Chef Bob Sferra's Beef Stew


Throughout November, we’re constantly craving warm, savory dishes, so when TSG Cleveland’s Chef Bob Sferra shared his recipe for Mahogany Beef Stew, we knew we’d been gifted with a new fall favorite. The dish reminds us of a simpler—yet every bit as satisfying—version of beef bourguignon, which shouldn’t be surprising, given the fact that Sferra, owner of the catering company Culinary Occasions and co-owner of artisan dessert destination The Better Occasions Shop, trained in France before returning to Cleveland.

Delicious and easy to execute, the stew has proven to be both a game-day crowd-pleaser and a hit with children among the TSG recipe testers (TSG co-founder Christy Ford’s version, shown above, was a much-appreciated Monday night supper). Though hearty enough to serve over lettuce, white or brown rice, egg noodles, or even quinoa would be excellent pairings. Visit your local butcher, hit the your local farmers’ market, and give it a try. Bon appetit!

Yields approximately 6 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2½-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3½ cups diced yellow onions
2 cups full-bodied dry red wine, divided
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
½ cup hoisin sauce
2 bay leaves
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into1-inch lengths
2 tablespoons flour combined with 1 tablespoon softened butter, to thicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-bottomed, large stock pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper; add to the pot and sauté until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the browned beef with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot and heat through. Stir in the onions and sauté until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Return the beef to the pan along with 1 cup of the wine, the undrained tomatoes, hoisin sauce, and bay leaves; bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.

3. Add the carrots and the remaining cup of wine; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, and increase the heat to high; cook, but do not boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes longer. Reduce the heat to medium, whisk in the flour/softened butter thickener and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 8 minutes; remove and discard the bay leaves.

4. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed; garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

The Better Occasions Shop //  Cleveland, OH //  216.973.6271