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Winter braised beef stew with creamy polenta recipe

Recipe by:Amanda Leveroni and Paige Nies
Bacio catering, carryout and eatery, Chico


  • Spice mixture
    2 tsp. cumin
    2 tsp. paprika
    2 tsp. turmeric
    2 tsp. garam masala
    2 tsp. kosher salt
    1 tsp. black pepper

    2 lb. beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
    3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
    1 yellow onion, 1/2-inch dice
    2 carrots, peeled and 1/2-inch dice
    2 tbsp. minced garlic
    2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
    1 (14-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    2 tbsp. brown sugar
    6 cups beef bone broth or stock

    3 cups water
    1/2 cup milk
    2 tsp. kosher salt
    1 cup polenta (coarse-grind cornmeal)
    1 tbsp. unsalted butter
    2 tbsp. grated Parmesan


For spice mixture: Combine ingredients in a small bowl.

For stew: Season beef, using about half of the spice mixture. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over high heat and brown beef, at least two sides. Remove and set aside. Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil to Dutch oven and sauté onion, carrot and garlic until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add remaining spices and sauté for 1 more minute. Return browned beef to Dutch oven with flour. Stir until beef is evenly coated with flour. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low, covered, for 1 hour or until beef is fork-tender and carrots are cooked through. Serve over polenta or your favorite rice.

For polenta: While stew is simmering, mix water, milk and salt in a medium saucepan and heat to a boil. Whisk in polenta and cook on low, stirring often, for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in butter and Parmesan. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8

Photo: © 2020 Frank Rebelo

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