Top Chef Stephanie Cmar’s Beef Stew with Red Wine

This cozy Beef Stew with Red Wine from Top Chef Stephanie Cmar is incredibly rich and flavorful. Red wine, California Prunes, smoky paprika and cinnamon make this the kind of rib-sticking winter meal that warms you from the inside out. Though it takes a few minutes to assemble the stew, most of the cooking time is hands off. Bonus – the simmering stew will fill your kitchen with the most mouthwatering aroma. Serve with a hearty rustic loaf (and the rest of that bottle of Pinot Noir).

Servings: 4
Prep Time:
Cook Time:


4 tablespoons neutral oil (canola, vegetable, etc)

2 pounds boneless beef chuck or stewing beef

Salt and pepper to taste

1 yellow onion, diced

3 plum tomatoes, and chopped (canned are fine in the winter)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 cup beef stock

1 cup Pinot Noir

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup pitted California Prunes

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 


Cut meat into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Place a deep skillet or casserole pan that can be covered over medium-high heat, and add oil. Brown meat well on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from pan. It may be necessary to do this in batches so you don’t crowd the meat. 

In same pot over medium-high heat, sauté onion and tomatoes with a large pinch of salt and some pepper. When they soften, about 5 minutes, stir in paprika, cinnamon, and bay leaf. Return meat to pan, and add stock and wine; bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. If mixture starts to dry, add a little water or stock.

Remove cinnamon and bay leaf, and stir in sugar and prunes. Simmer until prunes and meat are soft, another 30 to 45 minutes. When meat is very tender, uncover pot and add vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot, garnished with parsley.


Beef Stew with Red Wine and California Prunes


If you love this recipe for chicken legs, you’ll probably love Chef Stephanie Cmar’s other delicious recipes featuring California Prunes: