Tuscan Beef Stew with Honey Cornbread

If I was ever asked to epitomize fall in a handful of smells, I would say it smells like wood crackling in a fireplace, damp leaves after a recent rain, and a hearty bowl of beef stew that warms you to the bone. To me, there isn’t anything better than fall, or anything better than those smells.

Fall has always been special to me, not only because my October birthday is smack-dab in the middle of it, but because where I grew up, pumpkins would grow bigger than beach balls, the cute farm boy would always putt-putt by on his tractor, and the smell of a simmering stew were some of the happiest memories of my childhood.

All it took was a quick Google search to find this recipe, but though I’m sure my mom has an old, dog-eared stew recipe of her own, I figured it was about time to make some fall memories of my own and try something new. I can already tell this one will be a longtime favorite.

In this recipe are all the typical ingredients you’d find in beef stew: tomatoes, onions, rosemary and red wine. But, while the directions are minimal the simmer time is a tomato-softening, meat-tenderizing two hours. So, while it’s not a weekday meal, it will give you a reason to stay in on a Saturday, watch re-runs and let the delicious smell saturate your walls.

I hope you enjoy this one, or at least drool a little over the photos! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recipe, and if you make it, how it turns out for you!

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Tuscan Beef Stew with Honey Cornbread

Yield: Beef Stew serves 6 / Cornbread serves 9


Beef Stew
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, cut into medium dice
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 pounds stew beef, such as boneless chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups dry red wine
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes, drained
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Honey Cornbread
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (for buttermilk substitute, see “Tips & Tricks” section)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour


Beef Stew
In a heavy, large saucepan over moderately high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add beef and sauté, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add wine, rosemary, thyme, and garlic, stir well, and bring to boil. Add stewed tomatoes, salt, and pepper, then lower heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer, stirring every 15 minutes, until beef is tender, about 2 hours.
Honey Cornbread
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.In a medium bowl, stir sugar, honey and butter together. Whisk in eggs. Whisk in baking soda and buttermilk. Add salt, cornmeal, and flour. Do not overmix. As soon as the flour disappears, stop mixing.Add batter to a greased 8-inch baking dish and smooth out the batter. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Prick the center with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. If not clean, bake for about 5 more minutes.
When beef is tender, use tongs to remove thyme sprigs. Transfer stew to a large serving bowl and serve alongside cornbread.
Adapted from Epicurious

25 Responses to “Tuscan Beef Stew with Honey Cornbread”

  1. #
    Pretty. Good. Food. — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Looks so hearty! I can’t wait to try the cornbread :)

  2. #
    Angie's Recipes — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    What a hearty and heartwarming comfort food! I really feel like cooking myself some stew for the dinner.

  3. #
    burp_excuzme — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Oh man….just LOOKING at that hearty, intense stew…I can practically smell it!!! I love cornbread, too. I bake it almost every night, no kidding.

  4. #
    Velva — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Your Tuscan stew is stunning. A perfect meal for the leap into cool autumn weather. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #
    StephenC — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    A beautiful stew!

  6. #
    eatGREEK — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    it looks amazing! and this sauce must be very tasty! :D

  7. #
    Evan @swEEts — January 10, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    We love stews.. I just bookmarked this dish! :) I’ll bring the dessert if you bring the main course!?

  8. #
    Susi — January 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    I love a big bowl of hearty stew when it’s chilly outside as well! Yours looks wonderful and incredibly tasty!

  9. #
    Magic of Spice — January 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    I don’t eat meat but this sure is a beautiful stew…and love the cornbread :)

  10. #
    Pam — January 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    It looks so comforting and delicious – the perfect meal.

  11. #
    Jenn's Food Journey — January 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    Yum… that looks so warm and comforting!! And the honey cornbread….yes, I’ll take it all please!!!

  12. #
    Katrina — January 10, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    Your cornbread recipe looks amazing! I’ll have to try it.

  13. #
    Alison B — January 10, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    Making this right now! Can’t wait to taste it. Only addition is Portabella mushrooms. :)

  14. #
    Alison B — January 10, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    Making this right now! Can’t wait to taste it. Only addition is Portabella mushrooms. :)
    10/31- update- this was the BEST stew EVER. My additions included chopped Portabella mushrooms, I used 2 cups of dry red wine and 1 cup of beef broth. I also roasted some new potatoes in the oven, tossed in olive oil, garlic cloves, chives, salt, pepper. They were great as a side to the stew. YUMMY! Total keeper.

  15. #
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    This is so cool, Alison! I’m so happy you liked it, and your additions sound delicious! You reminded me that I have some yummy porcini mushrooms hiding in my cabinets somewhere – I think I’ll add those next time. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how it turned out for you!

  16. #
    enrolled agent cpe — January 10, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

    Cornbreads are my favorite. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I would try it this weekend.

  17. #
    Miranda — January 10, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    I absolutely LOVE beef stew. So does my husband, so that will definitely be on the menu this fall/winter. So comforting!

  18. #
    Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet)ww — January 10, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    Mmmmm….saving for when things finally cool down enough for stew in Texas! Love the combo of flavors here!!

  19. #
    Monet — January 10, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    I am drooling. No question about that! I loved hearing your thoughts about fall. It also holds a special place in my heart, and I love the flavors and foods of these changeful months. I agree that there is nothing better than coming home to a big pot of beef stew (especially one as flavorful as this!) Thank you for sharing. Now I need to make some soup and cornbread.

  20. #
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    Ha ha, agreed! We’ll have a virtual dinner party!

  21. #
    Blackbookkitchendiaries — January 10, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    what a good looking dish. this is something worth coming home to after a long day. thank you for sharing:)

  22. #
    Amanda — January 10, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    I can almost smell it!! Wow!! Super job.

  23. #
    Jenna — January 10, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    My thoughts are just consumed with how much I want to take a spoonful of that amazing stew and taste it!! Great pictures, and I love your description of fall.

  24. #
    Kelsey & Megan — January 10, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    this looks better than my parent’s stew! don’t tell them I said that.

  25. #
    Roseann (The Naked Rose) — February 19, 2012 @ 5:27 am

    This is such a good recipe. I’ve made it three times and it keeps getting better!

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