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Stew season is here, so I am celebrating cold weather with my favorite warm-up: a slow-cooked beef stew flavored with sweet raisins and honey and sour balsamic vinegar.
Beef with Agrodolce Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds chuck roast or beef short ribs

1 onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

½ cup balsamic vinegar

2 sage leaves, chopped

1 rosemary sprig, leaves chopped

Salt and pepper

2 cups beef stock

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced

Heat oil in skillet. Brown beef in skillet and set aside. In the leftover oil, sauté the onion, celery, and carrot until tender. Add the flour and tomato paste. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half. Add the balsamic and reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock. Return the meat for long cooking, about 3-4 hours. Strain the meat, place the sauce in a gravy separator, and remove the fat. Finish the sauce at the end with honey, raisins, pine nuts, and tomato.