Craig Claiborne's Beef Stew Recipe (2024)

By Craig Claiborne

Craig Claiborne's Beef Stew Recipe (1)

Total Time
About 1 hour 30 minutes
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It would be hard to find a simpler meal than Mr. Claiborne’s hearty beef stew, which goes beautifully with buttered noodles and a stout glass of red wine. (Or, for the children, a glass of milk.) A small scattering of cloves adds a floral note to the gravy, augmented by just a little thyme, and the combination pairs beautifully with the carrots you add near the end of the cooking process, to prevent them from going mushy in the heat. Sprinkle chopped parsley over the finished dish, of course, a nod to the past that rewards in beauty and flavor alike.

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Yield:8 servings

  • 4pounds lean, boneless chuck steak
  • ¼cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 6tablespoons flour
  • 4cups dry red wine
  • 2cups water
  • 4whole cloves
  • 1bay leaf
  • ½teaspoon thyme
  • 6sprigs parsley, tied in a bundle
  • 6large carrots, about 1½ pounds, trimmed and scraped

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

749 calories; 45 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 2 grams trans fat; 23 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams sugars; 45 grams protein; 1267 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Craig Claiborne's Beef Stew Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Cut the meat into two-inch cubes.

  2. Step


    Using a large skillet, heat the oil and add the beef cubes in one layer. Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring and turning the pieces often, for about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the meat evenly.

  4. Step


    Add the wine and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the water. Add the cloves, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Cover closely and simmer for one hour.

  5. Step


    Meanwhile, cut the carrots into one-inch lengths. If the pieces are very large, cut them in half lengthwise. Add them to the beef. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Serve the stew sprinkled with chopped parsley.



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Cooking Notes


This worked out very nicely for me. After reading through all the comments, I made the following changes to the base recipe:
* I used 3 cups of wine (cab sauv) and 1 cup of beef stock
* I let the alcohol burn off for quite a while (maybe 15+ mins)
* I roasted some mushrooms and added them when I added the water
* I cooked the whole thing about 30-60 mins longer than directed
* I added potatoes when there was 30 mins left
* I added some extra thyme at the very end
* I served with a nice bread.


So, basically a completely different recipe... ;)


Some differences of opinion here -- nothing wrong with that...

BUT... I'm amused that this recipe calls for 4 lbs. of meat cut in 2" chunks... and then put in A SINGLE LAYER in a pan that can later be covered. Good lord, how large is this pan? I used a monsterous 14" skillet (no lid...) and it STILL wasn't large enough. Me thinks that no one is proofing the writing here!


There's a cheat in this recipe: while the instructions calls for skillet (as in something akin to stroganoff), the photo featured in the article uses a dutch oven.

I strongly recommend doing this in a dutch oven, specifically with some air between liquid and the lid, so that the oven is at most 3/4th full (less is fine, but not more); in this way, the meat is much more flavourful.

Tim Murtaugh

A great starter stew! This is a recipe where exactness is *not* a requirement. Not enough wine around? Sub in stock. No stock? Water will do the job — less flavorfully, but the job will get done.

As others have said, it's critical to get the alcohol in the wine burned off. If the steam still smells strongly of wine, keep things at a boil until the alcoholic odor goes away.

Immediate go-tos for taking things up a notch include mushrooms, other root veggies, and dare I say perhaps prunes?

Joseph Kopec

I've made this dish essentially as shown (in a dutch oven) many times and I have to laugh at all the variations to poor Craig's recipe. I'm sure he's laughing too at the Comedie Humane that is the NYT Food Section. Well, variety (more garlic, more thyme, less wine, more wine, less meat, more meat) is the spice...whatever floats your beef.


Keep the recipe as is with carrots etc. However, use equal parts dry red wine and vegetable stock. Try tossing the meat in a tub of flour that's been heavily mixed with smoked paprika so that the flour is pink in color and then browned. Finally preheat the oven to 300 then turn down to 275 and braise the stew in the oven. The slower cooking will take care of any toughness.

Mike Friedman

Julia Child's old rule "cook with wine you would drink" is less apt now (because there's less terrible wine out there). I usually use a Cotes du Rhone (which is a blend) Sangiovese or Merlot for something like this. A bottle of Two Buck Chuck or equivalent would be fine. I would never use a bottle costing more than about $6-7 for something like this, it's just wasteful.


I don't see how this is a good recipe - you have to change it so much you're better off following Julia Child's Beef Bourginon. Water instead of stock doesn't make sense and cloves are very strong so four seems like a lot;also if you were a novice cook following these instructions and tried to brown four pounds of cut up beef in one layer in a cast iron skillet you would have a giant mess. Something is off here.


Needs WAY more than 90 minutes simmering for the meat to tenderize. Ideally 3-3.5 hours.


Double or triple the garlic


This is a good starting point for a beef stew. I added about 2 cups of beef bullion (Better Than Bullion), did only 3 cups of red wine, added a dash of balsamic vinegar, along with potatoes, cooked on medium-low for about 3 hours 30 minutes. I added peas and fresh thyme at the end...was delicious and the meat was very tender. And it goes great with the crusty bread as Ann G recommends!

Katie Grist

I halved this recipe and had great results, I used a cup of wine and some beef stock, otherwise I found it expensive to add 4 cups of wine, had I made the full recipe. I also added some potatoes near the end.. everyone loved it, even my 3 year old, would make it again. PS. I also cooked it about 45 minutes longer than suggested.

Jeanette Rodman

Instead of urging the cloves lose in the stew, I push them into a small unpeeled onion which is added whole to the stew after the liquids have been added.


I've read and tried many variants of this same recipe of meat in red wine, and here's what I think:

- Flour isn't necessary
- You can add nutmeg, juniper, cinnamon and cloves depending on how you want it. One more thing to consider is red currant or black current jam or jelly or whatever
- You can add mushrooms or black olives depending on how you want it, but not both
- Add wine, then add enough water or stock to cover it - if you have space, of course.

Anne-Marie IBANEZ

The results of the original recipe were delicious. I cooked everything stovetop in a wok with a tight fitting lid. After reading some of the comments, I added beef bouillon. I would recommend cooking potatoes separately, as otherwise they would absorb much of the sauce as well as the flavor. I par-boiled these, drenched them in parsley and garlic salt to complement the meat and cooked them separately in melted butter until they were crunchy and golden on the outside.


The flavor was great. The cooking time was inaccurate; allow yourself another hour (30 minutes to complete the recipe and another 30 minutes of simmering to soften the beef further).


It was delicious. HereThis worked out very nicely for us too. After reading through all the comments, I made the following changes to the base recipe:* I used 3 cups of wine (cab sauv) and 1 cup of beef stock* I let the alcohol burn off for a while (maybe 10+ mins)* I roasted some mushrooms and added them when I added the water* I cooked the whole thing about 90-120 mins longer than directed* I added carrots when there were 45 mins left


I'd heed the notes about longer cooking time - I tested the meat after an hour of simmering and it was still tough, let it go for another hour and it was tender enough to eat, then I added carrots and potatoes.


Not a red wine drinker, so if I bought a bottle, the rest would go to waste. BUT, my supermarket has Original House Wine Red Wine Blend in a 12 oz. can. Perfect amount for a recipe like this.


Made this today after all the very bad weather we’ve had in Northern California. The recipe sounded like exactly what was need. As I always do, I read the notes. So many people have so many ideas how to makes this basic recipe better. All recipes are a basic starting point. Made this ,it was delicious. A good cook always adds whatever ingredients appeals at the time….one time add thyme, another beef bullion, and so on. I want to thank NYT cooking for always providing wonderful recipes…..


Extremely bland. Would not make again. Followed the directions but also added mushrooms and small gold Yukon potatoes. Found we had to add more seasoning but it made little difference. :(I'd recommend cutting the wine in half and supplementing it with beef broth.

Matt A.

Just made this for the first time. Here are my thoughts… use a Dutch oven instead of a skillet, double all the spices, add some sprigs of rosemary as well. Had it on a simmer and the bottom got burnt… otherwise a delicious starter stew

John Anderson

ok, a bit bland to be honest. I put is some mustard which helped up the flavor range...


I made per the recipe... nervous before finish after reading other's notes. Turned out perfect, family loved it. Added touch of kosher salt flakes and ground black pepper at the end, that's all. The meat was very tender, loved it!


This is a great stew! I followed the recipe exactly, except for adding small potatoes for the last 45 minutes (based on another commenter). The only thing I'll do differently next time is to cut back on the whole cloves. Maybe just 2.

D Derp

Just want to note that this takes much longer than 1 and a half hours!

beef is tough

I used lean beef making the meat tough, any suggestions?

Richard NYC

Follow the recipe: chuck steak. It's not lean.


Made this in a Dutch oven and let it brown for 20 min on low. Tripled the garlic & included 2 cups cab, 1 cup beef both and 1 cup water. Finished with fleur de sel and crushed red pepper. Fam loved it.

Christine A

Delicious and quick recipe. I used grass fed bison cut into stew cubes. Otherwise mostly followed the recipe except made it in a Dutch oven and braised it in the oven at 325 for several hours because i wasn't sure how the bison would be. It was tender and delicious this way. Also added parsnips with the carrots. I quartered the recipe as I had only a pound of bison stew meat and made it for my husband and myself; plenty for the 2 of us.

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Craig Claiborne's Beef Stew Recipe (2024)
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