years ago: Ginger Fried Rice
Five years ago: Whole Lemon Tart
Six years ago: Pasta Puttanesca + Broken Artichoke Hearts Salad
Seven years ago: For Beaming, Bewitching Breads [Breadmaking Tips]

Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew
Adapted, barely, from Regina Schrambling via The NYT

It probably goes without saying that if you’re no fan of Dijon, this isn’t your dish. While it mellows inside the stew, it still contains a staggering amount, not for the faint of heart. (Although, I believe you can easily halve the mustard volume and still make something spectacular.) If, however, you’ve been plagued by mediocre beef stews; if you, like me, wondered why they were regarded so warmly when you found effort upon effort so lackluster, this bold and rich take should be your new favorite dish. We served it over wide egg noodles and it was perfect.

A few notes: If you don’t eat pork, keep in mind that it’s used here a little bit as a background flavor but also as rendered fat to brown your meat in. Thus, if you’d like to skip it, just start with a tablespoon or two of butter or olive oil instead. The crisped bacon is never used in the dish (gasp!) but you’d better believe we sprinkled it over our salads. Do keep in mind that Dijon contains a fair amount of salt, as do cured pork products. The best way to keep the saltiness at bay is to use an unsalted beef stock and only lightly salt your meat before browning. If you don’t have Cognac, brandy is a good substitute. Schrambling calls for Pommery mustard in this dish, a extra-sharp mustard from Meaux, France based on an ancient recipe. I used a whole-grained Dijon instead, and recommend it if you, understandably, don’t live near a French grocery store. The recipe calls for 1/2 pound mushrooms but if you’re a mushroom fiend, as we are, I think you could easily use 3/4 pound or more. Finally, I entirely forgot to finish the dish with red wine and we didn’t miss what we didn’t know about. If you don’t have a bottle open, don’t fret it. This dish is good without it, too.

Serves 4 to 6; takes about 3 hours total

1/4 pound salt pork, pancetta or bacon, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, as needed
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Cognac (see Note)
2 cups unsalted beef stock
1/2 cup smooth Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons coarse Dijon or Pommery mustard (see Note)
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
1/4 cup red wine (see Note)

Place salt pork in a Dutch oven or a large heavy kettle over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and save for another use, like your salad, vegetables or, uh, snacking. Raise heat to medium-low, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.

If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season lightly with salt and more generously with pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pan, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and any crusted-on bits come loose. Add stock, smooth Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon coarse or Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pan. Lower heat, cover pan partway, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

Add carrots, and continue simmering for 40 minutes, or until slices are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté mushrooms until browned and tender. Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

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247 comments on dijon and cognac beef stew

  1. Jesse

    so true, it is the cooking not the actual meal that feeds us. love the addition of all the mustards, must make for quite the kick in the pants.

  2. Deanna

    I love cognac and mushrooms! Red wine seems to be mushroom’s default partner, but congac is so much better. And considering I clean the spoon after it gets swiped through dijon, I think this recipe has my name all over it. The only thing I think I’d change is I’d put it in the oven for the braising time. My stove doesn’t seem to have an effective low setting.

  3. Looks great! I want to make it, but my SO claims he gets sick when eating any pork product. Can anyone think of a suitable substitution for that first ingredient, salt pork / pancetta / bacon?

  4. Ada

    Thud. This looks amazing, and perfect for the miserable winter weather we’re having. I’m making my mom’s meatball soup tonight to remedy the snow, but this is definitely bookmarked to make next!

  5. Alison

    My husband doesn’t eat beef for cultural reasons, and for that reason I don’t usually cook it at home (unless he’s away!), but I will order it at restaurants. While I don’t really miss it all that much there are certain things that I do miss making – my mother’s boeuf bourgignon, a really good hamburger (turkey is just not the same), and I’m pretty sure this is a dish I’d add to the list. I may have to try it with lamb…or convince hubby to go on a golf weekend so I can make this at home.

  6. My husband and I agree it would have been rather awkward if he’d joined the two of you on Valentine’s Day to enjoy a bowl of this stew. This is one of those recipes that’s not for me but sings to him. He’ll be over this Saturday night, with a nice bottle of dark beer in hand. I’ll send along dessert if you’re still not convinced. But honestly, he’s a delight at any dinner party.

  7. Hi Deb, I just have a question that I’ve been wondering about in your recipes – when you say “Adapted, barely,” does that mean that you have changed very little or that you’ve changed so much that it is “barely” the old recipe anymore?
    Thank you! And your New York pictures are stunning as always :-)

  8. I’m salivating just reading the title. I would be more tempted to serve this with a rich mashed potato, but each to their own. It definitely needs a gusty red wine on the side though! I will try this out at the weekend – maybe even attempt it in the slow cooker!

  9. Victoria

    So uh…if someone had, say, an entire jar of bacon fat in her refrigerator…allegedly… any idea how much bacon fat is rendered out of the amount of bacon in the recipe? You know, in case someone just wanted to toss it in the pot by the quarter cup tablespoon.

  10. Leila

    This looks delicious – I read your blog weekly for ideas. Could it be made with top round? I have one defrosting as we speak. Thanks for advising, Deb or loyal readers!

  11. RG

    As a vegetarian, I love your blog because it’s one of the few where I can make 99% of the food. There’s always this one percent of instance when the post features a meat-heavy dish, but the pictures of this dish look so good that I wonder if this dish can be made vegetarian nonetheless. Perhaps tofu, or seitan or tempeh?

  12. This looks absolutely amazing. We were looking for a nice stew to make this week, I guess we found it. We just need a creuset pan now… unless anyone has a recommendation for a decently priced alternative for making stews??

  13. anne

    Deb, you’ve done it again!!! Mustard stew we are calling it and can’t wait to put the whole thing over spaetzle. Everything is in the fridge and I have a chuck roast pulled from the freezer. CANT WAIT.

  14. Ileana Keltz

    Sometimes, the planets are aligned in your favor, and good things happen. I have been searching for a beef stew recipe forever. They’ve all been just what you described, bland, tough meat, rubbery, overcooked veggies. This is the one!!! I am a Dijon fanatic. I adore, love, and positively live for Dijon. I can’t wait to make this dish!

  15. Emily

    LOL, there are two Emilys with mushroom questions! Other Emily, I don’t think it would work to just leave them out entirely since the proportions of the rest of the recipe would likely be off–too much sauce. I bet potatoes would be fine, but I’m always looking for something a little more interesting.

  16. Becca

    This looks stunningly delicious. My family are not huge mushroom eaters – any veggie you could recommend substituting? Or just omit?

  17. Emily

    so funny that neither of our husbands like mushrooms. whenever mine travels I buy TONS of mushrooms and eat them for dinner every night :-) anyway – I agree about the sauce issue. Potatoes could certainly work. I like your parsnip idea…what do other folks think?

  18. Evelien Rutten

    In Belgium one of the ‘national dishes’ is beef stew. You know what we put in it? A slice of bread, smothered in mustard. The bread acts as a binding agent. If you let it stew long enough, the bread completely dissolves and you are left with a nicely thickened stew.

  19. juliet

    For the mushroom averse, i think maybe some eggplant/aubergine sauteed in butter might offer a nice alternative. Or courgettes/zucchini? But if you want something more seasonal, parsnips could definitely be a goer (add with the carrot), or maybe even some brussel sprouts?

  20. Teresa

    This is very similar to boeuf bourgeinon with mustard. I totally butchered that spelling, but you get the idea. I will be sure to try this recipe out!!

  21. Anna

    My husband loves yellow mustard, as in eats it off a spoon loves it, but claims to not like Dijon. Perhaps this will change his mind?

  22. Emily

    Oh, I’m divorced, so I have to own up to my own mushroom aversion. :) I like the brussels sprouts idea from juliet–I love them, and I like to have more green veggies in any dish. I will have to try this one soon.

  23. Molly

    Have you tried this without the flour? Do you think it truly adds a lot? My husband is gluten-free so i’m always searching for good flourless recipes.

    1. deb

      Re, flour, to make this gluten-free — You could definitely use a gluten-free flour blend. You could also skip it. However, what the flour does, aside from making the bits of beef crustier when they’re browned, is it forms something of a roux, i.e. you have fat, you add a little flour, then you add liquid and this combination thickens the sauce behind the stew a bit. Without it, you’ll have the same flavor. But you won’t have the same body to the sauce.

      Mushrooms — These could be skipped or you could use any other vegetable you think you’d like here. (Those tiny brown onions are popular in stews, but will take longer to cook.) If you skip the mushrooms, you’ll have a little less chunky stuff in your stew but I think you’ll still find it surprisingly thick and lovely.

      Slow-cooker — I so wish I’d tested it in mine. I believe it can be adapted. I think you could use the cooking time you’d use for any other beef stew. However, it will be of course a little different, a little less layered and nuanced, but on the plus side, you’ll probably get to eat it more often. :) Again, I haven’t tested these times here, but FWIW, the last slow-cooker beef stew I made used 2 pounds meat and cooked for 10 to 12 hours on LOW or 4 to 6 hours on HIGH.

      FoodCrafters — One does not need a Le Crueset pan to make beef stew. I do use a Dutch oven (I prefer Staub, but that’s neither here nor there) and think they’re a great investment but there are plenty of inexpensive ones on the market that will do whatever you need them to. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, just use your heaviest lidded pot and watch the temperature so that it doesn’t get too hot or scorch at the bottom.

      Making this vegetarian — Wouldn’t a mushroom, carrot, and maybe parnsip or Jerusalem artichoke stew be wonderful? Bonus: It would cook so much faster. I bet you could throw in a meaty white bean too.

      Victoria — You should tell your friend that I’d go with 2 tablespoons. It might have been more, but I think I’d remember if it was, say, a 1/4 cup because that would have made me grimace a little.

      Allie — Just barely, as in, it’s quite close to the original. I feel the need to use the word “Adapted” because this is not Schrambling’s recipe verbatim and shouldn’t be mistaken as such (I’m more concerned about her being blamed for things I did, to be honest). Here, it’s mostly small changes; she calls for large carrots, I’d go with medium or even small (large, such as those stew carrots stores sell, would a toooon of carrots), she calls for beef stock, I urge you to use unsalted, she calls for salt pork, I suggest two others, Pommery mustard vs. whole-grain, etc. Ah, and I did a little time adjustment because the carrots took longer to cook than was suggested. So, little things.

      Hannah — Those were 365 Brand (Whole Foods house brand) wide egg noodles. :)

      Ada — MEATBALL SOUP? That sounds fascinating. Please, tell me everything about it.

  24. Beth

    Just a thought…I would use the red wine (I might end up using red or white vermouth, since I usually have an open bottle of one or the other) to deglaze the pan in which the mushrooms are sauteed and then add it to the pot.

  25. H

    I don’t eat meat anymore, but when I was younger my mom made a lot of amazing stews from the book Staff Meals from Chanterelle, and honestly those stews were my primary hesitation in giving up meat and now they are the only meat dishes that tempt me. I specifically remember the Lamb Tagine and Tripe Stew as favorites.

  26. Jean Marie

    I got this recipe out of the NY Times Cookbook and have made it a couple of times. It is sensational and well worth the time on a cold winter day. You’ve got me wanting to make – and eat – it again soon!

  27. I saw that stew in the NYT cookbook and was going to make it during our last cold snap! What kind of brandy do you recommend? I don’t have any in the house and I have no idea what to buy. I don’t want go go broke but I also don’t want anything that would ruin the entire dish.

  28. Rebecca

    For those of us that don’t drink, and therefore don’t have bottles of cognac or brandy lying around, could we use water to deglaze the pan instead? My husband will DIE if I make this for him. He thanks you in advance!

  29. Oh my goodness, this looks INCREDIBLE! My fiance has been striking against me cooking lately (everything I make is too “weird,” i.e., involves basil or curry), but this might be the thing to win him back. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Rebecca — You could deglaze the pan with some additional beef broth. You could also swap 1 tablespoon of the broth with a nice vinegar to add a more complex flavor.

  30. Angela

    We made a lovely beef stew in the pressure cooker the other night. I highly recommend it for speeding up the process. Start (pulling things from the pantry/fridge) to finish (eating) was only an hour, and it was quite delicious. We served it over polenta with a bit of cheese and some corn kernels mixed in.

  31. Susan

    I still have the original clipping from the NYT article. I have made this stew many times. So good and comforting. I’ve made it on the stove and in the slow cooker. Both are good, but the stove top version is very definitely more flavorful. Thanks for blogging it and reminding me.

  32. Eleanor

    We will be making this with venison. Thank you for the flavours that will elevate the stew to levels where even the wild game-averse should feel comfortable at our table!

  33. I’ve been making beef stews for twenty years but would never have thought of adding Dijon mustard, what a great twist – ‘stew a la Dijon’ later this week for us. I frequently dump the whole lot in the slow cooker with a good glug of red wine, for the stew that is! If you love Dijon in your meals, Google ‘Nigel Slater Sausages and Mustard’, he’s a British chef and this is a 30 minute to table pasta meal I think you’d like a lot – I’d say reduce the mustard first time or have iced water ready!

  34. AJ

    I have been searching for a great alternative to a traditional (read: boring) beef stew. I literally cannot wait to make this! Thanks so much for sharing.

  35. Juliet

    Oh! So this is why some chuck steak found its way into my cart yesterday at the market. Now I don’t have to go looking for a recipe. Thanks Deb!

  36. Deb, just wondering if you use beef stock from a carton or can? Or do you use homemade? Because I prefer homemade but never have it, so I rarely make all these nice soups and stews. You think I can just use water in it’s place?

    1. deb

      Mariam — I prefer homemade; I almost never have homemade beef stock around. Better than Bouillon (not a sponsored mention, of course) is a great little product for cooking like this. 1 teaspoon stirred into 1 cup boiling water makes 1 cup of stock. The beef is a bit salty but I think there might be a low-sodium one now too. Honestly, I think chicken stock or vegetable stock would work too, or at least would provide more flavor than water. But water won’t ruin it or anything.

  37. barb

    This looks incredible. I am going to make it, and that will ALMOST make it okay that this winter has been the most horrible winter ever, and when I do make it this weekend, it will still be effing COLD.

    I would also be curious what brand of noodles you used. They seem to have a good selection of egg noodles at Fairway but I have no idea which one would be best!

  38. Trish

    This looks incredibly delicious. Both the husband and I are Dijon fiends so if I make this we’ll probably clean the pot out at dinner.

  39. Rachel

    Woa. Wow. This looks indecently amazing. But I still can’t get over your mention of a certain caramelized cabbage dish..I recently had something of that sort from a restaurant and it was AMAZING. CAPS NEEDED. I’ve been dying for something like it. Also there may or may not be cabbage sitting in my fridge right now…
    If you would be so kind to share!

  40. ATG

    What’s your go-to dijon mustard? I used to be in love with Maille, but lately, I’ve found that the taste is different, specifically have found it to have more heat.

  41. I love that quote about it being the act of cooking that feeds us – so true! I always find that I savor homemade masterpieces so much more than ones cooked in restaurants, because I feel a sort of personal connection to the food (whether I was the one who cooked it, or a loved one)…does that sound cheesy? If so, oh well! This does look like an excellent prize for this never-ending winter (your photo collage of the snowy city is beautiful, by the way! although I’m sure it doesn’t always feel as charming as it looks). Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  42. Amy

    I’ve made this stew and it has ruined me for all other stews. I even exchanged a message with Amanda Hesser over it, which is about as close to fame as I’ll ever get!

  43. Terry

    Approximately how many grams is a large onion? Medium carrot? As a guideline, I wish all recipes, not just baked goods, were given in these units!

  44. You seemed to have wiped out your entire inventory of mustard, my dear! Best get on to the market for more. That being said, I almost always don’t have red wine in my house due to allergies and have always fared well without it. I’ve always subbed chicken or beef broth instead for the liquid volume. Lovely recipe, I’ll have to try my hand at a mustardyish stew some day. Cognac? Hmmm, never had it which is very New York-ish to me. Can I ask you, does it add that much to the flavor?

  45. Salivating, and it’s only 9am here! I make beef stews a lot, and never thought of adding mustard, so def will try this one. There are a few lovely Irish wholegrain mustards too, so will let you know how that goes. My cooking motto is that booze improves everything, so bring on the cognac and red wine!
    Your photos of NY winter are absolutely gorgeous! Love snow!

  46. Paula

    This stew sounds divine. I feel like staying home from work today so I can make it. Love your site. My favorite repeat recipes are yours. Love all your street shots. You make food shots look so desirable. Thanks!

  47. Like RG, I’d be making this vegetarian. I find that any stew that calls for beef is great with seitan, veggie broth and some yeast extract (marmite) to deepen the flavour. Bonus point: takes 30-45 minutes to cook, start to finish.

  48. bea

    I thought I had the perfect stew recipe (Allan Bay’s daube – orange peel, bouquet garni, half red wine half beefstock) but I’ll happily cheat on it for all this mustard! Thank you, Deb.
    Plus, it looks like the perfect recipe for my “coccio” (terracotta pot)

  49. Sherri

    Stew looks great and I love putting it over wide noodles! Yours look like the ones I remember from childhood but haven’t seen in years. Even Manischevitz are now more of a corkscrew pasta than a broad noodle. Please share… where’d you find ’em?

    1. deb

      Re, noodles — They’re 365 Brand (Whole Foods brand) extra-wide or wide egg noodles. I prefer the widest ones I can find.

      Caramelized cabbage, mushroom tacos, etc. — Still in progress. Hopefully soon.

      KathrynR — I did wipe out my supply! I love Dijon and keep at least three brands around. I knew the jars weren’t full but figured I wouldn’t have trouble getting a 1/2 cup from them. Nope! Just barely made it. Have since gone overboard restocking. I have Grey Poupon, Maille, Edmond Fallot and then decided to order more of that Amora that we liked so much and a Pommery too. Cannot fit them in the fridge. Send help.

      The cognac adds a wonderful flavor to the meat, but if you don’t have it, brandy would work too. There are other types of booze that go well in stews, especially red wine, but I really did love the cognac here. Nevertheless, neither of us like cognac at all but we keep it around for when Grandpa visits, because he does.

      Terry — No reason at all to worry about specific weights when making a stew. Just use what you’ve got. Re, medium carrots: I usually picture the ones that come in a bag with the tops trimmed off. When I think of large carrots, I think of the ones sold loose that are gigantic and intended for stews (but really are just too massive for what I was going for here). And for small carrots, I think of the skinnier ones sold with the greens on top or newer ones from a market.

  50. Blanch the bacon in boiling water for 10-30 seconds. Gets rid of things like excess saltiness. I don’t understand why Americans don’t use more liquor in their cooking. Cognac does amazing things to meat dishes … and then baked products, too.

  51. Melissa

    I made this recipe a couple of years ago and my reaction was exactly the same – Never having been much of a beef stew fan, I was completely, utterly floored. It is incredible, and your tips will make it even more so the next time I fire up the Dutch oven!

  52. Era

    Just wondering if there are recipes in the waiting for caramelised cabbage and mushroom tacos? For those of us who would vote differently!

  53. Rotchen

    Hi. This sounds divine and is a must try. BUT, the mention of carmelized cabbage.. as we approach March 17th. Would you be able to direct me to that recipe??? Many thanks.

  54. Aari

    I’m dithering on whether to adapt this to an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot — it’s why I have some beef broth on hand) or a crock pot. Since most of the sauteing & flavor-adding comes first, using either to cook the meat & veg hands-free could make this much more doable for a weekday…. Already have bacon fat on hand as well….

  55. Ada

    So “meatball soup” is a translation of sorts from the original Romanian (ciorba de perisoare), and my version is a translation/modernization of my Mum’s recipe, but the idea is still the same.

    You start by making meatballs out of ground meat, finely minced onion, parsley, uncooked long-grain rice, an egg, and salt and pepper. You can use any kind of meat you like (I’ve used pork and turkey, a mix is most flavourful), but don’t use too much rice – something like 5 or 6 parts meat to rice, by weight. Make the meatballs fairly small, about 1 or 1.25 inches across. The soup traditionally has the sort of root veggies you’d expect to find in Eastern Europe at this miserable time of year – celery root, parsnip, parsley root, onion and carrots (no potatoes). Since I’m low carb, I subbed the rice in the meatballs with finely minced celery root, and skipped the parsnip and parsley root in my soup. Instead, I added a big bunch of green chard – the chopped up stems with the root veggies and the shredded leaves at the end of cooking.

    The basic method is really simple and leads to a hearty, warming soup which is perfect for cold weather. You sautee the diced veggies in some oil in your soup pot until they glisten (I like to brown them a bit too), then you add stock or water (stock is tastier; I used chicken stock) and gently add the (raw) meatballs. Bring the soup to a simmer, and cook until the meatballs are done – my Mum says 45 minutes but I’m guessing it can be as soon as 30 minutes. You can fish one out and split it open to check. That’s when I added the chard leaves and some finely chopped parsley, as well as salt and pepper. I find soups like this tend to want some sort of acidity, so I typically add a squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar, but you can leave it as is and let people add it to their bowls.

    I’d like to point out that for me, it was easily a weeknight affair because I had planned ahead – I made and froze the meatballs a while ago, and made the stock the night before. All that was left was chopping the veggies and then simmering the actual soup itself. I like the recipe, in no small part because it feels homey and a bit traditional. I’m not sure if that’s what you’ll get out of it, but if you do make it, enjoy!

  56. Oh you just made me jump. This cognac beef stew looks fabulous. I’ve done a beef stew with cognac before but didn’t put any dijon. You just inspired me to do it again. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Stay warm in this brutal winter!

  57. Liz S.

    This looks wonderful. I just made a beef stew with a similar technique taken from one of the Frugal Gourmet’s cookbooks. However, I did add the bacon bits back into the stew then left out any additional salt. Next I threw the whole thing into the slow cooker on high for about 5 hours on high, adding sauteed onions and mushrooms in for about the last hour.

    And just say the word; I would be happy to help you out with your surplus cognac any time.

  58. Sapna

    Where is the note regarding the Brandy and Red Wine? I don’t see it anywhere within the recipe.

    Molly & Deb – Tapioca flour (starch) is a good GF dredging or deep frying flour. I’ve used it with good results.

  59. Chris H.

    This is a response to Stuart , for the best background flavoring sub for Pork Bacon I have found that Beef Bacon or Lamb Bacon will render the best smoky flavoring /salt to replace that which you would get from the pork . I know its a beef dish but a good beef bacon will still add to it …. the lamb bacon adds a nice complexity with the cognac/dijon also…. So dealers choice . Enjoy !

  60. Sarah R

    Deb, I’m getting a cat litter audio ad that is playing when I view your site. I love your blog and appreciate all the recipes you share and I totally understand why you have ads for revenue so I can enjoy all of your recipes for free, but is there a way to turn that off? I just don’t see any control for it anywhere (like a visual ad space) and it is auto-playing, so the only way I can avoid that would be to mute my computer. I’m not too worried about it, but what if *ahem* a friend were browsing at work? (Or some other environment when they might not want an audio ad to autoplay) Just wondering if I’m missing where to mute it.

    1. deb

      Sarah R — Yes, it can be turned off.

      FWIW, I realize that annoying ads slip through from time to time and they drive me batty too, but please do know that I’m not, like, making deals with the devil, encouraging a company to destroy the site’s reading experience so I can make a wad of cash. What actually happens is that ads are usually sold in batches and although I’ve made clear to ad sales folks that I don’t want any auto-playing or pop-up ads, more and more, ads like that are what’s saturating the market and they’re slipping through. Holler at me any time you see something you don’t like and I’ll be happy to do what I can to remove it. I *usually* don’t get the same ads as others because they often relate to your browsing history. Thus: Mine are usually for J.Crew and Madewell and then kids sneakers but mostly the first two. :)

      Deja — We were totally discussing at dinner how good it would probably be with short ribs or brisket. I’d probably use this brisket technique with the ingredients in this recipe.

  61. Becky

    I prepared something quite similar this past weekend for our supper club, using more wine. It was an America’s Test Kitchen’s rift on Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon. Their recipe was streamlined because all the browning as well as baking is accomplished in the oven. So it is much easier and way less messy!!They had some great tricks for getting that great depth of flavor and everyone loved it! Check it out on their website – there is a video to watch, but no written recipe.

  62. joy

    A word of warning: for folks who don’t looooove mustard, even cutting the mustard in half in this recipe leaves a strong, pronounced mustardyness. I made the recipe from the NYT cookbook a few years ago, and knowing that I like mustard as a seasoning but not as The Flavor, I cut it way back. It was still too much. I was sad, because the rest of the ingredients are so awesome together, and I wanted so much to love a fancy stew with cognac, but the mustard was overpowering.

  63. Nicole B.

    If given the option, my boyfriend would choose beef stew over pretty much everything in the world. In fact, beef stew may be the reason we started dating in the first place! I’m excited to have another version to try.

    Btw, if you ever decide to give traditional beef stew another try, give my secret ingredient a try….cinnamon! After combining the beef stock (better than bouillon!), crushed tomatoes and red wine, I throw in a cinnamon stick or two and let it simmer for a good long while.

  64. june2

    Speaking of dijon, have you ever had mustard chicken? (Though I think it’s best with yellow mustard.) But, talk about a retro favorite, my mother could never make it often enough – I loved it as a kid.

  65. june2

    @SarahR Download AdBlocker Plus and install in your browser’s Preferences as an ‘add-on’. Free and perfect, (though I donated $10 in gratitude).

  66. Oh please please please let me be the 100th person to comment here. And just say thank you for posting this! It will be presented at our dinner table for guests this weekend.

  67. Susan Glenn

    Oh gosh, just read this one aloud to my stew loving husband and will be out tomorrow am to buy the ingredients. We have another storm rolling in and this with homemade sourdough bread just might keep us from losing our minds…..

  68. Pam

    After seeing this recipe, I decided to make this dish instead of another, slightly similar recipe I’d been planning on–and I’m so glad that I did. I had already purchased groceries for the week, so my stew was a little cifferent. But even with the substitutions I made (olive oil and butter instead of bacon fat, skirt steak instead of the beef called for above), this was divine. I loved it. My husband loved it. Even the two-year-old loved it.

    Also, thank you so much for providing suggestions for folks cooking without alcohol. We don’t drink for religious reasons, and it is really helpful to have tips from the chef on making those substitutions. Thank you.

  69. Amanda

    Dear Deb,
    I recently fell in love with Amora mustard on a trip to France but only brought back one jar with me, which was immediately devoured by family. How serendipitous that you feature it in this new recipe. Were you able to find it in the city or do you have a trusted website you might share that carries it? Thanks so much! That stew looks amazing, I know what I’m making this weekend :)

  70. I love making special dishes in the quiet or with my young teen girls. This sounds wonderful and I am going to try it. We love stews and soups. My dish selection is a little tired and old.

  71. Vanessa

    Can I ask where you got the Amora mustard? It was my faaavorite when I lived in France but I’ve never seen it in the States. (I fear it will cost a lot more than the 78 centimes though)

    1. deb

      Amora mustard — I confess that I haven’t had a lot of luck finding it in NYC, though I know it must exist SOMEWHERE. If anyone knows of a NYC grocery store that sells a lot of French goodies like this mustard, Pommery, lentil de puy, etc. please tell me. I’m kind of obsessed. I have heard that Sahadi’s sells some French stuff, but haven’t been there looking for it and their online store doesn’t sell it. Anyway, I’ve ordered it online instead, once from simplygourmand.com (which was recommended to me by a French friend also homesick for good lentils) and once thefrenchybee.com where I made the mistake of also ordering a few rochers, which will be the end of us.

      Has anyone been to Marché du Sud in the Upper East Side? I understand that they have a small area with some grocery items up front, possibly with Amora mustard and the like, but haven’t confirmed it in person… (kicking myself because we were up in the neighborhood last weekend)…

      Update! I did this crazy, wild thing and picked up the phone and called Marche du Sud and guess what, guys? They sell the small and large jars of Amora mustard (the small is $3.50) and they sell Sabarot green lentils du puy, which I’ve been using at home and are wonderful. You cannot imagine how happy this makes me that I won’t have to order them online anymore. Address: 1136 1st Avenue (b/t 62nd and 63rd).

  72. Sarah R

    Thanks Deb!I was trying not to come across as ‘complainy’ since I totally appreciate why you have ads. I wouldn’t have even mentioned it if I could have found a way to turn it off myself, and I thought you might like to know (and I wanted to be sure I wasn’t crazy since nobody else was commenting on the kitty litter ad- funny because I’m a dog person) Love your blog so much that I am a vegetarian and I even read the meat recipes- it’s still good inspiration and I can usually think of ways to vegetarianize things too.

  73. Deb,
    made this for our 42nd anniversary dinner last night. We loved it!! I will make it again. I started this Monday night after I got home from work and reheated it through last night, so wonderful! Thanks!! Earlene

  74. cath

    Cognac or brandy are a pricey addition for me–anything else apart from wine that would give the recipe the proper kick? If not, an inexpensive choice of cognac worth purchasing?

  75. Ah! This looks just so… well, for lack of better words I’ll just have to say that it looks incredibly tasty and even somewhat tempting. The colors in all the pictures you post look so vivid that I just want to run to the grocery store and try to cook the dish right away!
    Thank you so much for sharing all these awesome recipes and super useful links on your blog! Every time I need a cooking inspiration, I just turn to your blog and get like a bunch of ideas.
    Have a good day!

  76. Sarity

    This past Fall I have fallen in love with a bourbon bacon Chex mix recipe from the Betty Crocker site, it would be a perfect way to use the bacon! It has gotten to the point that I can only make it when I am taking (most) of it to someone else….
    I plan on making this beef stew this weekend. And since I’ll have the bacon….I’ll have to make the snack mix too. Thanks

  77. Susan Glenn

    Smitten, I made this today and my husband went just nuts over this, and said it was better than the vaunted Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguinon. It was so good we were yodeling in the middle of dinner, and our dogs reenacted the gold medal ice dancing routine around the table while we ate. I did make a couple changes, not because I thought I could improve the recipe, but because we are two broke foodies who live in the middle of a remote mountain range so when you don’t have something, you improvise. I didn’t have shallots, so I cut up the white and light green portion of two leeks, and sauteed them with the onion. I also added a small package of dried porcini to the stew while it was cooking and used plain white cut up button mushrooms for the rest. We used cheap J&B brandy instead of cognac, with no ill effect. We did cut up the bacon and sprinkle it over the tops of our stew, oh yum. We served it with fresh homemade sourdough bread and roasted brussels sprouts. This is dinner party fare, plain and simple, although I might not wait for my next dinner party to make it again.

  78. Amanda

    Dear Deb,
    Thank you so much for getting back to me regarding the mustard. I happen to live right near Marche du Sud so I went this morning to check it out. It is the sweetest little French market/bakery/restaurant, I’m completely in love. I picked up a large jar (440g or 15.5oz) of Amora mustard for $5.99. They also had a nice selection of other French groceries. It reminded me a bit of Myers of Keswick (a little British market down on 634 Hudson St that makes the best pork pies) in the sense that I feel like I’ve travelled without all of the actual traveling itself. I sense that I will be going there quite often now. Thanks again!

  79. isabel

    I made this last night and it is superb. I do not eat pork, so i just left it out and substituted olive oil. I also substituted rice flour for flour to make it gluten free. This dish is rich and delicious and amazingly good. Thanks for the post.

  80. Ron

    Deb,

    Regarding the crockpot, I’ve been using mine as a simmering pot. I don’t like to leave stuff on or in the stove unattended, so I’ll do everything in the Dutch oven or sauté pan up to the point where the recipe or technique says ” simmer for X hours”. I’ll then slide everything into a pre-heated crock pot and let it do a slow simmer there.

  81. Melinda

    We enjoyed this last night, and because I used a couple of paper-wrapped packages labeled “stew meat” from a 1/4 beef we have in our freezer, I needed to lengthen the cooking time considerably in order to achieve “very tender” meat. It was delicious, though I missed the extra vegetables from my standard recipe. I think that finely chopped celery and a few cloves of garlic would not go amiss in this dish. I might also serve over baby roasted potatoes next time.

    Deb- how do you determine serving size? With this dish and the goulash (https://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/01/goulash/), I have come up short with what I consider normal appetite sizes and with accompaniments. (On the other hand, your chicken pho, stuffing,green bean casserole, fennel salad and cranberry orange rolls all came out with the expected number of servings.) Is it that we’re too carnivorous with our red meat meals? The beef stew dutch oven was licked clean with 3 people, and the goulash (halved recipe) served 4.

    1. deb

      Melinda — It’s total guesswork for me. I’ve learned that my idea of a serving size is much smaller than others so I try to give a range. When I think of 2 pounds of meat, I’d imagine a minimum of 4 servings and possibly up to 8 if you were eating those 4-ounce meat portions dietitians claim are ideal. However, if I’m riffing from someone else’s recipe, as I did here, I default to their serving suggestion.

      Sarah, re: ad — No worries at all. I only wanted to explain further because I know it’s not clear on the reader end that these ads are less of a direct exchange (i.e. “How about a Monsanto ad?” “Well, everyone hates them but I love money so: okay!” is a conversation that would never happen) and more a roulette and I hate bad ads as much as anyone. So, feel free to keep letting me know when annoying ones slip through and I’ll keep doing what I can to remove them.

  82. Leslie

    On the off chance that I have leftover bacon fat in the fridge, but no new bacon to cook how much fat would I use to start this recipe off? How much fat would be rendered out of the 1/4 pound of bacon, etc that you call for?

  83. Bree

    I made this yesterday in the crockpot and it was awesome!! I followed the instructions step by step above except where there was simmering time (so basically I cooked the onions, browned the meat, pan fried the mushrooms and de-glazed the pan, made the mustard concoction and threw everything in the crockpot). I prepared everything the night before, put it in the fridge overnight and popped it in the crockpot in the morning and simmered for low for about 10-11 hours. This recipe is going in the rotation for sure, it was a family hit!

  84. Hi Deb ! Been wanting to post here for so long. Just a little hello from Paris, where your recipes are always welcome :)

    This looks WON-DER-FUL, and I can’t almost hear the boyfriend say how much he’s glad this dish goes with pasta ;)

    AND, this looks SO SO cosy, and a great polar-vortex meal too ! Keep warm and pray for spring ;) thanks for this !

  85. clarissa

    I have this on the stove right now. Can’t wait for it to be done. I pressure-cooked the beef part so it would be done SOONER. YUM!!!!

  86. SusanT

    Hello Deb, made it this evening – the coldest day of this cold winter. Invited my brother over to have dinner with the two of us. This stew is fabulous!!! It took every scrape of mustard in the house save the teaspoon I saved for the vinaigrette. It does not taste overly mustardy, just rich and creamy. The flavour is layered and complex. The surprise is: no garlic. Thanks for this recipe. You never ever disappoint.

  87. Celia Johnson

    Been meaning to make some kind of Guinness beef stew all season before winter’s
    end, but saw this and went for it in a split second. My husband was so excited he asked to make it with me! (Stew deprived!) So we mixed up the mushrooms a bit with button, baby bella’s and shitaki. Other than that we were faithful and the faithful were rewarded with a sublime meal. Added the crumbled bacon to a spinach and blue cheese salad and also to roasted Brussels sprouts. Loved the buttery wide noodles, though a polenta or roasted potatoes also sound like killer suggestions for another time. And there will be another time! PS we have made Julia’s peerless BB, and it was truly amazing, but this comes scary close to being as good in it ‘s own special rich way. BIG YUM!

  88. Laura L.

    This was delicious! Rave reviews from our Saturday night dinner guests. Not too mustardy at all. Just a hint of heat. I also subbed bourbon for cognac BC my husband drinks expensive cognac and I didn’t want to use so much. Turned out great. Ate over brown rice with green salad and crusty bread on the side. Super delicious and filling. I also doubled the recipe and mixed chuck roast meat with some “stew meat” I had and the stew meat I think probably needed a little more cooking time.

  89. Lesley

    I made this yesterday amidst another freezing cold snow storm in Chicago. My husband, a traditional stew lover, hovered around the stove nervously. He kept offering suggestions…maybe i should add tomato paste, wasn’t that a lot of mustard, Brandy is nasty so wouldn’t it be equally nasty in stew. As the snow fell my dad, my husband and I settled down at the table with heaping bowls of stew. The first bite received “Wows”… as we dug deeper and deeper into our bowls we celebrated more jubilantly with each gorgeous bite… this stew looks deceptively humble but is so totally spectacular. We all confessed to waking up thinking about the stew this morning… I can’t wait to eat it for lunch …then make this again!

  90. Julia

    My sister lives in Paris and every time that she comes here or I go there most of the suitcase is stuffed with Amora mustard! I’m glad I’m not the only one obsessed!

  91. Rachel

    I made this today, and it was absolutely lovely! I have never been a huge fan of stew because it tends to lack flavor. Although this recipe will be made again! Thank you for sharing!

  92. Wife To An Amazing Cook

    My goodness – this was unbelievable! Everyone ate it with gusto and I might have said aloud that I loved the sauce so much that I would like to drink/slurp the leftovers directly from the pot. I left out the bacon (used 2 tbs butter instead), used brandy instead of cognac and instead of chuck (which was ridicuously priced) used beef brisket. We served it over homemade oven fries and will most defintely make this again. Just superb – thanks for a home run recipe (again!).

  93. TerryB

    Made this for dinner tonight, it was a big hit. I usually make a riff on Julia’s beuf a la mode and my husband always complains of agita. I did throw the bacon back in the pot when I assembled the stew and left out the mushrooms and add some garlic and celery. I am glad someone else feels that the chuck has been awful high $6 a pound! I used shoulder steak and cut it up myself.

  94. Sharon

    Did you ever trying beef stew in the oven? 325 degrees for about 3 hours. Really tender meat. I also use chicken broth and tomato paste (no flour needed).

  95. Robin

    I made this last night for the Oscars. I put the pancetta bits back in (couldn’t understand why they were left out!). I did not add the last three tablespoons at the finish, and they weren’t missed. The result was fantastic, definitely a go-to for us in the future. Thank you!

  96. Janice

    This is simmering on my stove during this very snowy, cold day in southern Delaware! Thanks again for yet another great recipe!

  97. Megan

    Made this over the weekend and it was amazing! I too have been frustrated with mediocre beef stews over the years; this will be my go-to beef stew now! Hubby said it was his favorite stew ever.

  98. Christine

    This was AMAZING! I was worried that the mustard would be overpowering, but everyone devoured it, even my 10 year old. I left half of the bacon in since my whole foods only had lean stew meat, not chuck. Definitely a “fancy” stew as you say and yes, I spent 20 bucks on pommery mustard on amazon, but such a perfect meal on a raw, cold new england winter day. MANY thanks for sharing the recipe and all your others!

  99. L from G

    This was soo good! The cuts of meat are slightly different here in Germany so I’m not quite sure what my piece of beef is called in English (although I have a feeling it might actually have been chuck), I used my “cooking brandy” instead of proper cognac, and I used coarse Dijon mustard (Maille, moutarde à l’ancienne). I served it over mashed potatoes and am already looking forward to tomorrow’s leftover lunch. My husband, who is a great mustard lover, kept telling me how good it was. Thank you!!
    One thing though: I didn’t really feel that the bacon fat made a difference and would use butter, ghee or lard next time. Having said that, tomorrow’s salad will be topped with bacon bits, which I am looking forward to every bit as much as to my leftover stew…

  100. Lauren

    Made this for an oscar party last night and it was a huge hit! Doubled the recipe and used gluten-free flour. Served with egg noodles and salad. Everyone raved, can’t wait to eat the leftovers tonight!

  101. Cindy

    Regarding Stuart’s question (comment #9), I can not cook with pork either, but there is a wonderful, equally decadent option to pork bacon . . . beef bacon. If you live near a kosher butcher or a market that carries a wide selection of kosher meat products, you can find it. A wonderful brand is JACK’S “Facon,” a completely meat product with wonderful flavor.

  102. Maggie

    I made this for dinner on Sunday and used all of the ingredients as stated except I used a good quality French brandy instead of cognac. It was amazing. This recipe is a keeper.

  103. Martin G

    French butcher’s secret: Instead of using beef chuck, try making the stew with a lesser known cut, the rump tail (French: aiguillette de rumsteak). You won’t find this at the grocery, but any good butcher should be able to prepare that for you.

    Rump tail cubes will keep their shape when braised AND will become extremely tender. I highly recommend it!

  104. I can’t wait to try this! My husband will love it. The most fun recipes are the ones where my husband closes his eyes and savors the flavors, waits a second and then makes yummy noises. I love it when people make yummy noises. I can almost hear them now. I think this will rate high on the happy husband, yummy noise scale!

    You have a great blog and sense of humor. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I’ll pop back in to describe the yummy noises!

  105. Sheila Dixon

    I made this last Friday. It was delicious, and my guests loved it, too. FYI: it took ages for the beef to become tender — literally hours — which became the source of comment and advice over on the hotline at Food52. Some suggested that I might have used meat that was mislabeled…I’m not sure. Luckily, I’d started the stew in the morning, so had plenty of time. I will make it again, though…might try boneless short ribs and braise in the oven. The dijon/cognac combo is a winner. Thank you!

  106. Stephanie

    With regards to Stuart’s comment (#9), what about using duck fat as a starter? I have been using it for awhile and loving it in many soups, stews, etc. It lends an interesting complexity, I find, and also has no salt. Available up here in Canada, must be easy to find in NY!

  107. Christine

    Made your version, though I was a just a little short on the mushrooms. (Shucks on having a cup of cognac sitting around!) LOVED IT. Went over well with everyone. Comfort food with a tang! I wasnt sure how long to cook the alcohol off before adding the stock-I probably did less than a minute as I was afraid it would burst into flames! Will make again! Thinking about a puff pastry lid on individual servings…. Maybe with a herb sprig eggwashed on…. Very happy. Thank you.

  108. Vivian

    For those of you seeking Amora mustard…I came across the large (15.5 oz I think) jar today for $3.99 at – of all places – Bed Bath and Beyond! The have a new (to me at least) section called World Market with groceries from around the world. I was so surprised after reading that many of you have had to hunt for it. Could this be the one ingredient easier to get in the suburbs than the city?!

  109. Gene

    I’m making this stew as I type (pretty excited) and thought I’d add my two cents regarding stock. I’m lazy and almost always use soybean miso instead of stock. For everything.

  110. bound4er

    Made this tonight – best beef stew I’ve had in my 51 years on this earth. Used about 2/3 of the recommended mustard. Otherwise followed the recipe to the tee. Can’t wait to make this again.

  111. Janice

    I’m an American living in London who recently discovered your website through an Australian friend! I’ve been intrigued by this recipe all week because of the addition of mustard and decided to make it tonight for dinner with friends. It was delicious! I followed the recipe closely but kept the pancetta cubes in the stew rather than take them out, purely out of laziness on my part, and used brandy because I didn’t have cognac. The beef was so tender. I’m so pleased to finally have a go-to beef stew recipe. Thank you!

  112. mary

    Spectacular! I cooked on low heat (300) in the oven – wonder if there was any difference in texture and taste than stove top method?

  113. Richard A

    I live in Panama where shallots are scarce. In particular, why are the shallots included as opposed to more onion? I would like to know this for recipes in general. My inclination would be to add more onion or maybe a red onion, but I would like your expertise in deciding.

    1. deb

      Richard — Shallots have a lovely flavor, an almost garlicky mild onion. But no worries if you cannot get them. I’d just use regular onion, or a mild one.

  114. Richard A

    I made this for brunch today and paired it with a Malbec from Argentina. Spectacular was the review from my guests. Excellent recipe.

  115. Joetta

    I just made this stew last night and it was FANTASTIC. Thanks for posting–can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch. Every step was clearly documented and I really had no trouble following along. I’m often a person who likes to wing it, but for this one those pictures looked so amazing I tried to stick to the letter of the law–and it was wonderful. OK, one change–those bacon pieces? I sprinkled some on top of each serving of stew, because bacon.

  116. Katie

    After so many positive comments, my input is probably superfluous but I want to say thank you – I made a double batch of this recipe for a St. Patrick’s day party and it was a hit! Everyone loved it. We served it on top of mashed potatoes, and also made your wonderful chocolate stout cake. So, as always, thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  117. Debbie

    I made this for friends last night. It was so, so delicious. I am awed at the flavors and I am so excited to have it for leftovers this evening.

  118. Elizabeth

    This was wonderful. Served it with riced cauliflower. And oh, the reheated leftovers…. Thank you for a great recipe.

  119. Anne

    thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I did not make it yet, but it is with nine exclamation marks at nr 1 of my to-do-list. Thank you again.

  120. Harriet

    Easy and very delicious! The sauce has a lush feel on the tongue. I added a few glugs of white wine vinegar to assist in tenderizing the beef. I didn’t have cognac, but the brandy substitute did the job. The taste was so good with the sauteed mushrooms alone that I didn’t add the red wine. This stew was a hit with everyone at the table. Definitely a keeper.

  121. GiGi McDonald

    Great stew… I added the wine to the mushrooms and it worked out great…I also slow cooked the stew in a 200 degree oven overnight adding the carrots in the morning and letting it go for another 4 hours. Would have used my slow cooker but it was occupied overnight with a corned beef.. You can’t over cook stew meat (or any tough cut of meat) as long as you use a low temp..

  122. There is no way to best this recipe……..PERFECT as is. I astonished my frugal self by buying the best cognac I could find (Crouvasier(sp?)) and some red wine my wine-crazy son saved for me from a $60 bottle. Maybe that wasn’t essential but it was so good I have just made it for the third time. It’s rich, which means it doesn’t take much to totally satisfy. I serve it on Manischewitz Wide Noodles, with a vegetable (asparagus tonight) , and a simple mixed green salad.

    Many of my cooking hours have been blown trying to make something of cuts of beef that require more than quick grilling. At least 30 “stew” recipes have been on my stove. This is the first that really does deliver what is says it will, PLUS. Many thanks, Deb. I love your recipes.

  123. rubish

    lovely recipe, delicious stew. i subbed rutabaga for mushrooms (added at the same time as carrots) because a dinner guest didn’t fancy them. other than that, i used brandy because i didn’t have cognac sitting around. it was a bit salty because i didn’t have low sodium broth, so i added some water and it was all still divine. I served over creamed potatoes. thank you!

  124. Rachel

    My husband and I are in the same boat- we grew up with crock pot pot roast, and remember how tough and boring the meat, potatoes and carrots were. Luckily, I don’t have to make it in my house. Looking forward to giving “pot roast” another chance. Love your recipes!

  125. I always feel like Deb is just a little bit classier than me. She has cognac, I have whiskey. She has shallots, I settle for onions and garlic. She has 3 kinds of dijon lying around, I use yellow mustard and whole grain. That being said, my little pot of stew is simmering away on the stove, it smells delicious. I’m going to serve it over roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be amazing! Thanks, Deb!

    1. deb

      Amanda — Ha! There’s basically no way that I’m classier than you. What I have is an entire website that justifies me keeping extra ingredients around (also, a FIL that likes cognac, so we have it).

  126. Charles Jergl

    OMFG. I just spent my entire day today bringing together three of my favourite things in life… stew, cognac and mustard. I’m a person that could just eat Dijon with a spoon right out of the jar. This recipe is amazing. Each step is so easy and joyful to do. If I had to pick the best part of this exercise it would be the cognac deg-lazing the pan. I won’t lie – I inhaled deeply. Wee…. I made one addition – parsnips.

  127. stephanie

    Hi Deb. If the flour is used to thicken the stew, can it be added directly to the stew to save the time used to coat the beef cubes? Thanks so much! :)

  128. Anna

    Hi Deb! Just wanted to say I made this stew last night and it’s fantastic, A++, will definitely make again. Also I left the pancetta bits in :)

  129. Liz

    Any thoughts on replacing the mushrooms with butternut squash instead? Would the squash play nicely with the mustard, or would it be weird? Thank you! -Liz

  130. I’m due in 6 weeks so we’ve been making a bunch of your things for our freezer as well as for 2 sets of friends with newborns. This is in the last simmer and ohemgee — wow. Divine — so good. The mustard taste is there, but feels appealingly mild — I warned our friends it was a mustard-y stew but wasn’t sure if they loved dijon like I do. anyway, thanks for this — your chicken pot pie and arroz con pollo, too — lots of new parents and one pregnant lady is very, very happy!

  131. I just made this – delicious. I did not use red wine. I did use cognac — it was $8 for a little bottle so I may try next time with the $3 little bottle of brandy. My beef also didn’t have that crusty cover; I think b/c I didn’t have stove on high enough temp when I added to pot. I don’t own dutch over but used large soup pot and it worked out fine. Two more things: I wasn’t sure if I’d love all the mustard so I scaled back a bit and will not do that again. The mustard flavor in this is delicious and not at all overpowering. Finally – when I added the mushrooms, I added the juice too. I’m not sure I’d do that only b/c I wondered if that flavor would weaken the other flavors – minor thing. Thank you for recipe! I will make again!

  132. Ann

    This is Ann the RV’er. My husband has been requesting stew for dinner. I gave him a choice of four recipes. He picked this one (I was not surprised, we both know by now that any SK recipe will be delicious!). It was outstanding! Thanks again.

  133. Kim

    I’ve got this stew currently simmering on my stove as I write this! I can’t wait try it. One little note though: I might add the word “divided” after the course dijon in the ingredient list. I ,uh, got a bit excited and just threw all the mustard in at the same time without reading the “add one tablespoon” in the directions… Here’s hoping it’s still comes out super awesome!

  134. Devorah

    I made this last week and it was outrageously good! I used the following substitutions:
    In place of bacon: I used Aaron’s “beef fry,” a kosher knockoff.
    In place of three shallots: I used one shallot and four small leeks.
    In place of cognac: I used chicken stock (your recipe) + 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar.
    I used slightly less smooth dijon, as I ran out mid-recipe.
    In place of red wine: I used Kedem grape juice.
    It was so profoundly yummy! I will make it again and again.
    Thanks a million, Deb. You always steer me right!

  135. Agnieszka

    I usually don’t comment but this was SO good! I actually got freaked out by the amount of mustard and didn’t add the last 3 tablespoons. I also used scotch instead of cognac (sorry ;) and no red wine and this was still amazing. I may not be able to eat any other kind of beef stew ever again. The flavors were so vivid and rich. Just a wonderful dish! Now I have to find a way to pressure cook this and cut down the cooking time so I can make it quicker :)

  136. KimP

    I made this last night and it was delish. I followed the recipe exactly, taking the suggestion to add more mushrooms than called for. (Oh and I used pork belly and left it in, because everything is better with bacon.) The sauce was rich and thick and not too mustardy despite the large amount (and I LOVE mustard.)
    Next time I think I will sauté the mushrooms first in the dutch oven, and set them aside until adding at the end. Just to cut down on the number of pans to clean up.
    Deb, so funny about the Amora mustard. I travel to France very often for work and I always hoard the Maille mustard from there – there they call it Fine de Dijon (instead of Dijon Originale) and is stronger than the one sold in the US. Plus Maille has a store in Paris at Madeleine where you can get fresh dijon from a tap! But my next trip to Monoprix I will have to pick up the Amora to have a taste test between that and the much better French Maille. :)

    1. deb

      KimP — Oh, that all sounds so delicious. You got me to sort through my email because something about Maille rang a bell. And sure enough, last month I’d been invited to an event they’d sponsored at the New York Historical Society “in celebration of the upcoming opening of the first Maille mustard boutique in New York.” No address was listed, but you know I’ll be stopping there when it opens. And then I will fly to Paris, so I can compare while it’s still fresh on my palate. :)

  137. Victoria

    This was absolutely tender and delicious and so worth the extra time it takes to layer the flavors! I do wish you had mentioned how long it might generally take to render the bacon/pancetta though. I thought it would take 5, maybe 10 minutes tops and it ended up taking over 45 minutes! I would have budgeted my time differently if I had known it would take so long. Perhaps my heat was too low, but that step still took way longer than I had anticipated, as this is really the first time I’ve done that.

  138. Sarah

    Mmm!! I’m at work eating my leftovers from making this stew last night – yum! My husband and 2 kids (7 and 5) LOVE this stew. My daughter was wondering if it could be a little thinner. What do you think? Add more wine? more broth? Thank you so much for this recipe. My husband loves beef stew and I mostly find them boring – not any more!

  139. Seth

    Just made this stew for my wife a week ago. Absolutely a knock-out. I’ve never been a huge fan of beef stew, mainly for the reasons you mentioned – rubbery veggies, dry, dense chunks of beef, and a lackluster broth. Bland and uninteresting – like a Michigan January-Feb. I needed something exciting but still within classic winter fare – and this was it.

    My wife and I are huge mustard fans – particularly the full-grained variety – so I actually put more coarse mustard than you suggested. What a fantastic, full, potent flavor. The beef was tender, gushing with flavor, and the broth was so rich, buttery, and tangy that my wife and I could not stop tasting it.

    Also, this may seem weird, but this was a fantastically fun recipe to make. It’s involved, but full of variety, and just a pleasure to see come together.

    Thanks for sharing this. This is the first recipe I’ve made from you website. I will definitely be checking here again.

    Regards,

    Seth

    P.S. Please, more French-style savory dishes!

  140. EB

    I just made this last night. UGH. It was amazing. For dessert I did your tart tatin, in the deep dish cast iron I inherited from my grandparents’ house, to which nothing ever sticks, and it came out perfect. BUT THIS STEW. Jesus. Heaven. I foresee a future full of this stew, and desperate scramblings for similar-but-different recipes so I can mix it up a bit. (HINT.)

    I saw in the comments some talk of beef stock and wanted to make sure you know about Hudson & Charles butcher down on Hudson. Their stock is amazing, if very dear (I always just water it down to stretch it out) and their meat is beautiful (local, fresh, butchered in house, grassfed etc.) Their fresh sausages are so delicious, and I live off their bacon. Mostly though, I go there for the beef, which I think is pretty well priced considering the quality (cheaper than the farmer’s market, fresher, and much more lovingly butchered.) I’m always scouring your site for recipe ideas and have long wanted to tell you about Hudson & Charles but it wasn’t until I made this incredible stew that I just had to leave a comment, and so had an excuse to mention it.
    Thank you Deb!

  141. Amy

    Just made this stew – divine!! I reduced mustards (2 tbsp. each type) bc my kids don’t like mustard. The result was still sophisticated enough for a dinner party! used pearl onions & tiny crimini mushrooms. Transported to Paris on this ice storm of an evening. Thanks for a great recipe!

  142. Annie43221

    I MADE THIS FOR MY CLIENTS (private cook).
    THEY LOVVVVED IT!
    I LOVED IT!
    AMAZING FLAVOR. AMAZING!!
    (Julia’s Boeuf Bourgignon has been my go-to standard for decades. Now I have a new and fabulous alternative. You and Regina made me look like a celebrity chef. Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  143. Amanda

    I made this the first time in the crock pot, it received ‘good, not great’ reviews. Made it the second time exactly the way that it’s written, and let’s just say that I’ve got round five simmering on the stove as I type. If anyone is considering doing this in the crockpot, I would advise against it! Like most recipes, some flavor gets lost in the crockpot. Unlike most recipes, this is a truly incredible stew. Additionally, most of the work is in the prep, so it doesn’t save all that much time to do it in the crock pot. Save the crock pot for mediocre stews, this one deserves the tender love and care of the stove.

  144. sfb

    if one were, say, a poor grad student with limited pots and pans, could this possibly at all even a little bit be made in a 2qt pot? could i have the recipe and fit it in there?

  145. Bahb

    Cognac vs. brandy: The difference in price is huge, but Cognac wins. Mid-price brandy gives the stew a bitter flavor. The beefy taste of more mushrooms covers the canned taste of the canned broth. And the really wide noodles make it such a man-pleasing dinner. When I serve this to company, I always get raves. Thank you, thank you, Deb.
    Bahb

  146. Marianne

    This was WONDERFUL! It shouldn’t be called stew, it’s better than any stew I’ve ever had. Goodbye bland, runny sauce, tough meat and mushy vegetables. I did not have cognac or brandy, so I substituted dry vermouth. I let it simmer an additional hour, as I was using a very tough cut of meat. Also, I didn’t add in the red wine or additional Tbsp of mustard at the end..and it still turned out delicious. Next time I won’t be so lazy and will have the brandy and will open the red wine ;) I love, love, love your blog and I adore your recipes! Your pork carnitas are a go-to for easy entertaining. Thank you!

  147. Hez

    I made this last weekend and I’m here to report that if you don’t have cognac, bourbon (Makers Mark) works just as well! The recipe was great. Thanks Deb!

  148. Morgan

    My roommate and I have lived together for about 3 years and are ardent smitten kitchen followers/ devotees. I have recently (and unexpectedly) found a new job in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, so I must leave my beautiful apartment, fabulous roommate and the glorious Florida beach life behind. Recently we decided to go through our ‘greatest hits’- dinners that left us scraping the pan for more. This recipe is definitely one of those, and we made a double batch on Saturday. It’s a solidly wonderful recipe, I’m so happy it’s one we’re re-visiting before my exodus. Thanks for a great one, Deb!

  149. So delish — I am a lamb-lover, and it worked beautifully in place of beef, and like Marianne above I used a bit of dry vermouth because I couldn’t bear pouring the very last of the cognac in. As I sautéed the mushrooms I heard thyme calling, so I threw in some sprigs. Truly a lovely meal for an early October evening. Thank you as always!

  150. Sarah

    I made this last night, substituting brandy for cognac. It was surprisingly easy, just takes time with preparation and letting the stew simmer. We thought it turned out really super delicious. I didn’t have egg noodles or something similar to have with the stew, so I toasted some baguette slices and used that for dipping and sopping up the deliciousness. I can’t wait to have the leftovers tonight!

  151. Laura

    Wondering if this could be made the day before a dinner party—would it make sense to complete the recipe through cooking the meat until tender, then finish the day of the party? Or would you just make it straight through and reheat the next day?

  152. Charles

    I absolutely love Dijon, so this recipe caught my eye. I made this for the second time today. The first time I added parsnips because I had them around – if I did this again I would roast them first, but it worked. This time I added dried porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid with the meat after deglazing. I also upped the meat to 3.5 lbs of organic, grass fed chuck and was generous with the cremini and carrot. The aroma as it simmers is heavenly. The porcinis really add another smoky dimension to this dish that is delicious. I recommend it as a variation. Also – this dish does not need the wine at all. It seems like an afterthought and is definitely not required.

  153. Amy

    I made this last night when my visiting twenty-something sons begged me for “something with meat, please Mom.” (One starving student and one not-quite- starving-thank-God-he-got-a-job). I’m usually not a beef fan, but this turned out so damnably delicious I was scraping sauce out of the pot. The chuck I used needed more cooking time, but became silky and totally embedded with the mustard and cognac flavors. Thanks for a definite winner!

  154. Eileen

    I tried to check all comments to see if this question had been asked, but didn’t see it. Your ingredients list call for 4 Tbs coarse Dijon or Pommery mustard. But the recipe says to add 1 Tbs coarse Dijon when you add the smooth Dijon. And I can’t find any place else in the recipe for the remaining 3 Tbs coarse Dijon. So is it 1 Tbs to use or 4 Tbs coarse Dijon? A little confusing. But am anxious to try this as it sounds so good.

  155. Erika

    I’d like to cook this in the oven and will be doubling the recipe. Do you have an idea of the oven temperature and time frame for cooking in the oven?
    Thanks so much.

  156. Erika

    I would like to double the recipe and cook it in the oven. Do you have an idea of oven temperature and the amount of time it will take?
    Thanks!

  157. Eve

    I’ve made this twice in the last month+; such a great discovery. We love love love it. (If you want to know more about how much we love it, I wrote about it here– http://www.eatingisimportant.com/home/dec-31-food-diary-wonderful-new-years-eve — I hope that doesn’t fall into the category of “comment bad form,” and I apologize if it does.) Anyway, I will say that the first time I made it, I used the red wine, and the second time I didn’t have any, so I left it out. I definitely felt it was just a little bit better the first time, and that the wine does matter. Just my opinion! It was still good. I can’t believe that much mustard works. Oh, and I made it again for my husband’s birthday a few days ago.

  158. Andy

    Epic Fail!
    My wife and I are fans of most of your dishes and have had a lot of success with them, but this was problematic on so many levels. I prepped the night before (chopped the onions/shallot/carrots) and make the dish the next day. I followed the directions perfectly, but the beef was like shoe leather. I even left it longer, hoping it would break down, but it remained hard. In addition, I am generally a big fan of the dijon, shallot, butter mixture but the end result of this was like eating Grey Poupon with a side of beef. In reading the other comments, I am wondering if this was user error, but I’m just not sure what went wrong or when. Oh well, I guess you can’t get them all right!

  159. Mia

    Andy @234 – might it have depended on the cut of meat you chose? Maybe not enough fat on the beef? I followed the directions quite closely (I think I only deviated in terms of letting things brown a bit more than the directions instructed) and they were quite good. After tasting in the penultimate step, I added a great deal more mustard (we love our mustard!) and it was perfect. :)

  160. Dave&Cathy

    I made this fantastic recipe last night for our valentines meal. It came out perfectly and I know that it will be even better today assuming the kids didn’t eat it all! I pretty well followed the recipe exactly as written and would recommend this stew for a nice cold weekend of cocooning. Great with red wine, we paired it with a nice Zin.

    Thanks

  161. CK

    Finally got around to making this last night. Very good, though the meat was still chewy and tough after only two hours of cooking. I ended up putting it in the lowest possible oven (175?) overnight and it is now spectacular. Can’t wait to try it again next month with the proper cognac rather than the red wine I used instead. Thanks!

  162. Leslie

    Deb, This recipe is fabulous. Not sure how I missed it 2 years ago — and can’t remember how it popped up into view in the last few weeks — but I made this for guests this week and it was a HIT! The only thing I changed in the process was toward the end of cooking time. The day before my dinner party I cooked everything on top of stove as you suggested until the step of adding the mushrooms, wine and remaining mustard. I refrigerated the stew till the next day, added the rest of the ingredients and finished the cooking in a slow cooker on low for 3 hours. Preparing it the day ahead let me focus on other parts of the dinner at the last minute. I served it over the wide noodles and it was the star of the meal. Love your recipes. You have made me look like an awesome cook many times. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  163. Christine

    I must try this! Two questions: Would this be good with homemade dumplings, and if one wanted to add potatoes, at which point would you recommend doing so? Thank you!

    1. deb

      Christine — If potatoes, you want to add them far enough from the end that they’ll cook through, but close enough that they won’t fall apart. It’s possible they can be in the whole time, but I haven’t made enough stews with potatoes to know for sure if they’ll hold up. Dumplings can be added at the end. I like the recipe here.

  164. I’m making this this afternoon for a Sunday dinner. I was just wondering if we could still get the same flavour without the shallots as I’m sensitive to anything in the onion family? The fella can’t or won’t eat beef for obvious reasons so we’ll replace that with rabbit and we are both teetollers so no booze in this stew, One of the guests can’t do wheat but I thought perhaps rice flour. And we just discovered that mustard is not politically correct due to the emmigre crisis in southern europe.
    Nah, I’m joshing ya. We’re doing it as written except brandy not cognac due to economic crisis in our bank account.

  165. Deanna Foote

    I tried this (my first SK recipe) as written except that I didn’t add the wine at the end and I like potatoes in stew, so I just added about two red potatoes, peeled and diced. My whole family loved it, especially my husband, who raved about it because of the depth of flavor and the addition of mushrooms. They all like my usual stew recipe, but this was a step above that. I think the only thing I would change next time is to omit the pancetta. Ours was very lean and didn’t release much fat, so I think it just added to the expense without adding much flavor. We’ll see if we notice a difference next time. Thanks for a great recipe!

  166. Valarie

    OMG!!!
    I made this yesterday for a dinner party we had last night. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly – except no shallots and I used extra red wine in place of the cognac.
    This was by far the most delicious “stew” that I have ever eaten – let alone made!!!
    I served it with gnocchi and roasted carrots & cauliflower. I served your winter squash soup (but I used pumpkin I had roasted and then froze back in the fall) with the Gruyere croutons. I also made a simple cherry pie. (made with jarred morello cherries) It was seriously a perfect meal!!!
    I am a good home cook but I am not a great home cook. This meal made me feel like a great cook.
    Thank you Deb. I love your recipes. Really truly.
    Valarie

  167. CJ

    I don’t have access to cognac or grape brandy. Would you recommend using a fruit liqueur, like kirsch or something more like a dry red wine?

    Thanks Deb!!!