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!

Tuscan Beef Stew with Honey Cornbread

Servings 1 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
  • 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.

Join the Conversation

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

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

  3. burp_excuzme says:

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

  5. A beautiful stew!

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

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

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

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

  10. It looks so comforting and delicious – the perfect meal.

  11. Jenn's Food Journey says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  26. boosted bonobos says:

    you are a boosted bonobos! How do you not eat meat but love the stew? Are you kidding me? Grow up and try it before you hate on it

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