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Drunken Beef Stew

Recipe At-A-Glance
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!
Drunken Beef Stew

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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.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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20 Responses
  1. Allie

    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.

  2. Sara

    This looks so amazing! Could this also be made in the crockpot? I’m going to make it as the recipe calls, but I find myself really wanting some crockpot recipes I can “set it and forget it” until dinner time. 🙂

  3. i’ve made this recipe twice and I. LOVE. IT!
    the only thing i do different is add a whole bunch of quartered button mushrooms.
    the wine is the best part.

  4. Jenny

    This stew was good but waay to winey. a whole bottle is way to much, although it was still decent when eating it my room mate kept saying that I smelled like a wino.

    1. Huh! We thought a whole bottle was perfect (and barely winey at all). I wonder if it has something to do with different wines? We used a very, very cheap wine, so it probably was a little weak. Also, make sure to cook it for the whole time to cook off the winey taste.

      Other than that, maybe my husband and I have a really high threshold for wine! HA!

  5. Michelle

    I have made this recipe twice now, and it’s become my favorite recipe of the year I think. Each time I’ve had to make a half recipe because…well…I had to try the wine first to make sure it was good!
    Love it and thanks for sharing!

  6. Rachel

    Me again! Just a note for slow cookers: I did mine in a Crock Pot and it came out beautifully. I put it in for 3 hours on high, then 9 hours on low. That sounds crazy, but it meant that when I woke up this morning I had three quarts of perfectly cooked, tender beef stew. Voila, instant lunch!

    And an interesting thing I noticed – my potatoes really absorbed the color of the wine and stock, and turned a gorgeous pale orange-burgandy. I had also used a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, because that’s what I had lying around. IT IS THE MOST DELICIOUS, WONDERFUL THING EVER! This was also my first time making a time, and also using my brand new Crock Pot. So thanks for the wonderful recipe to test everything out 🙂

  7. Tori

    Oh my goodness, this looks delish! Did you happen to plug it into the SP calculator for info.? I must try this in my crockpot! NOM! Thanks lady!


  8. Suzanne

    This blog is making me hungry at 10:00 in the morning! I LOVE a good beef stew.My favorite is a recipe of Jamie Oliver’s If you get the chance try it! You will not be disappointed.It is the BEST beef stew I have ever had.Very similar to the way you make yours but it has parsnips, butternut squash, jerusalem artichokes (which I have never been able to find) and fresh sage.My mom is not a big eater, but she came to visit and I made it for her and she went back for second and thirds. 🙂

      1. Suzanne

        Me too! I love his food.Just simple, rustic, real food.Sorry for going on about his stew on your stew blog.Haha.Yours sounds amazing too!I’ll have to give it a try.I actually have pearl onions on hand that I should use up. I think I may just make it for dinner tonight actually.I really enjoy reading your blogs.Keep ’em coming! 🙂

  9. Rachel

    This looks absolutely delicious and I think I’m going to make it for dinner tongiht. What is your thought about adding corn to it? I have a bag a frozen corn that I’ve been looking to use, and this sounds good.

Meet Cassie
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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