Drunken Beef Stew

I probably don’t have to remind you, but just in case you misplaced your calendar, we’re officially into soup and stew territory—welcome to November, kids! Put on your coziest socks, crank up the heat, and go grab yourself a big bowl of comforting drunken beef stew. My version has an entire bottle of wine in it, because, of course it does. And no, I’m not sorry about it.

But, hey, don’t worry about getting buzzed off this stew. It simmers for two hours, enough time to burn off almost all the alcohol. That being said, it definitely still has the flavor and scent of wine (and trust me, your whole house will smell wine-tastic). I wouldn’t recommend driving afterward simply because something tells me that, “Officer, I swear the wine on my breath was just beef stew!” is not an excuse the fine ladies and gentlemen in blue will accept.

Drunken Beef Stew

A word about your wine of choice: please, please, please don’t use expensive wine for this. The cheaper, the better. Bottom shelf. Dollar store (do they sell wine?). Clearance wine (that’s a thing!). Two Buck Chuck Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon work beautifully (although, it’s now Three Buck Chuck at my Trader Joe’s). You’ll be cooking this stuff for two hours. All delicacies will be cooked out in that time. Save your good wine for drinking (maybe with a bowl of stew).

I tend to serve this stew with some crusty bread for soaking up all the gravy goodness (this bread is a favorite), but you can also top it with biscuits or dumplings (that’s what my mother-in-law does). If you’re skipping grains, this is really good served over top of mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Moral of the story: something carb-tastic really makes this stew 1000% cozier. Enjoy!

Drunken Beef Stew

Drunken Beef Stew

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

This Drunken Beef Stew is studded with tender beef and wrapped in a rich and thick wine sauce. Get out your crusty bread because you’re going to need it!


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) red wine, such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 pound red potatoes, quartered
  • 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into coins
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional)


  1. Melt butter over high heat in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot.

  2. Season stew meat with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, then brown beef in batches, removing and placing on a plate as needed until all beef is well browned.

  3. Add beef back to the Dutch oven, sprinkle with flour, and stir well. Pour entire bottle of wine over the beef, followed by the broth, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir well, cover, and bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender and vegetables are soft. Stir in maple syrup and remaining salt and pepper to taste. Serve stew while very warm with a piece of crusty bread.


How to EASILY peel pearl onions: Drop the whole onions (peel and all!) into a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove onions from water and place in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Cut off the root end of each onion and gently squeeze each onion to remove the peel.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 586Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 892mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 53g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. I really wanted to love this recipe as I’d been craving beef stew for awhile, but it didn’t work for me. I followed the recipe to an absolute T, but after it had been simmering for an hour and a half, almost all of the liquid was gone and what was left was a very thick glue like consistency. I pulled it off the stove at the point and I wish I had taken it off earlier. If I had let it cook the full 2 hours I believe I would have had to throw it away. In addition to this, I felt the stew lacked flavor and my husband described it as “sour.” He liked it enough to say he would eat the leftovers but sadly I did not. Still looking for a beef stew recipe.