Beef stews of all kinds are loved around the world, but there’s something about French beef stews that have a gourmet taste to them- even if they don’t take any more time than a traditional beef stew from other regions. This Beef Provencal recipe hails from the Provencal region in France, an area known for its fields of lavender and for the historical production of raw perfume ingredients sourced from flowers.
But, when it comes to cooking the style of the area is simple and favors more Mediterranean elements like saffron and olives. Plainly put, it’s also a more “homey” style that embodies the old-fashioned cooking that French grandmothers are famous for.
This style of stew is slow cooked in the oven for a rich flavor and a thick consistency that goes well with noodles, rice, or as the French often do, paired with potatoes.
The flavors are impacted by whichever veggies you use. You can mix it up based on what you have on hand, but carrots, tomatoes, and onions are pretty integral to the flavor, as are olives. While the latter isn’t a common beef stew ingredient in the US or other parts of Europe, it’s a common feature of Provencal cooking.
Thyme and red wine flavor the broth, and a little hit of savoriness from some soy sauce isn’t traditional, but it does enhance the flavor.
We did ours in the oven as has been done for generations, but you can use a slow cooker if you prefer.
To use the this more modern method add your browned beef to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients and set to low for 6-8 hours. Either way, the results are rich, comforting, tangy, and perfectly Provencal.
20m prep time
2h 20m cook time
- 2 lbs cubed chuck roast
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jar (7 oz) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup black or green olives
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 16 oz uncooked egg noodles
- Combine salt, pepper, and flour in a large bowl. Toss beef with flour mixture. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in oven-safe stockpot over medium heat. Add beef and cook until browned on the outside and just beginning to caramelize. Remove beef from pan.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F. Add remaining oil to pan along with carrots, celery, tomato paste, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes then add tomatoes, honey, vinegar, thyme, onion powder, white pepper, and soy sauce or wine. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add beef back to pan along with broth and olives. Cook for 4 minutes, then cover and place pan in oven for 2 hours. Check on progress every 20 minutes, adding more broth if stew becomes dry.
- When ready to serve prepare egg noodles to package directions and drain. Serve stew over noodles.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.