Beef Stew with a French Accent

Beef Stew with a French Accent is savory and hearty.  Jolie Laide (“Pretty Ugly” in French or “beautiful despite its looks”) in appearance, its complex flavors belie its humble, everyday ingredients and its ease of preparation.  The onion and garlic provide a flavor base for the beef and the thyme and bay leaves add subtle herbal seasoning notes, complementing the black pepper. Dry red wine and water are the braising medium while the green beans and potatoes complete the triumvirate of the body elements of the stew along with the beef.  Finally, the Dijon mustard stirred into the red wine and coating flour, pulls the stew together and deepens the flavorful finish of the stew.  Add a starter of Wilted Arugula Salad and pair it all with a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon wine. All in all, Beef Stew with a French Accent is a wonderful dish for cold winter evenings.

Beef Stew with a French Accent

Prep Time: 50 minutes, Total Time: 3 hours, Serves 4 to 6

Support Cook and Eat at Home. Purchase a PDF of the Beef Stew with a French Accent recipe for $1.00


  • 1 1/2 lb Stew Beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes/pieces
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tb Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Cooking Oil, recommend an Olive/Canola Oil blend
  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Tb minced Garlic
  • 1 lb Green Beans
  • 1 lb Potatoes
  • 1 Tb Dijon Mustard
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry Red Wine
  • 1 cup room-temperature Water
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Bay Leaves, preferably fresh
  • 1 Tb dried Thyme or 6 3-inch sprigs of fresh Thyme


  1. Combine the flour and black pepper in a bowl.
  2. Cut the beef into 1 1/2-inch cubes/pieces and add the beef to the flour and black pepper mixture, tossing to coat the beef.
  3. Add the cooking oil to a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over a medium-high heat.
  4. Sprinkle a little of the flour into the hot oil; when it sizzles, shake the excess coating from the beef and add the beef to the pot, reserving the excess coating mixture.
  5. Brown the beef, uncovered, on all sides.
  6. While the beef is browning, chop the onion, mince the garlic, trim and rinse the green beans and potatoes. Cut the green beans into bite-size lengths and the potatoes into bite-size pieces.
  7. Scoop the reserved coating into a measuring cup, add 1 cup of dry red wine and Dijon mustard, stir to mix and set aside.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and garlic and cover. Uncover after 2 or 3 minutes, the beef should have loosened from the pan and stir to mix together.  Continue to cook until the onion and garlic have softened.
  9. Sprinkle the thyme over the beef, stir and cook uncovered for 1 minute.
  10. Add the green beans, potatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, the balance of the red wine and water to the beef. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, stir to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, then lower the heat to medium, cover and cook for an hour, stirring two or three times.
  11. After an hour, test the potatoes with a fork. If they do not pierce easily with gentle pressure, cover and continue to cook, repeating every 15 minutes.
  12. when the potatoes pierce easily with a fork, add the reserved wine/mustard/flour mixture, stir and raise the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil uncovered. When the sauce thickens, cover and remove from the heat.
  13. Allow the stew to rest for 5 minutes, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and serve.

French Beef Stew with a French Accent

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *